“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
2022 was a challenging year for the world. The Russian-Ukraine War erupted taking many by surprise and continued on far longer than many expected. The global finance downturn and inflationary pressures cast a long shadow across the world. US-China tensions and the east-west bifurcation continued unabated. As if these global maelstroms were not enough, Providence faced another wave of unfounded accusations orchestrated by the same person who had more than 10 years ago done a similar act.
Regardless of these circumstances, Providence gives thanks to the Trinity and Jesus Christ for giving us the power of prayer and the word. We learnt to count the many blessings we have beyond the fear-mongering headlines. We grew to become even more united and harmonious with our brothers and sisters, to shine the light of Christ to the world in an unstoppable manner. Our founder, Pastor Jung, continues to lead by example. Even though he faces tremendous hardships, he continues to pray and write God’s words for all His people.
We are tempered by the waves and storms, like pottery glazed in the furnace, to produce the finest masterpiece. Our path may not be a bed of roses, but a journey of thorns and thistles. Yet, it is in these difficulties that true character, faith and love for God is forged. We remember Job’s story in the bible. We remember the lives all the prophets and people of God. One strange thing in common, was that they all walked the path of thorns.
We also just celebrated the Christmas with the theme “The Christmas of loving God and Jesus.” How apt. The true meaning of Christmas is God and Jesus, and what better way to celebrate than to love them. Even baby Jesus was born in a manger, not a comfortable hospital or even a hotel room. Certainly not a bed of roses.
“Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres… Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:7-8
As we wrap up this eventful year, we wish for everyone to remember the power of God’s love, that touches each and every person and every part of creation. Love always perseveres and never fails. With that, truly give thanks no matter what circumstances you are facing, for that is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ. That you may always rejoice in Him, come what may.
The writer is a longstanding Providence member of 20 years, and is happily married with 3 beautiful children of God.