Our Shelter in the Time of Storm

While we are all caught in the COVID-19 pandemic situation that is affecting everyone worldwide, may these devotionals encourage you, and bring hope to you and your loved ones during this difficult time.

Day 1 - Christ in The Storm

Matthew 8:24 – 27

24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat.  But Jesus was sleeping.  25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”  Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.  27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this?  Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

In the midst of our COVID-19 crisis, this question would have crossed our minds, “Where is God in all this?”  Despite due precautionary measures, we were still hit the hardest, and with our Senior Pastor among the first to be infected.

As disciples of Christ, we are not insulated from the storms of life.  Even while Jesus was on earth with His disciples, they encountered a violent storm one day traveling across the Sea of Galilee.

The disciples were frightened.  Where was Jesus?  Sleeping.  Waking Him up, they were rather hurt by His apparent indifference and rebuke and asked, “Teacher, don’t you even care that we are going to drown?”

All of us can relate to this.  We all face storms in life.  They can come in the form of a sudden death of a loved one, an unexpected retrenchment or a bad medical report.  Or it can be the stresses of life that threaten to sink us.  For us as a church right now, it is the sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 virus among church staff and members.  Questions may arise like “Isn’t Jesus supposed to be in the church protecting His members?”  “Where is He in all this?”

The disciples’ fear was addressed when Christ got up.  Jesus rebuked the men first before he rebuked the storm.  Jesus was clearly more concerned about his disciples’ lack of faith in Him than He was about the storm.  When He pronounced, “Peace! Be still!” (Mark 4:39), He had in mind the disciples as well as the storm, for their faith was tied to their circumstance and not to Him.

Peace, be still.  Immanuel – God is with us!  Do not fear.  Look to Christ.  Not to the circumstances.  Today, let’s ask ourselves these questions, ‘Is Jesus the rightful King and Lord of my life?’  ‘Do I trust Him for the storms in my life?’  If so, hand our anxieties and fears over to him.  If He is ‘on board’ our life He will help us.  We can find complete peace and calm in Him when we trust Him completely (Isaiah 26:3).  So put your faith in Christ, the Lord over Grace Assembly, the King of all Nature, and also of the COVID-19!


What is God revealing about Himself here?

What is God revealing about us?

How should we respond?

Day 2 - Not Why But What

Job 42:1 – 3

1Then Job replied to the Lord: 2 “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.  3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’  Surely I spoke of things I did not understand.”

When sudden calamity befalls us, it is natural to ask, “Why?”  In our case, “Why has the dreaded COVID-19 hit Grace Assembly?”  The larger question is, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”, which is often christianised as “Why do bad things happen to God’s people?”

While the question is natural, the answer is not as obvious.

Job, in the words of the Lord Himself, was blameless and upright (Job 2:3), yet he faced calamities upon calamities.  His three ‘friends’, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, claimed that God always brought punishment to the wicked and blessings to the good.  They figured that Job must have sinned, and urged him to repent in order to be restored to God’s favour.  But in the end, they were rebuked summarily by Elihu and God Himself for wrong and misleading advice (Job 42:7).  Indeed, sometimes, bad things do happen to good people.

Who was Elihu?  Elihu was also one of Job’s friends, but one who came later.  In his speech, Elihu

  1. admonished Job’s three friends for their unhelpful advice and judgmental stance,
  2. Job’s self-righteous attitude towards God, and
  3. declared God’s Goodness and Greatness.

So why did Job go through what he went through?  Was it a test from God, a way of uncovering Job’s self-righteousness, or something else?  We do not know.  Sometimes the Lord reveals the reason, at times after a long while later but at other times it remains a mystery.

What we do know is that it may have nothing to do with a person’s moral standing, as in the case of the blind man (John 8:1 – 3).  Sometimes unfortunate things happen to us to show the glory of God.

God’s Wisdom and Goodness is beyond man’s ability to fathom.  We need to go beyond the why question and ask, what is the Lord teaching us through the tough times?  Sometimes we just don’t know why.  We need rather to see how the glory of God is being displayed.

When we are faced with a lack of knowledge especially about situations and circumstances, the best response is to trust in the unsurpassed knowledge and goodness of Almighty God.

Even if God is disciplining us, He does it, as our Father, for our good that we may share in His holiness (Hebrews 12:10).  In facing this threat of COVID-19 let us not only ask “why” (we may ask, but He may not answer to our satisfaction!) but also the “what” question.  “What is God doing to reveal His glory in and through us, and how are we to grow more like Jesus from this trial?”


