Do you watch the news on television or read the newspaper? I must admit to you that I often avoid viewing or reading about current events. Why? Isn’t so much of it depressing? There are disasters, murders, and missing children. Not to mention the crimes and abuse happening all around us. If that isn’t enough, there are people going to bed hungry and those who are suffering, sometimes at the hands of those who should care for them most.
It’s enough to make me want to throw up my hands and say, “I quit!” What’s the use of sharing about my faith? What can I really accomplish through my solitary feeble attempts?
Let me share with you some encouragement I’ve read lately in God’s Word.
“With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with His promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining Himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.” 2 Peter 3:8-9 The Message
I love the wording here in this verse – “He is restraining Himself…” Do we realize that God’s heart is broken when He looks at this suffering world? Yes, it’s true. He has the answer through His Son and is relying on Christians to get the word out. He is holding back, so I can have the opportunity to lead others to Him.
In Psalm 107:2, we’re encouraged to share: “Let the redeemed of the Lord say this-” (NIV) “All of you set free by God, tell the world!” (The Message)
God is just holding back the end of time so other lost people have the opportunity to come to Him. It isn’t His desire that anyone go into eternity without Christ.
But, I find myself questioning if I can truly make any difference in this huge undertaking to tell the world about Christ. Many don’t want to hear. Many reject. Many choose to stay in their sin rather than give it up for what will be ultimately better. Why continue to reach out when the world is so resistant and content to wallow in their circumstances? I’m commanded to do so.
Jesus’ last words were instructing us to go to all the world, spreading the gospel. He didn’t mince words, however. He warned that it wouldn’t be easy but to remember He has overcome the world.
I take encouragement from the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:58. “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (NIV) “With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.” (The Message)
This verse just screams, “Don’t quit!” to me. The work and effort we make for the cause of Christ isn’t for nothing. God is restraining Himself from bringing on the end of time. We mustn’t hold back from doing all we can to bring the world to Christ.
So I say to you and to myself: Don’t quit! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!