“Sir, can I change to another family group?” I dropped a message to the Dean of Students in my seminary at the start of a new semester.


“No! No one can ask for a change,” was the firm reply that I received following my message. 


When life does not go the way we want it to go, we may feel frustrated, angry or discouraged. I had to accept this as part of my learning journey in the seminary. I submitted to God and prayed that He would allow things to work out well despite the fear that I might be affected by an unpleasant conflict that could arise in this new family group. It turned out that the worst I had imagined did not happen and I was blessed with delicious home baked bread, coffee and great company during the weekly fellowship time.


Life might have brought you much greater challenges than the incident that I have shared. Some of us might have lost a loved one or a job, grappling with mental or physical health issues, feeling isolated or helpless etc. Have these challenges brought you closer to God or do you feel abandoned by Him? Do you feel burdened that you had to handle the issue alone or that there was no one who understood what you were going through? Do you feel disconnected from the church? Jesus said in John 16:33 “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”


Just as I learnt to submit and trust God, you can do the same. I did not keep my fear and struggles to myself. I shared it with some trusted friends who prayed for me. You can do the same too. Believe that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Rom 8:28).


As we are coming to the end of 2021, I am reminded of our church theme “A heart for intimacy”. How have we grown in our intimacy with God and our relationship with one another? Since the onset of the pandemic, we have not been able to hold regular group meetings and fellowship in person. But the church is seeking to reach out to you through our connectors. How have you been responding to their efforts? And how have you been keeping the line of communication with God through regular prayer, worship and studying of His Word?


Remember 2 Peter 1:3-4 “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” No matter what situation you are facing now, let us remember to count our blessings and seek to grow in our relationship with God and one another.


Stanza 1:

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.



Count your blessings, name them one by one,           
Count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God has done.


Stanza 2:
Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.


Stanzas 4:
So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Lyrics: Johnson Oatman Jr. (1856-1926) / Music: Edwin Othello Excell (1851-1921)