My name is Daniel Yang, currently serving with our ministry leaders at Living Hope Ministry. We have started this blog post in the month of September in hopes to share our thoughts on various topics and our daily walk with our loving Father. I have the privilege to be the first to kick off our blog post and I am super excited to see how our God will work through these blog posts that our loving leaders will write throughout the months.
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
- 1 Peter 4:12-13 ESV
March 2020 has been a month to remember in history. This is when COVID-19 had officially hit the state of Virginia and completely changed our lives forever. The past several months have been a roller coaster of events, and filled with world changing movements. Even within our church we have drastically changed throughout this COVID-19 pandemic. We would have never imagined that churches will not be able to meet, schools will close down all across the world, work-place will change their environment to virtual, and even health care would be impacted. We would have never guessed that the world would be challenged by this virus, and there has been so much pain and suffering within the communities.
This is where Peter’s statement above becomes prevalent and relevant. As followers of Christ we are called to see suffering and trials of life as joy. “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds” (James 1:2 ESV). We are to accept that these trials are meant to build maturity in our faith and like fire it is meant to burn away all our impurities. There is joy because we are to trust faithfully in our Almighty God. There is peace because we have a God who is able. Even in the midst of all these suffering, God is still working for our good. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who care called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 ESV)
Personally for me, throughout this pandemic, I found that my relationship with my family grew. Maybe it is because we were forced to stay home which led to more time together. I was blessed to always have a good relationship with my family but I saw more growth and happiness that permeated throughout our relationships. I’ve found myself appreciating every moment I get to have with my friends and family. I’ve also experienced a new passion for building a ministry where we can bring positive change, such as love and hope into our communities. These are ways God is turning it for our good.
We’ve seen broken families being built back together. We’ve seen churches change the way they do ministry to make sure they can reach those in need in the midst of the pandemic. We have seen communities come together and help each other because people saw their neighbors in need. We have seen countless food drives for those that could not provide food for their families. Even within our church we were able to remodel and re-establish our structure of ministry during this time because we had opportunities for change. We can continuously see love and care being spread. We, as Christians, are to generate that kind of change and bring glory to God’s Kingdom.
Don’t get me wrong. I know there is still much pain and suffering throughout our world. I know there is more healing and fixing that needs to be done. But even in all that, we are to see that God is working. We, as followers of Christ, are suppose to look at the positivity that God is working in our lives and community. We cannot let darkness win and suffering overcome us because Jesus has given us life and He has overcome suffering. Therefore, we are to be the Light of this world and bring Hope into the brokenness around us. We are to proclaim the Living Hope, Jesus Christ and be shepherds of the Word. It all starts in our own lives to be the change that moves the world. It starts with our own thoughts and action to bring love and joy into the communities around us. So hang in there church, and keep up the good work that God has given you. In Him Together We Can.
“Even what the enemy means for evil; You turn it for our good; You turn it for our good and for Your glory. Even in the valley, You are faithful; You're working for our good; You're working for our good and for Your glory”
Song Lyric - Sovereign Over Us