What is God revealing about Himself here?

What is God revealing about us?

How should we respond?

Day 3 - Our Times Are in Your Hands

Psalm 31:14 – 15

 14 But I trust in you, Lord;   I say, “You are my God.”  15 My times are in your hands;   deliver me from the hands of my enemies,   from those who pursue me.

Grace Assembly is in a Kairos moment; one that is significant, extraordinary and filled with divine opportunities.  The Kairos moment may be inspiring, inconvenient or in the case of the COVID-19, downright distressing.  In the best of our 70th Anniversary celebration planning we would not have thought of this as our 1st event after the weekend launch.  Contrary to what some people might be saying that this is bad luck, bad omen, bad timing, etc., let us not overlook its possible significance by quickly brushing it aside or ignoring the God-moment.  Has Grace Assembly stepped out of (His perfect) time?  Like the Psalmist, we acknowledge that our times are in God’s loving and able hands.

Read through Psalm 31 slowly and against the backdrop of the COVID-19.  This is a song of a person (authorship attributed to David) in great desperation, rapidly running out of options and threatened with abandonment and destruction.

Whether directly or indirectly because of the COVID-19, you, too, may have faced extreme duress and distress (v.9).  Forgotten and forsaken by even your closest (v.12).  Contempt and conspiracy seem to dog your every step (vv.11, 13)?  Your body stretched to breaking point (v.10)?

It is when we go through undue pressure that our faith in God is truly tested!  Who God is and what He means to us become paramount to us either buckling under the trials or persevering through the challenges.  The Psalmist calls upon the LORD (vv.1 – 4) as his refuge, rock, and fortress.  He has entrusted his life to the One Who would rescue, save, deliver, lead and vindicate him.  He is confident that God knows and sees his affliction (v.7) and hears his frantic prayers (v.22).  He has found God to be good (v.19), able (v.20) and loving (vv.21, 16,7), and He will certainly defend those who take refuge in Him.

In the course of our journey of faith here on earth, may we be able to say with conviction and surrender along with the Psalmist, “But I trust in you, LORD; I say, ‘You are my God.’   My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me (vv.14,15).”  No matter what we go through for His sake (COVID-19, notwithstanding), we know that He will not leave nor forsake us but will hold us securely in the grip of His hands.  Our God is trust-worthy!

The Psalmist then concludes the psalm with the exhortation, “Love the LORD, all his faithful people! . . . Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD (vv.23,24).”

Grace Assembly, this is our Kairos moment, a tough but opportune time.   Let us commit ourselves and our church to the Lord (v.5a).  And because our times are in His hand, we, too, can be strong and take heart, and to continue to love Him as His faithful people!


What are some of the distresses you felt during this whole COVID-19 experience?

How has your faith been strengthened or weakened as a result??

What is God revealing about Himself to you when you cried to Him?

Share with a friend on the faith lessons you have learnt or pray with a prayer buddy on your struggles.



What are some of the fears that you may have during this season of difficulty?

What were some God-moments that you have experienced in your life?

Take some time to write them down and to thank God for those moments.

Take a moment to read through Psalm 31 and complete the sentence in your own words, “I can take heart and trust in the Lord because God________”

Day 4 - Grounded in Worship

Job 1:20 – 21

20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head.  Then he fell to the ground in worship

21 and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.  The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”

In the current outbreak of the COVID-19, what responses have we observed from those around us and ourselves?  The panic buying of groceries, the hoarding of surgical masks, the sudden increase of the prices of masks and sanitisers, and the avoidance of those linked to the clusters which even included medical personnel, as reported in the media.  Indeed, fear causes the very normal human reactions of self-preservation, rejection of perceived “carriers”, rumours and fake news spreading, and finger-pointing at those whom we expect to do something about the situation.

What about those who have been directly and indirectly affected?  Denial, anger, shame, blame, and guilt?

When Job was told that almost all that he cherished was taken away from him in the course of a single day, how did he respond?  Yes, he grieved.  Then he worshiped.  That is quite frankly impossible by any human standard to emulate.  Instead of accusing God for being unfair or doing wrong, Job responded by revering Him.

In worshipping the Lord, he makes two incredible statements.  The first, “Naked I came… and naked I will depart,” is a phrase that is repeated in similar fashion only once (Ecclesiastes 5:15) in the entire Bible.  And the second, “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.

