Jesus said it, not me.
Just as we think we’re turning a corner from a global pandemic, now all the news is about war. For people who really want to focus on sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, you’d think we’d get a break, right?
What do you do on the mission field when all you seem to do is go from crisis to crisis?
Don’t think I’m being trite here, but this is what I recommend: Turn to the Prince of Peace.
When war and rumors of war send everything spiraling out of control, the only peace we’re going to find is from the One who dwells within us, because his peace really is beyond all understanding.
- The rumors of war make prices go up: His peace says he’ll help us make do.
- War sends refugees flooding into your country: His peace says this is an open door to his glory.
- Troops on the move in your country say you have to move quickly: His peace says I go before you.
- Rioting and looting keeps you locked inside for days: His peace says I will never leave you or forsake you.
As Jesus pointed toward his second coming, he told his disciples life would not get easier but harder. Along with wars, there would be famines, earthquakes, persecution, lawlessness, and increased deception. It’s not a pretty picture, and certainly isn’t one we’re thinking of as we answer the call to go to the nations. I think that’s why the first crisis throws so many of us.
Lord, I didn’t sign up for this!
I’ve said it, others have said it, and maybe even you’ve said it. The thing is, he knows. He knows this stuff throws us, knocks us off balance not only in our witness but even more importantly in our relationship with him. If anything creates a crisis of faith, it’s a crisis.
That’s where I find his words in this twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew so needed:
Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.Matthew 24:12-14
Keep your heart warm even in the midst of crises.
Don’t let the horrible reality of war harden your heart toward your fellow man or toward God. Be ever mindful that war is a result of sin and evil, so don’t go down that road of hate yourself. Love despite the hurt—love because of the hurt.
Be the one who endures to the end.
Hang in there through it all—despite it all. No matter the outcome for your physical body, you will be saved because Jesus has already saved you. Stand firm, no matter what. In the midst of his own very personal crisis, Job did not sin by turning his back on God. Be Job in the midst of your storm.
Remember that the good news of the kingdom will continue to be proclaimed.
Our continued proclamation of the good news of Christ in the midst of the darkness is our testimony to all nations. Christians choose to move toward the storm, not away from it, because we not only want to help with physical needs but because we don’t want anyone to die without hope. That is a strong message to the nations that they cannot ignore.
Above all remember that Jesus will return.
This too shall pass is not just a glib saying but for those who know Jesus a deep and abiding truth. This world as we know it will pass away, but there is coming a new day, and oh, what a day that will be. So, be encouraged, even on the horrible, difficult days. Jesus is coming again. May he find us standing firm. We only can by his…
Grace and Peace