Reflecting on where you are now, at the conclusion of the internship, what does it mean for you to say “Bless the Lord”? (Or in other words, how do you articulate your faith as it stands now?)
Bless the Lord is a weird statement when I look at it now. I always thought, why would we “bless” the Lord when we are not perfect. How can humans bless the Lord? Now that I am at the end of the internship, I see that “blessing” the Lord is as simple as doing God’s work and praising His name. Blessing the Lord is to help others with that selfless love Jesus showed us.
To spread the gospel is also something that we can do to “bless” the Lord. In Philippians 4:8, we can see there are many words that we should think about. To wait patiently and think about these things is also another way to “bless” the Lord. My faith is at a very strong point. I would be confused as to whether I believe or not and I even told some people that I wasn’t a full believer because I was scared of what they were going to say about me. I was afraid of telling them I was a Christian. How shameful is that. Just like Peter and denying Jesus 3 times before the sun rose. I felt like Peter, I denied Jesus and then once I realized I did, it hurt a lot.
Now, I write this before you, I know that God is my God and Jesus Christ is my Lord and Saviour that has come down to Earth to save me from myself. That felt really good. I’m glad that I was able to say it before I left the internship, with only 1 more day to spare.– Joshua Chung
I’ve been very transparent about this recently, but I really don’t know the answer to this question. I don’t know what it means to “Bless the Lord”, but I think to articulate my faith as it stands now, I would describe it as a period of questioning. I have a lot of questions about the existence of God, and if what I say I’m believing is really something I can rely on. I think questioning and exploring is the best way to understand, I just hope that I don’t lose this wanting to understand as school comes around, otherwise I’ll be back at square one again.
– Jocelyn Chung
To me now, I think “Bless the Lord” means to be thankful for all of the things God has given you in your life. It’s different to what I thought it meant from the start of this internship, but thinking about it now after reflecting on these 4 months, it really means to me “be thankful to God for giving you all of these blessings, big or small”. From Simon Moksanim getting the grant to be able to hire all of us, to all of my friends happening to all be on the same page as me in signing up for this job, to spending every single day with my best friends, to going on a mission, etc, all of these things can be explained through God’s blessing. I believe that because we received so much from God in our lives, we have to be thankful and remember that these blessings don’t come to everyone.
– Monica Park
I think my faith has become more reflective than before, which was one of my goals at the beginning of this internship. I think that I have gotten better at getting into that reflective mindset and to think about how God is present in my life. I think my view of faith and Christianity has gotten a lot broader since I have learned so much about my past as well as other communities. In general, I think I have a clear view of the faith I want to have. I want to be passionate like the people I met in Montreal. I want to have a hopeful mindset like In Kee Moksanim talked about at ESM retreat. I want to empty the ‘me’ and be filled with Christ like we talked about in Philippians. I want to let go of the fear that holds me back and focus on compassion, empathy, and truth. It will take a long time because there are a lot of things I need to change to achieve this but I have the desire to get there.
– Sarah Choe
I think my faith now is stronger than ever. There were a lot of bible studies, reflections and even a mission trip throughout this summer. All of these have helped me gain a greater understanding of my own faith and if I actually believe. After learning and experiencing everything I did, I can confidently say that I do believe. The mission trip was one of the biggest reasons as to why I believe. I was able to see all the good he was doing in the community, and how much people love him. It was an interesting and memorable experience being able to see all this. In excited to see what is next in my faith journey.
– April Chia
Bless the Lord to me means to bless his creation, all his people and the Lord himself. Being a blessing to others, to me, means to be a beacon of hope, positivity and love for all of God’s creation. Continuing God’s work here on earth. Bless the Lord, make him happy with our work here on earth. I’ve learned a lot over this internship, at the beginning “Bless the Lord” made no sense in my mind, I had no idea what it meant. After these four months these kind of concepts/statements are easier for me to understand. My faith is one where I am going towards a steady upwards trajectory of believing in God and truly internalizing the word and truth from the bible. My faith journey has fluctuated a lot, I am currently in a healthy place in terms of faith. I no longer have that shallow faith where I do things for the sake of going to heaven or looking for physical signs, I have a richer understanding of true faith and I feel like my personal faith is similar to it.