In a similar manner, let us worship God by acknowledging that:

  1. God does not owe us anything: “naked I came … and naked I will depart”

We are not entitled to God’s favour nor blessing.  In fact, Scriptures tell us the opposite is true, we were destined for God’s wrath and punishment.  We are where we are purely by His grace and mercy.  The Sovereign Lord is free to do whatever He decides is right and just.  Being justified in Christ and being reconciled to the Father does not guarantee a rosy, pain-free life.  Here again the opposite is true, “However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name (1 Peter 4:16).”  If the process of sanctification requires us to go through pain and affliction, so be it.  If not, praise God; for we are taught to give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18).  Like Job, we worship when we submit to His Lordship and confess that His ways and thoughts are higher than ours.  God does not owe us – we owe Him!

  1. Our object of worship is God, the Giver and not the gifts He gives: “The LORD gave … and has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised”

Living in our materialistic culture we have to constantly and conscientiously remind ourselves that our relationship with God has to go beyond it being defined as merely outward blessings, which include our physical well-being.  God must be worshiped for who He is and not what He gives.  Otherwise our obedience is conditional upon His tangible reward.  If our love for Him is based on whether He gives to us or withholds from us then the object of our act of worship is not God but we ourselves, i.e. we worship God for what we can get from Him.  In worship, we, as God’s creation, are the givers of praise that is due His holy name.  Usually, it is our privilege and honour; sometimes it is our sacrifice of praise.

Hence, suffering of any kind potentially leads to two outcomes—drawing nearer to God or distancing away from God.  Gracians, let’s do the former.  Let’s draw near to God in worship and allow His Holy Spirit to purify and test our hearts until from our lips a new song of praise and worship arises to His throne and for His glory!



How do you describe your current relationship with God?

What is God revealing to you about your walk with Him?

What can you do to (re)centre your life in Him?

Share your thoughts with a friend or pray with a prayer buddy for the Holy Spirit to enable you to recentre your life in Him.



In light of the Covid-19 outbreak, were there instances where you found yourself responding in fear?

Why do you think you responded in that way?

What are some things you can do to move towards a posture of thanksgiving and worship even when external circumstances do not seem favourable?

Day 5 - Pause to Praise

Psalm 146:1 – 10

1 Praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord, my soul.  2 I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.  3 Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save.  4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.  5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God.

6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—he remains faithful forever.

7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry.  The Lord sets prisoners free,

8 the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.  9 The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.  10 The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations.

Praise the Lord.”

Since the saga started, prayers from every sector of the church have been earnestly, wholeheartedly and regularly offered to God.  The Lord has inclined His ear to our cry, and one by one, each of those infected is recovering from the COVID-19.  Let us not forget to praise Him for hearing and answering our prayers.  Let us be that one leper who was among the ten healed, who singularly remembered to praise and give glory to the Lord (Luke 17:15).

Palm 146 begins and ends with “Hallelujah!” which is always a good place to start our praises to God.  Why is praise important and essential as a spiritual discipline?

Debbie McDaniel (https://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/debbie-mcdaniel/the-power-of-a-grateful-heart-21-verses-of-thanksgiving.html) helpfully gives us 7 reasons:

  1. It gets our eyes off ourselves, and helps us to focus back on God.
  2. It reminds us we’re not in control, but that we serve a Mighty God who is. It keeps us in a place of humility and dependency on Him, as we recognize how much we need Him.
  3. It helps us to recognize we have so much to be thankful for, even all of the little things, which often we may forget to thank Him for… but they really are the biggest, most important things in this life. It takes our attention off of our problems and helps us instead to reflect on, to remember, the goodness of His many blessings.
  4. It reminds us that God is the Giver of all good gifts. We were never intended to be fully self-sufficient in this life.  A grateful heart reminds us that ultimately God is our Provider, that all blessings and gifts are graciously given to us by His hand.
  5. A heart of gratitude leaves no room for complaining. For it is impossible to be truly thankful and filled with negativity and ungratefulness at the same time.
  6. It makes the enemy flee. The forces of darkness can’t stand to be around hearts that give thanks and honour to God.  Our praise and thanksgiving will make them flee.
  7. It opens up the door for continued blessings. It invites His presence.  Our spirits are refreshed and renewed in Him.  God loves to give good gifts to His children.  He delights in our thankfulness and pours out His Spirit and favour over those who give honour and gratitude to Him.

