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Peter Chin

Peter Chin

Peter is a pastor, writer, speaker, and advocate for racial reconciliation. A graduate of Yale University and Fuller Seminary, he has pastored and planted churches in California, Virginia, and Washington, DC. He now serves as lead pastor of Rainier Avenue Church in Seattle, Washington—one of the most culturally diverse areas of the United States. He is also a former columnist for Christianity Today and the author of Blindsided by God, a memoir of his wife’s fight against cancer while pregnant with their third child. Peter is the husband of a courageous breast cancer survivor and the father of five wonderful children.

Articles by Peter Chin

More Than Just Waiting

Police charged a woman with reckless driving after she drove her car on and off of a sidewalk. She steered off the street and onto the sidewalk because she didn’t want to wait for a school bus dropping off students!

While it's true that waiting can make us impatient, there are also good things to do and learn in the waiting. Jesus knew this when He told His disciples to “not leave Jerusalem” (Acts 1:4)? They were waiting to “be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (v. 5).

As they gathered, likely in a state of excitement and anticipation, the disciples seemed to understand that when Jesus told them to wait, He didn’t say for them to do nothing. They spent time praying together (v. 14), and informed by Scripture, they also chose a new disciple to replace Judas (v. 26). Soon, in an upper room, as they were gathered together in worship and prayer, the Holy Spirit descended upon them (2:1–4).

The disciples hadn’t simply been waiting—they had also been preparing. As we wait on God, it doesn’t mean doing nothing or impatiently rushing forward. Instead we can pray, worship, and enjoy fellowship as we anticipate what He’ll do. The waiting prepares our hearts, minds, and bodies for what’s to come.

Yes, when God asks us to wait, we can be excited—knowing that we can trust Him and the plans He has for us!

Life Beyond Compare

In a TV program, adults posed as high school students to better understand the lives of young people. They discovered that social media plays a central role in how students measured their self-worth. One participant observed, "[The students’] self-value is attached to social media—it's dependent on how many ‘likes’ they get on a photo.” This need for being accepted by others can drive young people to extreme behavior online.

Our longing for being accepted by others can be seen throughout the ages. In Genesis 29, Leah understandbly yearns for the love of her husband Jacob. It’s reflected in the name of her first three sons—all capturing her loneliness (vv. 31–34). But, sadly, there’s no indication that Jacob ever gave her the acceptance she craved.

With the birth of her fourth child, Leah turned to God instead of her husband, naming her fourth son Judah, which means, “This time I will praise the Lord” (v. 35). And Judah was an ancestor of King David and, later, Jesus. Forever a part of God’s salvation story, Leah it seems now chose to find her significance in God.

We can try to find our significance in many ways and things, but only in Jesus do we find our identity as children of God, co-heirs with Christ, and those who will dwell eternally with our heavenly Father. As Paul reminds us, nothing in this world can ever compare with the “surpassing worth of knowing Christ” (Philippians 3:8).

Sharing More Than Stuff

“But I don’t want to share!” wailed my youngest child, broken-hearted that he would have to part with even one of his many LEGO pieces. I rolled my eyes at his immaturity, but truthfully, this attitude is not limited to children. How much of my own life, and really all of human experience, is marked by a stubborn resistance to freely and generously give to others?

As believers in Jesus, we’re called to share our very lives with one another. Ruth did just that with her mother-in-law, Naomi. As a destitute widow, Naomi had little to offer Ruth. And yet Ruth connected her own life to her mother-in-law’s, vowing that they would press on together and that not even death would separate them.  She said to Naomi, “Your people will be my people and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16). She freely and generously gave to the older woman—showing love and compassion.

While sharing our lives in this way can be difficult, we should remember the fruit of such generosity. Ruth shared her life with Naomi, but later she bore a son, the grandfather of King David. Jesus shared His very life with us, but was then exalted and now reigns at the right hand of the Father in heaven. As we generously share with one another, we can be confident that we will experience greater life still!

Bearing Good Fruit

The view from my airplane window was striking: a narrow ribbon of ripening wheat fields and orchards wending between two barren mountains.  Running through the valley was a river.  Life-giving water, without which there would be no fruit.

Just as a bountiful harvest depends on a source of clean water, the quality of the “fruit” in my life—my words, actions, and attitude—depends on my spiritual nourishment.  The psalmist describes this in Psalm 1: the person “whose delight is in the law of the Lord…is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season” (v. 1-3).  And Paul writes in Galatians 5 that those who walk in step with the Spirit are marked by “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (v. 22-23).

 Sometimes my perspective on my circumstances turns sour, or my actions and words become persistently unkind.  There is no good fruit, and I realize I haven’t spent time being quiet before the words of my God. But when the rhythm of my days is rooted in reliance on Him, I bear good fruit.  Patience and gentleness characterize my interactions with others; it’s easier to choose gratitude over complaint.  

The God who has revealed Himself to us is our source of strength, wisdom, joy, understanding, and peace (Ps. 119: 28, 98, 111, 144, 165).  As we steep our souls in the words that point us to Him, the work of God’s Spirit will be evident in our lives.

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