– Joel Chung
I articulate faith as my guide, it has brought me to looking for my purpose, it has given me things to be concerned and happy about, it has made me rethink life in a more ambitious way. I always say God seems to continually bless me, and now as I have been blessed and been given everything I could ask for, it seems God has given me the struggle of life and has ultimately opened my heart to finding purpose and intentionally seeking to reach goals and to struggle and truly understand things. I asked God to help me figure out what life’s purpose was, and God sent me challenge and turmoil amidst work, friends, and reflection, I couldn’t see this even as I was reading the passages and trying to discern them, but looking at this past summer as a whole, I see how God has come to me, answering my prayer, I thought I would find in the end what I wanted, even though I had no idea what that even meant or what it looked life, and yet it seems to me like it was answered perfectly. Bless the Lord means to me your take on what God has done for you, and how you choose to understand his ways.
– Torrance Yoon
I think to articulate my faith at its current state, I would have to say that it is wavering, but stubborn. I definitely believe that my faith has had its ups and downs, especially throughout this past year, however something I realize as I look back is its resilience and stubbornness in a way. I say this not at all in a negative manner, but in a thankful one. No matter how weak or low I feel like my faith can be at times, it never leaves. Maybe that’s God’s faith in me rather than my faith in God. It really is comforting to realize this because I know that I will make mistakes and that hardships never entirely leave, however God will not give up on me. My faith is a stubborn one and will refuse to leave me in all circumstances and I have faith in that
– Elisabeth Jong
I’m still not very sure what “Bless the Lord” means to me, but, I think my faith has become more concrete over this summer. I’ve seen God’s grace throughout the summer and it gives me hope for living in this ungracious world. I realized several times that God puts us through things that we may not understand at the time, but he doesn’t put us through things we can’t handle. He also doesn’t make us face these challenges alone. God placed so many loving and supporting people around me this summer to help me through my struggles. I think a lot about the lunch I had, one-on-one with Simon. I was able to let down my burdens and the walls that prevented me from sharing the things deepest in my heart. Simon told me that you can only accept the circumstances you’re in and the struggles of your life when you’re truly ready to face life. I didn’t think I was ready, but I guess in a way I was. I felt reassured to know that God would be there beside me through whatever life throws at me. Simon told me about how it takes great courage and faith to endure and push through those challenges. The next Sunday, In Kee Moksanim preached about the two paths of endurance that we can take; one path leading to despair and the other leading to hope. I think that through this internship and all the experiences that I’ve had, I’ve learned to trust in God more. I trust that if I endure, He will lead me to hope, and ultimately, living a life in Christ, which will bring me joy!
– Lauren Lee
For me, I think what Bless the Lord means to me is that whatever happens, we should be thankful to God. After all, God is the one who gave us this life to live, and I’ve always thought that suffering is how we can learn, but I’ve never really reflected on any of my suffering so I haven’t really learned from any of them. Right now I think that my faith is at a good point to potentially steer my life into a new direction of excellence or to revert back to where I was before this internship and a life of mediocrity. If I am able to continue this momentum from this internship I feel like I could have a really successful year in all aspects of my life, and I pray that I am able to.
– Paul Jang
At this moment, I guess I articulate the saying of “Bless the Lord” as a compliment or offering of one’s faith to God for his gracious acts. I know people who aren’t religious say “Bless the Lord” or “Thank God” as a way to convey thanks to a higher power. As of now, my faith in God still stands the same since the start of my internship. I do however see the importance of reflecting and see the numerous benefits that it produces like how it helps recognize one’s weaknesses or one’s strengths
– Joie Kim
I think bless the lord means something completely different to me now. Before, I used to think this was like a term that people would say only if they religiously believed in God, and because I was not like that, I used to somewhat think it was an extra term.
But through this internship, and learning that everyone is a child of God, no matter what your faith may be like, my perception of this phrase has changed. I probably still won’t use it, but I don’t think I will view it negatively anymore
– Hannah Lee