To get you started, here are the links to familiar songs of praise:


  1. Life itself (v.2)
  2. His help that surpasses human aid (vv.3,4)
  3. He is our hope and help (v.5)
  4. His faithfulness to His creation (v.6)
  5. His justice and favour (v.7)
  6. His compassion and grace (vv.8)
  7. His protection and provision (9)
  8. His reign, now and forever (v.10a)
  9. He is our God to all generations (v.10b)

Day 6 - The Only Way is “Up”!

Hebrews 10:23 – 25 

 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. 

When faced with a crisis of national and global proportion we can go into a panic mode or take a philosophical stance.  But what are some practical steps that we, the church, can do? 

The Jewish converts in the book of Hebrews were facing severe persecution and hardship.  They were tempted to give up their faith and revert to Judaism.  The author of the book exhorts them to persevere in their faith and to keep doing what is essential as the community of faith. 

  1.  Lock Up! 

Lock yourself up in the prayer closet and seek the Lord!  Many have been given an enforced break by Home Quarantine Orders (HQO) and Leave of Absence (LOA) to be literally locked up at home for up to two weeks!  Weekend services are suspended! What better time than to seek God?  What do you do when you are locked up?  The first thing we do is to come back to who God is.  It says here that he who promised is faithful Yes, Hhas been the faithful God of Grace Assembly for the past seventy years!  He is not going to change despite what circumstances look like.  Let us turn away from our preoccupations and our activities to spend time with our faithful God in our prayer closet. 

  1. Wake up! 

The author exhorted them to “hold unswervingly to the hope we profess”.  Crisehave the ability to wake us up to reveal the true condition of our faith and hope.  Is our devotion to God as pure and intense today, as it was years ago?  Is the church becoming lukewarm and professional?  Are we harbouring sins and idols in our lives?  The Israelites during the time of the Judges faced disruptions and national tragedies repeatedly.  However, there was no change of heart.  They did not humble themselves, hear what God had to say, and repent, and seek God wholeheartedly.  May we not be like them We want revival but there is no true revival without true repentance. 

  1.  Team up! 

This battle cannot be won by superstar, lone-ranger Christians.  God desires to see unity among His people.  Differences in personality and style are inevitable but if we allow them to become hindrances to the gospel then we have played into the enemy’s schemes.  If we can put aside our differences to battle this crisis, why can’t we do that everyday in the battle for souls?  The author of Hebrews tells us to consider how to spur one another on towards love and good deeds.”  We are already seeing our Gracians putting into practice Acts of Grace for those under HQO and LOA!  The response of generous support, the activation of GMGs and individuals to help in buying essentials and food delivery, the cards and presents sent to encourage those in hospitals and those in quarantine or those who have to work from home.  We are refusing to give up meeting together even though the church is shut for two weeks as many groups are formed online to pray and encourage one another!  Praise God!  We have seen the incredible rising of faith and love of Gracians at this time.   

  1.  Look Up! 

The author of Hebrews exhorts us to do the above even more as you see the Day (of Christ’s return) approaching.  These are signs of the end-times.  Make no mistake about it – Jesus is coming back soon.  Get ready.  Be alert.  This world is not our permanent home (Hebrews 13:14) We look up to the blessed hope where our physical bodies will no longer experience pain or any deadly infection.  We will be together with God and all His saints forever.  

Praise God, from here on the only way for us is ‘Up’!  Are you up to it? 



Which of these spiritual practices do you sense God leading you into?

What has the Lord shown you or spoken to you thus far?

What extra help do you sense you need as you go through the stress of life?

What help might you be able to render to those who are going through this tough season?



Let’s not give up meeting together during this time.  Is there a particular online prayer group or meeting that you want to commit to in the coming week?  What do you need to say “no” to in order to intentionally pause and prioritize time to seek Him in prayer?

Which specific group(s) of people can you pray for, send a word of encouragement to or bless with practical help (e.g. delivering food, beverage or snack)?  (Those affected in SG; including Gracians, Health-Care Workers, People involved-MOH, Cisco, Taxi/Grab Drivers etc)

Day 7 - “Hear! Hear!” The Lord is Speaking

Ephesians 5:15 – 17

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.   17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”

Do you hear the siren call?  What is God saying to the Church through the outbreak of COVID-19?

To say that the outbreak caused a disruption in people’s lives is probably an understatement.  Every sector of society felt its impact.  And for many in Grace Assembly, every routine in individuals’ lives was turned upside down in an unprecedented way.

