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Rejoice Always… Even Now?

Weekly Devotionals

Rejoice Always… Even Now?

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:4-7

 

So we are now in the thick of it. We are in the thick of the Covid-19 epidemic that has gripped the entire world in fear. I can’t remember another time in my own lifetime so far when I felt like such a prisoner, whether it is at home, or even out and about in society. Everyone is wearing a mask. Everyone is suspicious of others. Everyone is guilty without even a fair trial. You can’t cough or sneeze in public without getting a stare. You can’t ride an elevator even with neighbors anymore if you, or they, are not wearing a mask. My kids and I would go for a walk in the park near our home, and there would be hardly any people out, and still we have to force them to put on a mask or else we fear that people will give them dirty looks. A couple of Sundays ago, before most of the schools were canceled, I heard rumors that mothers were concerned for their kids’ safety because they didn’t know which of their kids’ classmates had attended church on Sunday, and wanted to petition schools to keep church kids from coming to school.  And by the time many of you read this, I wouldn’t be surprised if the total confirmed cases in Korea were close to 5,000.

Yet, even in these times, the Lord tells us to rejoice. He tells us to not be anxious about anything, but instead present all of our fears, our worries, and phobias and anxieties unto Him, and the peace of Christ, which we could never truly fathom, will give us a peace that we cannot truly understand.

So with this, I’m trying to see the silver lining. I’m asking the Lord for a different perspective. And in no particular order, here are some ways I am learning to rejoice during these times.

1. I get to spend more quality time with my family (for better or for worse… errr I mean for better). We actually had to cancel our family vacation last week, but on the bright side, I get to watch a lot of Octonauts on Netflix.

2. We live right next to the Goyang Starfield Mall, and whenever we need groceries, there are hardly any people there, so I can be in and out with everything we need in less than 20 minutes.

3. We are forced to stay in and cook for ourselves for all of our meals, so we are saving money on eating out, and we are eating much healthier as a family. Plus, my wife’s cooking is getting much better with all the practice she’s getting… errr… I mean, it was always good!

4. I get to spend more time with the Lord in Word and prayer. And my prayer time is a lot more focused and intentional. I am a lot more clear lately on who to pray for and how to pray.

5. I find myself praying for random people, even if they don’t know about it. I realized that everyone is being hit by this virus in many different ways. Lately, whenever I go out of the house and I go to a store or walk by a local business in the neighborhood, I find myself praying for those people.

6. Kinda related to 5… Before the Covid-19 outbreak, my family found this amazing pho restaurant in our neighborhood run by these 2 young Vietnamese women. I find myself praying for that restaurant, so they can remain in business so we can go back there and have some great pho again. In fact, for some strange reason, I feel like I need to pray for them in person and let them know that Jesus loves them. I hope I’ll have a chance. (I’ve been missing Pigniq too!)

7. Although we were not able to worship together in one place on Sunday, I realized that the strength of our church is greater than the walls that hold it. On our first live stream Sunday service we reached 6500 people, more than 2000 people viewed for more than a few seconds, and we had over 1,000 who either liked or commented on our live stream! Praise the Lord for His church!

8. Joanna and I have been going out in our neighborhood to play basketball together. I can’t really run like I used to, but I get to coach my daughter how to dribble and make a lay-up. And my jumpshot is coming back. I probably can’t beat you in a game of one-on-one, but I’ll take you on in H-O-R-S-E anyday.

9. I am thankful that Shincheonji is getting exposed. I rejoice because, although many people are suffering because of SCJ, I pray that their eyes are also being opened to the lies and the deceptions, and that they can turn to Jesus Christ, the true Lord and savior.

10. I am thankful for family, friends, and our Jubilee family. It’s times like this that we feel that the enemy is trying to separate us. But, it’s also times like this that we come together even stronger in love and unity.

So we continue to be careful. We continue to be wise and keep monitoring all that is going on. We continue to wear our masks and wash our hands 20 times a day. We continue to pray and support all the aid efforts in whatever way we can. We continue to pray. But, as God’s children, we continue to rejoice in the Lord and put our faith in Him that one day He will redeem and restore all things for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

Stay safe and healthy everybody!