Thank you for joining us for this Wednesday devotional for the month of July.
I won’t even begin to try to count the number of challenges faced since March or modifications made to “our” plans, but I hope you can agree with me that there is somebody bigger, somebody greater than you and I who makes the flowers bloom in the spring, who writes the songs for the robins to sing and who sends the rain when the Earth is dry….. yeah, there’s Somebody bigger than you and I.
So, if you watch movies, I just quoted lyrics from a song on the soundtrack of the Preacher’s Wife from 1996. The words seemed fitting for today. It is a calming reminder to know that when we are called to keep serving in difficult circumstances, we can trust somebody bigger than you and I to lead the way.
We are also often called to serve in difficult places. We’ve been told that this Christian journey will be full of trials and tribulations.
And as I think about that I often think of and pray for missionaries in foreign countries or even right here in our state. They face many challenges bravely and boldly each day.
Lack of financial support
Lack of resources which could be different
Resistance and hostility from local communities
Strange and dangerous diseases…. Dis-eases
And of course Spiritual attacks
They wake up each day and choose to carry the gospel into difficult places.
But also, my heart is drawn to how we must focus on serving from that difficult place in our hearts/minds
How do we keep serving …..
When we are Uncomfortable?
How do we keep sharing the gospel when the message might be unpopular?
How do we continue to shed light when we seem to be surrounded by darkness?
Can I go on sharing Jesus when anxiety invades my peace?
When the pain is great, when I feel misunderstood, when I am disliked…. How do I continue to serve in those difficult places?
As I was reading through day 28 of "Unshakeable Pursuit: Chasing the God Who Chases Us", by Grace Thornton, I discovered she had some things to say about serving in difficult places. She suggests that “to keep pressing on takes superhuman strength.” Well, I believe many of you can testify that the only way to keep serving in a difficult place is by supernatural strength….it’s not our strength but we have to keep plugging into the source (our God) to keep pressing on.
We are reminded in Acts chapter 18, as Paul was reasoning in the synagogue in Corinth every Sunday, testifying that the Christ was Jesus, that God came to him in a vision one night, saying “do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.”
This didn’t mean Paul would not have difficulty, but it did mean that he was not alone…. God was with him.
The difficult places aren’t always physical places.
We are called to be a witness for Christ sometimes with heartache from grief
we are called to share Christ when disease has overtaken our bodies
we must be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that we have…..EVEN when our prayers have not yet been answered.
As you are thinking about difficult places, you could probably fill in the blank with your own challenging circumstance.
Let me encourage you this month to
not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest if you do not give up (Gal 6:9)
for they that wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31)
And finally, serving from a difficult place requires that you
rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer (Romans 12:12)
LET US PRAY.
To watch previous devotionals from Executive-Director Tamiko Jones, visit our Facebook page here. New devotionals from Executive Director-Treasurer Tamiko Jones are posted on the first Wednesday of each month.
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