The people in Jesus’ time experienced dramatic disruptions too, all because of one Man.  For some, the disruptions led to a positive transformation of their lives and livelihood.  For others, the disruptions brought about destruction.  In such extraordinary times, God is not just speaking to people; He is (metaphorically) shouting, jumping up and down, and waving His hands frantically, trying to get their attention!

Do we hear it?  Are we aware of God’s visitation?  God is sending a message to the Church through this viral outbreak.  In Luke 21:11, Jesus also warns us of the coming birth pangs of the end-times.  “There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.”   Pestilence will be on the rise because it is an end-time indicator.

Many people get confused by various end-time teachings or they spend endless hours arguing or predicting or speculating on the various world events.  Others have become tired of all the theories and have given up waiting.  Even more have become distracted by the struggles of the demands and daily grind of life to even bother about it.  Yet, Ephesians 5:15 – 17 admonishes us to live wisely, to make full use of every opportunity, and to understand what the Lord’s will is.

Pestilences like the COVID-19 speak to us of the urgency of the hour.  The Day of the Lord is near.   We need to be serious about making God’s priorities our priorities, His values our values, His principles our principles.  Don’t waste this disruption but learn what we might need to be doing to put Christ at the very centre and give Him the first place in our life.

Now is not the time to hurriedly rebound and to be caught up with the cares and the pursuits of this transient world again but rather to eagerly watch, pray, wait and be ready for His Second Coming.  Let us pray for our hearts to be set aright and realigned to His good, perfect and acceptable will.  Let us live our lives for Christ so that we will not be caught unawares but are discerning the times we are right smack in and say, “Amen.  Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”



What do you sense the Lord is speaking to you through this COVID-19 situation?

What is one thing you need to do to give Christ the first place in your life?

How else would you ready yourself for His coming again?

Share with a friend or pray with a prayer buddy on what you have decided on today.



Apart from the current COVID-19 situation, what were some disruptions you faced in your own life recently? (school, work, relationships etc)

How would living in a wise manner look like to you?  What is one change you need to make to your life right now in order to get there?

Day 8 - The Cost of Following Jesus

Philippians 3:10 – 11

 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his

sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”

Most Christians in Singapore today have rarely experienced persecution because of their faith.  We as Gracians have experienced a form of ‘persecution’ recently during the COVID-19 outbreak just because we are from Grace Assembly.  In school, classmates choose to sit further away from us during class or recess.  At work, we have been asked by our employers to take two weeks of Leave Of Absence (LOA) or work from home.  At the clinics, we have been sent straight to NCID for testing if we have any flu symptoms.  This experience of being stigmatized and ostracized is a small taste of what it means to suffer for following Christ.

Many of us ‘follow’ other people on social media.  Be it our family members and friends, or various celebrities and groups.  We do this to receive updates from them as they show us a glimpse into their lives.  Isn’t this true as well when it comes to following Jesus?

Well, of course, following Jesus is not the same as following someone on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media platforms.  We want the exciting and spectacular updates about Jesus, especially His miracles and His resurrection.  We want to experience the power of His resurrection and be resurrected from the dead!

Many of us “follow” Jesus for his power and salvation benefits.  We say the sinner’s prayer like clicking the “follow” button without much effort and commitment.  We do not realise that following Jesus and knowing Him involve participating in His sufferings!  There is no resurrection without the cross.  We cannot fully know the crucified Jesus unless we experience some form of the cross in our own lives.

Jesus said to his disciples in Matthew 16:24, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”  But, yet, we are often surprised when Christians go through suffering as if some strange thing is upon us.  In fact, we should be surprised when we do not encounter suffering or persecutions.

Are you personally or as a family suffering through this COVID-19 outbreak purely because of your association and identification with Grace Assembly?  Are you suffering the affliction, shame or blame that comes with it?  As you suffer, ask the Lord how you can know the Lord better through partaking in Christ’s suffering!  It is indeed a privilege to participate in carrying the cross of Jesus Christ.  The Apostle Paul says in Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”  Give thanks that we are counted worthy to suffer for His name’s sake.  With every dying to self, the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead gives life to empower us now and to raise us from death in the age to come (Romans 8:11).  Gracians, follow Christ!

Following Jesus is the whole package of experiencing His power and participating in His suffering; you cannot have one without the other.



What misconceptions about following Jesus do you have?

