I may not see the evidence, but God is always at work. Every moment of the day, every hour I sleep, He is making a way for me. And His plan is right on schedule, at all times, even when there seems to me to be a delay in His holy work. He is getting at things deep down in me that must be settled so that He can fulfill His promises.
One day I will look back at these trying times and say, “Lord, now I see. You were there all the time, working my miracle!”
Those who are in despair may be tempted to shut themselves out of communion with God. Yet doing so can be fatal. In Psalm 88, you may find a description of what you are going through. A godly man named Heman tells of his hopeless situation:
“My soul is full of trouble. I have been brought down to the pit, and I am among the dead. God has laid me in the lowest pit in darkness, and his wrath lies hard on me. My friends have forsaken me; I am shut up, closed in. I mourn because of my affliction” (my paraphrase).
Heman then challenges God: “Wilt thou show wonders to the dead? Shall the dead arise and praise thee? Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? Or thy faithfulness in destruction? Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? And thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?” (Psalm 88:10–12).
Heman is saying, in effect, “I need a miracle now, Lord, not at the resurrection. This is my last hope. Soon it will be too late, because I’ll be dead. You face a deadline here, God. Help me! Why are You casting me off? Why do You hide Your face from me? Why don’t You answer my cries?”
This is hopelessness, despair, an apparently impossible crisis.
What can a godly soul do? How does a righteous soul react? Like Heman, we are to cry night and day: “O Lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee. Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry. . . . Unto thee have I cried, O Lord; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee” (Psalm 88:1–2, 13).
Here are three things I do in my times of great affliction:
- I receive and believe in the love and delight of my heavenly Father.
- I pour out my heart before Him, crying to Him in silence.
- I encourage my soul with His promises daily.
Sometimes we are too casual about prayer. But in times of trouble we find ourselves wrestling with the Lord in prayer every day, until we are assured in our spirit that He has everything under control. The more we want to be reminded of that assurance, the more we go to our prayer closet.
The truth is, God never allows an affliction in our lives except as an act of love. We see this illustrated in the tribe of Ephraim in Israel. The people had fallen into great affliction, and they cried out to God in grief. He responded, “I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus” (Jeremiah 31:18).
Like David, Ephraim testified, “Thou has chastised me . . . as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me . . . for thou art the Lord my God” (31:18). In other words: “Lord, You chastened us for a reason. We were like a young, untrained bull, full of energy, but You chastened us to tame us for Your service. You brought our wildness under control.”
You see, God had great plans for the tribe of Ephraim, fruitful, satisfying plans. But first they had to be instructed and trained. Thus, Ephraim declared, “I repented; and after that I was instructed” (31:19). They said, in effect: “In the past, when God had us in the classroom preparing us for His service, we couldn’t take correction. We ran away, crying, ‘It’s too hard.’ We were stubborn, constantly slipping out of the yoke He put upon us. Then God put on us a tighter yoke, and He used His loving rod to break our stubborn will. Now, we yield to His yoke.”
We also are like Ephraim: young, self-centered bulls that don’t want to be put under a yoke. We avoid the discipline of plowing, experiencing pain, being under the rod. And we expect to have everything now—victory, blessing, fruitfulness—by merely claiming God’s promises, or “taking them by faith.” We chafe at being trained in secret prayer, at having to wrestle with God until His promises are fulfilled in our lives. Then, when affliction comes, we think, “We’re God’s choice people. Why is this happening?”
The prayer closet is our schoolroom. And if we don’t have that “alone time” with Jesus—if we’ve eased off from intimacy with Him—we won’t be ready when the flood comes.
Grandma Carosso, my wife Gwen’s mother, died at age ninety-five. She was a praying woman, quiet and unassuming.
After she went to be with the Lord, in her closet Gwen and I found a cardboard box filled with checkbook stubs dating over many years. Grandma Carosso had spent little on herself, but the records showed she had supported missionaries for many years. She sent in small amounts at a time: five, six, ten dollars.
