No Matter What
When reading the book of Revelation, you see a reoccurring theme of persecution against God’s people. In chapter 7, there is a multitude of people who had gone through great difficulty. Two witnesses mentioned in chapter 11 have an incredible ministry of power and preaching. Once their ministry was “complete”, their enemies were finally able to kill them – yet God miraculously raised them to life 3-1/2 days later! In the next chapter, the “brothers and sisters” are commended for not shrinking from death. Lastly in chapter 13, the saints are given a warning about impending captivity and death. While not stated explicitly, all of these people exhibited courage and trust in the Savior – no matter what would happen.
That attitude was clearly demonstrated in a short letter written by a young pastor from Zimbabwe, Africa:
I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made – I’m a disciple of His. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure . . . I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the enemy, pander at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity . . . I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me.
Those words are powerful (and convicting)! What is more striking is that the letter was found in the young man’s office following his martyrdom for his faith in Jesus Christ.
In America, we see growing amounts of difficulty and hardship for Christians. Thankfully, it has not yet risen to the level of possible death because of our faith in Jesus Christ (although there is no guarantee that will not change in the future). But the attitude of “no matter what” can and should be ours toward the daily challenges we are facing. Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”. My challenges this week may not include a threat of physical violence, but my responsibilities for the Lord will include loving my family, making wise choices, working hard, serving people, and being willing to sacrifice, among other things. Yours may be similar. May God help us to have the courage and trust to do all the good He wants us to do – no matter what.
by Tim Bruns, Pastor of Adult and Care Ministries