What suffering do you feel like you are carrying as part of your cross?

How is this informing and transforming you in your knowledge of Christ?

Share your thoughts with a fellow GMG member or a family member.  Pray for His empowerment so that you may endure this time of difficulty.



Have you personally suffered as a result of this COVID-19 outbreak in our church?  How has your response been?

On the other hand, how have you experienced God’s power or gotten to know the Lord better during this time of difficulty?

Day 9 - Our God Today and Always

Isaiah 22:12

“At that time the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, called you to weep and mourn.  He told you to shave your heads in sorrow for your sins and to wear clothes of burlap to show your remorse.”

Many of us know that we should trust in the Lord.  But often, we find ourselves going through life trying to rely on our own strength, gifts and talents, and past experiences – and repeatedly failing.  We often reach a point of turning back to rely on God, only to get all confident again in ourselves and end up placing our trust in our God-given abilities rather than God Himself.  In this current battle with COVID-19, we are thankful for all the healthcare services available to us here in Singapore.  However, many of us have also come to a realisation that there’s only so much we can do in the face of so much unknown.

In chapter 22 of Isaiah, we see the people of Jerusalem placing their confidence in their defences instead of in the Lord.  They worked hard to prepare their weapons, repair their walls, and secure their water supply (vv. 8-11).  But in their preparation for battle, they failed to look to God, “the One who planned [all these events] long ago” (v11).

Instead of humbly seeking the Lord, the people of Jerusalem celebrated the completion of their preparations for siege (v13).  They had a false confidence in their own preparation (“joy and revelry”), and a fatalistic view of the future (“Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”) – a stark contrast to the hope that can be found in God.  At the end of chapter 22, we see the final vision where Jerusalem’s gloomy fate is sealed.

Similarly, there can be drastic consequences for our lives today if we place our trust in ourselves over God.  We can lead seemingly happy self-reliant lives, but it will eventually end in destruction.  We are now driven to our knees in this season as a church.   But when the crisis of COVID-19 passes, as we know it will, would we then return to our old ways of trusting in our own resources in our daily lives?  What is hindering us from trusting fully in the Lord today?  Is it our pride – thinking we know better and can solve our own problems?  Or could it be fear – that the outcome would not be favourable if we allowed God full control?

Let’s cast off our pride and our fears, and learn to seek and trust in the loving and almighty God for everything we need, not only in times of crisis but for every single day.  He promises peace to those who trust in Him, for He himself is the Rock eternal (Isaiah 26:3-4).  May we learn always to tap on the Source of all power, might and strength – and not our own efforts – so that we may glorify Him in all that we do.



What have you relied on in the past to face the challenges of each day?

What is preventing or hindering you from trusting God fully today?

Think of one incident in the past when you sought for God’s help.  How might you adopt the same posture of surrender for today?

Take time to pray and commit yourself afresh to the Lord.   Share and pray with someone in your GMG or your family member on what you have committed to do.



How do you think your life will look like if you were to rely fully and only on God in both the good and difficult moments of your everyday life?

What is an area in your life that you are struggling to rely on Him that you need to give Him full control?

Day 10 - Memorial Stones

Genesis 28: 18 – 19

18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it.  19 He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz.”

At the weekend launch of our 70th Anniversary Celebrations we unveiled a commemorative emblem; something that was akin to the memorial that was set up in Gilgal from the riverbed stones that each of the 12 tribes took during their miraculous crossing of the Jordan into the Promised land (Joshua 4).  This memorial was to be a reminder to the generations to come on how mighty their God is.

With the COVID-19 God has given us something to remember, far more precious and significant than our commemorative emblems.  Overcoming the virus is not our badge of honour but our battle scar.  When we look back on this incident years on, we will never forget this milestone that marked the start of our 70th year.  It should remind us of how weak we are and how great our God is.

In the book of Genesis, altars were built as milestones to mark the encounters of the patriarchs with YHWH.  Each of these altars represent life-changing exchanges between God and man.  Let us look at just 3 of these; the altars that Jacob built.

  1. Bethel – The Altar of Crisis (Genesis 28:18 – 22)

Here, Jacob, wearied from fleeing from his brother, Esau, slept on a stone as pillow.  In a dream, God conferred on him the Abrahamic covenant and promised to protect and provide for him until he was brought back to his father’s house.  Jacob named the altar, the House of God, and vowed to make YHWH his God on the grounds that God makes good His promise.  He also vowed that on his safe return he would set the house of God on the very stone he slept.