All that time, Grandma Carosso had thought she didn’t do much in the work of the kingdom. She would say she had no talent, no ministry. But she was just as important to Jesus and His kingdom as the many missionaries she supported over the years with her sacrificial gifts.
When our blessed Lord rewards those wonderful missionaries she supported, Grandma Carosso will share in all the spoils of their front-line spiritual victories. Remember what Jesus said of the poor widow who cast two pennies into the offering: “She has cast in more than all the others” (Luke 21:3). The widow had given all she had.
My wife, Gwen, stayed at home while I traveled for years on the front lines of evangelism. Gwen is much like her mother: quiet, unassuming and very dedicated to her family. During the decades when I traveled the world in ministry, I was away from home much of the time. Gwen had to stay behind to care for our four children; she was always there when they came home from school, always there when they expressed a need.
When I returned from trips, Gwen rejoiced with me at the reports of numerous souls being won to Christ, or addicts and alcoholics being healed. Yet she wasn’t able to go and do this work herself.
Many times I heard my wife say, “I can’t preach or sing. I’m not a writer. I feel I’m doing so little, if anything, for the Lord.” But Gwen came to believe that her calling was to be a faithful wife and mother (and, eventually, grandmother).
While writing this message, I told my wife, “On that day when I stand before Jesus, if I have been used to win souls or raise up godly works that please Him, if there are any rewards to be had, Gwen, you will share in them equally.”
Some Christians think peacemaking means avoiding conflict—but doing that only leads to further division, strife and disorder. When was the last time you avoided a necessary confrontation with someone? Did you end up being passive-aggressive toward that person and withholding kindness? Did your e-mails or Facebook posts about them contain an edge?
There’s nothing Spirit-led about avoiding conflict, per se. In fact, Jesus commands us to do the opposite. He even gives us specific instructions on how to go about it. “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother” (Matthew 18:15, ESV). Jesus’ instruction here is packed with wisdom. Confronting a person in private preserves one’s dignity in the face of their sin. It also allows truth to shine its light on sin.
Yet, confronting someone this way isn’t a one-time solution. Why? First, it may not work, as Jesus points out. “But if he does not listen . . .” (18:16). Also, this isn’t just a cut-and-dried command, where afterward we can walk away and say, “Well, I did what Jesus said. That’s that. I won’t have to deal with this guy anymore.” According to Jesus, we have more to do—because love goes the extra mile: “If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses” (18:16).
It doesn’t even end there. Love keeps going the extra mile, on and on: “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector” (18:17). This last phrase sounds like a final rejection but that isn’t accurate. Our actions are meant to reflect back the sinner’s behavior so that he might repent and enjoy fellowship again.
This sequence of actions shows us something else. It teaches us the lengths to which God extends His grace—and the cost to us as agents of that grace. God’s heart is always to bring the lost sheep back into the fold. How far does this grace extend? As Jesus told Peter, we’re to forgive our sinning brother “seventy times seven”—meaning as many times as it takes. Once again, this requires a lay-down-your-life-on-the-cross kind of love. It’s a love that says, “I’m still here for you. I’m not going anywhere.” This love requires a Spirit-filled walk because our flesh simply isn’t capable of it.
You and I have been given a gift greater than we could possibly imagine or ask for. We’ve been entrusted with the most powerful blessing we could ever receive—the gift of the Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit. The Spirit that is God, that lives within us, directing us, guiding us, empowering us for great and mighty things.
And with this gift comes great responsibility. We are to take it and use it for God’s glory. Use it to further God’s glory, to further the work of the kingdom.
When we move in the blessing of God, we can never forget the source of this blessing or the reason He blesses us. It’s not to keep us comfortable, but to empower us for greater service.
No one is more obsessed with saving souls than God. His heart burns for those who need His love and forgiveness, those who refuse to trust Him with their future, those who have yet to understand just how much He loves and cares for them, how much He wants to hold them in His loving arms, kiss away the pain, and bring them into the fold of eternity!
