“The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; but the Lord will be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory. Your sun shall no longer go down, nor shall your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended. Also your people shall all be righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation. I, the Lord, will hasten it in its time." Isa 60:19-22
Instead of going on to the fruit of the Spirit like I had said I would, I’ve decided to wait one more week because there is something else I want you to hear. Two weeks ago, we were in the car and I was flipping through my Bible and I came upon the passage above. The following week, our family was at a Homeschool Camp where the speakers spoke about the persecution of the Church throughout the world. In their talks, these speakers encouraged us to preach the Word at all times, to conquer our fear, and to be bold. One of the main things I’ve always struggled with, though, is the actual act of starting a conversation. I’ve always been able to lay out the situation in my head and to think of all the good arguments, but when I actually have to do it, I almost always get so afraid that I don’t take action. The Lord brought that issue to light a lot in these past few weeks. Opportunity after opportunity was missed, all because I was afraid. One day, three guys asked what religion I was and I answered, but instead of taking that perfect opportunity to share the gospel, I remained silent. The next day, two boys were talking about the differences in several religions and again, instead of taking a stand for Christ, I remained silent. Throughout that week, chance after chance came my way, but I didn’t take any of them. At the end of the week, my family headed up to the Camp I described earlier. At the end of camp, I kept on praying that the Lord would give me yet another chance and would help me to actually take it. The very next morning, I was given that opportunity and the Lord answered my prayer.
As some of you know, Casey and I, out of necessity, are taking some classes on a campus this year, and in one of those classes, we have to do a debate. That morning I was able to speak to my whole debate group. Now, if the Lord could work through me, who has been given more opportunities than I can count, He can certainly work through you. The openings may not always be obvious, but with the Lord’s help, we can see them every time. Why don’t we take action? We allow fear to take hold of us. Look at the passage. When you read that, does it not send shivers down your spine? Does it not excite you and energize you? How can we read such a passage and be afraid of speaking the truth? I have spent 17 years being afraid and have only just started to cross the first hurdle. But let me tell you, the joy in being able to share the Gospel is worth the discomfort of standing out. Yes, I was nervous. Yes, I was afraid even when talking. Yes, I was shaking from head to foot. But I was also excited, joyous, praising the Lord for helping me through. That first hurdle, when you look at it seems enormous, but the Lord is bigger than that obstacle. So my encouragement to you is to remember this passage the next time you are given the opportunity to share the Word. “A little one will become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation.” May the Lord be your strength and your support. For what is a few moments of awkwardness here on earth when compared to the reward when we get to heaven and hear the Lord say to us, “Well done, my good and faithful servant”? Never be afraid, brothers! Take up your sword and go to battle! The battle is not won by sitting, but by swinging with all your might. Rise up and go to war!
Your brother in Christ,