  1. El-Elohe-Israel – The Altar of Convenience (Genesis 33:20)

In another dream he was told to return home after being away for 14 years.  Before he could fully comply, he had a physically altering encounter with the angel of the Lord, in which he had his name changed to Israel.  Thereafter he amicably reconciled with Esau.  But instead of fulfilling his vow of setting up the house of God in Bethel, he settled in Shechem and built an altar to the God of Israel.  However, Shechem turned out to be a place of sorrow, vengeance and bloodshed.

  1. El-Bethel – The Altar of Consecration (Genesis 35:6,7)

Jacob finally acknowledged Yahweh as his own God.  He and his household stopped their idolatrous practices, and he built the altar to the God of the House of God who was faithful to His Word.

We can see God masterfully leading Jacob to his life’s purpose and destiny despite Jacob’s own fumbling and guile.  In the same way, at major milestones of our life, we should spiritually ‘Instagram’ them in order to chart the Lord’s leading in our lives.  By the grace of God, Grace Assembly will recover, we will overcome, we will be stronger and be more focused than ever before.  But instead of rushing to get ourselves back on our feet or attempting to come out of this relatively unscathed, why don’t we ponder about what lessons the Lord may be teaching us, or what recalibration He may want to make with His church.  Most of all, let each of us take a ‘stone’; something of remembrance, and build an altar where the story of God’s amazing grace and awesome power can be retold from generation to generation.  Let us document this as another chapter in our lives that testifies of being ‘Anchored in His Faithfulness.’



What is God teaching us about His lordship over Grace Assembly?

How are we to remember this event?

In what ways can we grow more Christ-centred?

Take this time to build, repair or restore the altars in your life. 



What were some major milestones in your life that had demonstrated God’s faithfulness?

Take a moment to reflect on the past 5 years of your life. What do you think God grew you in over these past 5 years? Now look towards the next 5 years and take a moment to think and write down the areas in your life that you would like to grow in God.

Day 11 - A True Friend Indeed

John 14:16

 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever.”

“A friend in need is a friend indeed” is a popular saying.  It is true that we know who our true friends are in times of crisis and suffering.  In the COVID-19 outbreak here in Grace Assembly, we received many texts asking about our well-being, and many offering to buy us food during our home quarantine period. We also received many texts from friends and even acquaintances that we have not contacted for a long time.  We feel really loved to be remembered.  These are true friends indeed.  May the Lord bless them!

There is a True Friend that we might have easily missed even though He resides in each of us believers. He is the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead.  In Greek, He is called the parakletos.  A combination of “para” (beside/alongside) and “kaleo” (to call).  There are many facets to this word and different Bible translations will use words like helper, counsellor, comforter or advocate.  This word in secular Greek is used especially of someone called to help another in court.  The word means a friend, especially a legal friend.  The Holy Spirit is the other advocate like Jesus who pleads our case before God the Father (1 John 2:1).  He teaches us God’s truth (John 14:26) and points us to Jesus (John 15:26).  This advocacy by God also happens when we are suffering like in the case of Job (Job 16:19).

26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.  For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for.  But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.  27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.  28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.  29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters (Romans 8:26 -29).”

Our closest friends are those who intercede for us and weep with us.  The Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings in accordance to God’s will when we are weak (Romans 8:26-27).  As Pentecostals, we can align with the mind, desire and discernment of the Holy Spirit by praying in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:14-15).  In our weakness, we are assured by the Holy Spirit that ALL things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.  And the greatest purpose of all is to be conformed to the image of God’s son, Jesus Christ.

As we go through weaknesses and suffering, may the vision motto of Grace Assembly ring true, “More People, More Like Jesus”!  We can do this because we have a True Friend who abides in us forever.  And we do not need to wait to go online.



What are some true friends that have been revealed in this crisis that we want to give thanks and appreciate them for?

How are you connecting and communicating with the Holy Spirit in you, especially in times of need and uncertainty?

How are you transforming to be more like Christ with the help of the Holy Spirit in the midst of this crisis?  

Share your reflections with a close family member or a GMG buddy.  Pray together that you will continue to allow the Holy Spirit to transform you to be more like Christ through this crisis.



Do you normally think of the Holy Spirit as a separate Person apart from God the Father and Son? Why/why not?

What is one way you can intentionally build your relationship with the Holy Spirit and recognize His role in your life?