God lives to see the day that heaven is literally bursting at the seams with souls, and He has trusted you and me to see that that happens. He has put His faith in us to carry this burden for Him, to carry His message of hope to a lost world. He longs for us to develop a soul obsession in the depths of our heart.
If you haven’t embraced the passion for souls that God wants each of us to have—the passion that Jesus displayed during His days on earth—then begin today by asking God to burn it into your heart.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NIV).
Nicky Cruz, internationally known evangelist and prolific author, turned to Jesus Christ from a life of violence and crime after meeting David Wilkerson in New York City in 1958. The story of his dramatic conversion was told first in The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson and then later in his own best-selling book Run, Baby, Run.
I have a special word for all who face impossibilities: “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).
Here is a glorious revelation of the steadfastness of God’s love for His people. Scripture tells us He rests and rejoices in His love for us!
The Hebrew word for “rest” here means God hasn’t a single question concerning His love for us. In other words, He has fixed, or settled, His love for us, and He will never take it away. In fact, we’re told God is so satisfied in His love for us that He sings about it.
Can you imagine this? There is a manifestation in heaven of God’s delight over you. John Owen interprets the passage this way: “God leaps, as overcome with joy.”
Moreover, Paul tells us, everything that is out of divine order—all that is of unbelief and confusion—is changed by the appearance of God’s love. “After that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared” (Titus 3:4).
In the preceding verse, Paul says, “We ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived” (3:3). In other words, “Everything was out of order. Our faith was not an overcoming one. But the kindness and love of God appeared, which the Father shed on us abundantly through Christ.”
When Paul says the love of God “appeared,” he uses a word from a Greek root meaning “superimposed.” In short, the Lord looked down on us poor, struggling souls, full of fear and questioning, and He superimposed this revelation: “My love will deliver you. Rest and delight in My love for you.”
I thank God for the day His love “appeared” to me. There is no faith that can stand against impossibilities unless everything—every problem, every affliction—is committed into the loving care of our Father. When my situations are at their worst, I must rest in simple faith.
I tell you, we are in the midst of war! You are facing evil powers, fighting for your faith against the father of all lies. He is the one who has planted all those little thoughts: “Where is your God? Things are going from bad to worse. Your pain, your suffering, your needs keep mounting. God has promised to make a way of escape for you. So, where is the way? Where is your God now, when you need Him most?”
You are now being shaken and sifted. And in the midst of it all, your faith seems to have failed. Beloved, I have good news for you: God is not mad at you.
You may ask: “Doesn’t Jesus suffer when we mistrust Him? Doesn’t the Lord grieve when we waver and question His Word and His faithfulness?” Yes, yes, He absolutely does. But those who have failed in faith can still keep their eyes on Jesus.
How patient is our Lord, how merciful. He hears all our murmuring and questioning, He sees so many doubtful thoughts in our minds, and yet He looks upon us with forgiveness and compassion.
After Peter denied the Lord he was restored and lived out a great life of faith. Remember, Jesus had given him this word of encouragement at Passover: “When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:32). This is the Lord’s word for you and for me, as well. He tells us just as He told Peter, “Keep your eyes on Me. You are going to come through this. And you’re going to help your brothers and sisters in My house.”
Later, in the book of Acts (see Acts 12:1-10), we find Peter locked up in an inner prison. An angel comes to him, shakes off his chains, and tells him to get up and leave. At that point, Peter never looks at the impossibilities around him: the iron gates he had to go through, the many guards and soldiers he had to pass by at his own peril. Instead, Peter rises in faith at the angel’s instruction, and when he comes to the iron gates, they open of their own accord.
So it will be for you, dear saint, if you are willing to get up and move on in faith.
Abraham did not stagger in his faith. Rather, he was “fully persuaded that, what [God] had promised, He was able also to perform” (Romans 4:21). He recognized that God is able to work with nothing. Indeed, our Lord creates out of a void. Consider the Genesis account: Out of nothing, God created the world. With just a single word, He creates. And He can create miracles for us—out of nothing.
When all else fails—when your every plan and scheme has been exhausted—that is the time for you to cast everything onto God. It is time for you to give up all confidence in finding deliverance anywhere else. Then, once you are ready to believe, you are to see God not as a potter who needs clay, but as a Creator who works from nothing. And out of nothing that is of this world or its materials, God will work in ways you never could have conceived.
How serious is the Lord about our believing Him in the face of impossibilities?
We find the answer to this question in the story of Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist. Zacharias was visited by an angel who told him that his wife, Elisabeth, would give birth to a special child. But Zacharias—who was advanced in years, like Abraham—refused to believe it. God’s promise alone was not enough for him.
Zacharias answered the angel, “[How] shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years” (Luke 1:18). Simply put, Zacharias considered the impossibilities. He was saying, “This isn’t possible. You’ve got to prove to me how it will happen.” It didn’t sound reasonable.
Zacharias’ doubts displeased the Lord. The angel told him, “Behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season” (1:20).
The message is clear: God expects us to believe Him when He speaks. Likewise, Peter writes: “Let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19, my italics).
“Being not weak in faith, [Abraham] considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb” (Romans 4:19).
The essence of true faith is found in this single verse. God had just promised Abraham that he would have a son, one who would become the seed of many nations. Remarkably, Abraham didn’t flinch at this promise, even though he was well past the age of siring children. Instead, when Abraham received this word from the Lord, we’re told he “considered not his own body now dead [nor] . . . the deadness of Sarah’s womb.”
To the natural mind, it was impossible for this promise to be fulfilled. But Abraham didn’t dwell on any such impossibility. According to Paul, the patriarch gave no thought to how God would keep His promise. He didn’t reason with God, “But, Lord, I have no seed to plant. And Sarah has no life in her womb to conceive. My wife is past the ability to bear children. So, how will You do it, Lord?” Instead of entertaining such questions, Abraham simply “considered not.”
The fact is, when God is at work producing a faith that is tried and better than gold, He first puts a sentence of death on all human resources. He closes the door to all human reasoning, bypassing every means of a rational deliverance.
The faith that pleases God is born in a place of deadness. I’m speaking here of the deadness of all human possibilities. It is a place where man-made plans flourish at first but then die. It is a place where human hopes bring temporary relief but soon crash, adding to a sense of helplessness. Have you been at this place of deadness? Has it seemed that you have no options left? You can’t call someone to advise you. The heavens are like brass when you pray, your requests falling to the ground.
I declare to you, this is God at work. His Spirit is working to get you to stop considering the impossibilities—to stop looking to human ways and means—to stop trying to think your way out of your situation. The Holy Ghost is urging you, “Quit hunting for help from some man. And quit focusing on how hopeless you think your situation is. Those are hindrances to your faith.”
The way Paul writes to the Corinthian church, it’s easy to assume that it was rife with gross sins. The truth is, however, they were greatly gifted by the Holy Spirit. Indeed, it’s because of the Corinthians that we know about the gifts of the Spirit; Paul’s letter to them shows how powerfully those gifts were operating in them. But even though the Corinthians had a great knowledge of the things of God, they lacked the love that Jesus commands of us. Paul hit them hard on this point:
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
Note Paul’s operative word here: nothing. That’s what the love of the Corinthian church was worth. He was telling them they could never accomplish God’s purposes. Christ’s love—the lay-down-your-life-on-a-cross kind of love—is a tall order, one that’s impossible except through the Spirit.
Now, this may sound to you like a surprising interpretation of 1 Corinthians 13. Most of us know this chapter as the Bible’s “love chapter.” Even non-Christians are familiar with it because it is read at so many weddings. In that context, 1 Corinthians 13 isn’t much more than a greeting card sentiment. In truth, this chapter is a counterpoint to all the carnal sins Paul listed in 2 Corinthians 12. That list includes quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. Note the contrast:
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). When we compare this list with the other, we begin to see 1 Corinthians 13 as a spiritual solution to a problem of sin—indeed, the only solution.
Let’s remember how one becomes a Christian. Before a person can feel the need for Jesus Christ as a savior, that person must first be convicted of sin. “When [the Spirit] comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8, NIV). The Holy Spirit shows us our sin and our need for a savior. That is what every believer experiences in conversion to Christ.
Jesus also taught that entrance into the kingdom of God (being “born again”) can happen only by the Holy Spirit’s work: Jesus told Nicodemus, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5).
It is the Holy Spirit working inside of us that causes us to turn from our sin and fix our eyes on Jesus. While we may be tempted to think that we can create emotional environments for this to happen, the truth is that this kind of rebirth or transformation can happen only through the work of the Holy Spirit.
The apostle Paul taught that believers are “temples of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19), and because the Spirit lives inside of us, that make us different from the rest of the world. If the Holy Spirit doesn’t live inside a person, no church membership or even a sincere effort to live a good life can make that person a Christian. Only true faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, confirmed by the Holy Spirit, makes us a new creation. The Spirit inhabiting every believer is just another way of saying, “Christ in us,” for the Holy Spirit’s presence represents Jesus.
When God looks down on earth, He doesn’t focus on ethnicity, and He never acknowledges religious denominations. He just sees two kinds of people: His children who have the Spirit living inside of them and unbelievers who don’t have the Spirit living inside of them. It’s as simple as that. Today we split hairs about doctrinal positions to validate our faith, but to the early church the definition was simpler. Either we are temples or we are not temples. “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ” (Romans 8:9). It would have been impossible for the apostles to consider someone a true believer in Jesus without the accompanying witness and work of the Spirit. The Spirit of God was the bottom line.
Jim Cymbala began the Brooklyn Tabernacle with less than twenty members in a small, rundown building in a difficult part of the city. A native of Brooklyn, he is a longtime friend of both David and Gary Wilkerson.
Jesus told His disciples to begin their work in Jerusalem, their home city, before going to the uttermost parts of the world (see Acts 1:8). This tells me our first mission has to be to our own hearts. In other words, the Holy Spirit has to do His work in us before He can work through us.
A few years ago, I began asking the Lord to enlarge my own vision for missions. At the time, I had begun traveling the world holding ministers’ conferences, and I’d seen some of the world’s worst slums. My heart burned to know how to answer the desperate cries coming from those slums, so I spent hours before the Lord in prayer, seeking His burden and asking for direction.
The first word I received from the Holy Spirit was this: “David, first of all, take the lowest seat in the house. If you want a heart to reach human need, humble yourself.”
I prayed for God’s grace to do this. I also began to preach this word in our church, so our missions-minded congregation would receive the same word I was hearing from the Lord.
Then, later in prayer, I received the following word: “Mortify the remnants of your pride. I can’t work through you in fullness unless you deal with this. Reaching human need is strong business, and all pride must be dealt with.” Again, I asked God for His grace.
Then later came this word: “Deal with your temper. You are still easily provoked at times, in your work and with family. That must be mortified by the Spirit.”
In all of this, the Spirit kept reminding me of Paul’s words: “Yes, there is faith, and there is hope. But the greatest of all is charity” (see 1 Corinthians 13:13).
Right now our ministry is putting roofs over churches in Kenya. We’re helping finance a Kenya Kids program for orphans in the capital city of Nairobi. We help dig wells in poor areas. We’re helping support a center for addicts and alcoholics. We help feed hungry children. The Lord has clearly called us to do each of these works of compassion.
Yet all these works would be without profit if they were not flowing out of true Christ-like charity.
It is important that you not be frustrated because you are not a missionary in Africa or some other mission field around the world. The Lord never brings condemnation to any of His children over a calling when He Himself has placed you where you are in His body. “God has set the members in the body, as it has pleased Him” (1 Corinthians 12:18, paraphrase mine).
Of course, it is important to stay open and willing to hear from the Spirit about serving elsewhere. But we are to surrender the issue completely to the Lord’s stirring and direction. God knows how to inspire us and open doors to ministry, at home and abroad.
The apostle Paul brings a deeply convicting word on this matter of serving the Lord. He was a world-traveling missionary with a heart of love for the poor. He heard the cries of the poorest in every nation he visited and he instructed every pastor and evangelist under him, “Remember the poor.”
Paul regularly took up offerings for the poor, at one point traveling to several cities to raise money for Jerusalem when a famine was imminent. Of anyone who ever lived, Paul understood the cry of human need. Yet, as much as this godly apostle sacrificed—even to the point of dying a poor martyr himself—Paul gave a convicting warning:
“Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3, my italics).
I have to wonder: Are we ready to accept Paul’s convicting word here? He is saying, in effect: “You can weep over the desperate cries of the poor. You could go to Africa to the filthy slums. You could be ready to die a martyr. But if you have not laid hold of charity, everything you do is in vain—whether at home or as an overseas missionary.”
On the day of accounting, I picture the apostle Paul being called forth. All of his soul-winning victories will be recounted, as well as all the churches he established. Then a number of unknown men and women from Antioch will be called forward to stand next to Paul. These are the people who fasted and prayed for the apostle, who laid hands on him and sent him out as a missionary. They also supported him with sacrificial gifts.
Why will these others be handed a portion equal to the apostle’s? It is because they played a part in every soul Paul won, every church he built, every trip he took.
God desires that we all rest—and rejoice—in our calling. Many Christians feel guilty that they’re not serving on a foreign mission field. But staying home is also a high calling in Jesus Christ. If you love the Lord and walk in His Spirit, you can be sure of your calling. God’s Word assures us: “Now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him” (1 Corinthians 12:18).
Do you see what Paul is saying here? If you’re a church elder, you have a high calling in the Lord. The same goes for those who teach Sunday school. Yet the same is equally true for any single mother striving to raise her children for Christ. She has a high calling right where she is.
If you’re a businessperson, a lawyer, a doctor, rest in your calling. If you’re a salesperson, a mechanic, a teacher, a food service worker, you don’t have to try to work up a calling to some mission field to please God. Unless the Spirit Himself is stirring you, you can be at rest where you are.
“Ye are the body of Christ. . . . And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
“Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:27–31).
I want to speak to every Christian who can’t go to a foreign mission field because of circumstances. I’m referring to those who are faithful in prayer, sacrificial in giving, supportive of missions. To all such believers, here is a clear message from 1 Samuel 30:24: “As his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike.” You are the supply line to the battlefront and the spoils of war are yours, too.
On that glorious day when our battle has ended—when we are finally able to lay down our spiritual swords—many will stand before the Lord thinking they are empty-handed. These unsung, unknown saints will say to themselves, “I have nothing to present to the Lord. I didn’t do much of anything. I never led many souls to Christ.”
Yet, what a glorious moment awaits them, as Jesus begins to divide the spoils. They’ll be overwhelmed with joy, as their eyes are opened to see just how important they were to the battle. Those who thought they had no good works or deeds to present are going to share equally in the spoils! Among these will be widows, shut-ins and retired people who gave sacrificially to support missions work.
As I think of these unsung saints, I picture the American women who maintained the home front during World War II. While their husbands, brothers and boyfriends did battle on the front lines—in the Pacific, Europe and Africa—these women manned huge assembly lines. They worked around the clock, toiling and sweating, with the factory’s loud noises constantly whirring in their ears.
Circumstances didn’t allow these women to be on the battlefront. So they “stood by the stuff” in support of their loved ones. And without the fruit of their labors, their faithful production on those assembly lines, the war never could have been won.
Beloved, this is the true picture in eternity of every unknown saint who thinks he has nothing to present to Jesus.