What encourages you the most in life? For me, it is what has happened these past few days. On Friday afternoon I heard the amazing testimonies of four young people, some still in high school and one just out of the army, sharing about their experiences which led them to accept Jesus as their Savior and choose to be baptized. What encouraged me so much is that while each of these young people had been brought up in believing homes—each one had to discover for themselves their personal need for a Savior.
Another reason for rejoicing was the positive response I received from my Chinese students after the teaching on Friday evening. It was my turn to speak and I’d been asking God to bring those who needed to hear what I would share. To be truthful, I thought the place would be empty—how many students want to listen to a teaching about false teachers from II Peter chapter 2. You see, I’ve been working through the book of II Peter, and I had reached chapter 2. If you read it, you will understand what I mean. To my surprise we had an unusually large group of students on Friday evening.
After the meeting several students shared with me how encouraged they were by the lesson, and that it helped them understand some things that had not been clear to them before. Then, later on, I had a wonderful conversation with other students whom I took back to Haifa University.
I felt so blessed to have heard those testimonies and to see how these Chinese young people are growing and maturing in faith. Each one’s story is different and unique, yet each has made the same decision—to follow Jesus.
Today, as I listened to the teaching in my own congregation I was also encouraged. I was reminded how God works in the lives of people—not through some crazy kind of mass psychology or advertising—but one by one, heart by heart, as each of us share our story with others and God uses it to stir up someone’s spiritual hunger. The speaker reminded us that God’s ways are not the way of the world—not even in sharing the good news of Jesus.
We are called to be faithful and honest in sharing our lives with those around us. The rest is up to God.
I don’t know about you, but this was wonderfully freeing and encouraging to me. Sometimes we agonize over loved ones and friends and wonder what more can we DO to help them understand the reality of God’s love for them through Jesus. But God hasn’t called us to change people. He has called us to be His witnesses, and asks us to trust HIM for the results.
May you too be blessed and encouraged by these thoughts.