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“More importantly, I am learning that I cannot determine whether I am in God’s will based on whether or not my life is peaceful. Just because I have trials in my life, doesn’t mean I am not in the center of God’s will for my life.” Read more.
From devastating loss to subtle stumbles throughout a day or a week, trials make it easy to say, “I must not be living right,” or “God, what in the world are you doing to me?” Ron’s simple reminder is that all of us face trials and even tragedies, but God’s will stands settled for each one of us. In fact, I believe the trial is where our calling gets its greatest exposure in the eyes of the world. To be stable through faith in Christ, in a world that is constantly racked with fear, is the supreme example in the world of His assurance and love for us- all of us. And every human being has the opportunity to access His peace and love right now. We just have to tell them how.
“A martyr is a witness. He is a person who chooses death rather than deny his faith. As the end of the world approaches, this murder of representatives of Christ will only intensify. (Matthew 10:21-22a) Jesus Himself spoke of the dynamic when He said, “‘[B]ut an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.’” (John 16:2) It’s how they treated Him. (Matthew 10:25) It’s how the twelve apostles were treated.” Read more.
This post gives a good listing of how the apostles suffered- and died- while fulfilling their calling. We are never promised significance, admiration, wealth, or anything at all in this life. The strength of the apostles’ calling did not lie in the outward signs so many depend on today, but in their firm knowledge of and experience with Jesus Christ. We have knowledge, and we can have experience, with our Lord even today. “And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” (Daniel 11:32 KJV)
I am at a point in planting the church in East Jackson, TN, where I don’t really know what’s next. April marks 1 year since our ongoing efforts to minister in this community began, and it doesn’t seem that we have made any progress. Everyone we’ve reached out to at this point has gone their own way. We spent months discipling a couple of families, and because they are no longer open to having Bible study with us, it is easy for me to decide that all has been in vain. But I know better than that. Recently God has expanded my vision regarding His call to my family and me, and He has challenged some idols I set up for myself regarding ministry and faithfulness. Today He offered me encouragement from a dear sister who has been a support for many months. She simply said, “Don’t give up- there are people there with no hope, and the Lord is going to lead you to them.” In our weekly soup kitchen outreach, a brother that attends the service every week spoke words that I know were from God about the calling of God on my family, my son in particular. We have to stay constantly aware of the voice of Jesus, or we will give in to the cackle of loud but lying voices that intend to tear us down and strip us of our calling. Praise God for His call, issued by His voice, that can never be taken away.
Check out the latest podcast from @JasonNeilSoto on Comments on Christianity and rate it at iTunes:
Also this one from @ArmanSheffey: