China: Celebrating a New Year of God’s Blessing

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Today there’ll be many celebrations across China as the country moves into the Chinese New Year. And 2019 is the year of the Pig. 

According to Chinese culture, pigs are blessed with good fortune and are a symbol of financial blessing.

Chinese Christians are often not blessed with good fortune; but their blessings in Christ flow deeper than their finances.

Growth

On a list of countries where it’s hardest to be a Christian, China features at number 27. This is due to the Chinese government’s crackdown and recent demolition of churches.

But God’s doing what he always does – he’s growing his kingdom.

There were an estimated 8 million Christians in China in 2004; this number has now grown to 97.2 million, and it is predicted to rise to 247 million by 2030.

God’s bringing people to faith in Christ despite state-sponsored persecution.

Mission

And when people become Christians, something else normally happens – they want to tell people about Christ.

By 2030, the Chinese church hopes to be sending 20,000 overseas missionaries each year. That would put China into the top handful of sending countries.

And maybe that’s only the beginning – as one expert recently wrote: ‘China always wins when it comes to numbers.’

Prayer

But numbers don’t lessen the suffering of many brothers and sisters in China.

Churches have to meet secretly to avoid heavy government regulation. Although Christianity is a permitted religion, sharing your faith isn’t allowed.

We need to pray that God would use the persecuted Chinese church to bring more people to know him – both in China and across the world.

So this Chinese New Year, we can celebrate God’s work in China.

I can’t say whether the year of the Pig will bring fortune or financial blessing. But I do know that God brings more blessings in his Son than we ask for or can imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

 
 

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