Sometimes when we survey the landscape of missions we feel a tremor of despair in our hearts because of either the magnitude or the complexity of the task. My own feelings of boldness come and go for different reasons, and I felt the familiar tremors of discouragement as I read the news this week.
But there is a heart-lifting truth that holds us fast in the midst of the ground-shaking wars and rumors of wars. There is one piece of earth-shaking news that our forgetful hearts need to always remember. We live in the wake of Easter. Two thousand years ago the ground shook as the Son of God died on a cross, and three days later the earth trembled again as he walked out of his tomb never to die again. Our confidence is not in our earthly circumstances, but in a Person.
Here are just a few reasons we can have that assurance:
- We’re assured that Jesus has authority over all things because he made us. “The earth is the Lᴏʀᴅ’s . . . the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it” (Ps. 24:1-2).
- We’re assured that Jesus has authority to save sinners because he redeemed us by his work on the cross. “You were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9).
- We’re assured that the gospel is for all people; we are all among the nations for whom Christ died, and all the peoples will praise him. “Let the peoples praise you, O God;let all the peoples praise you!” (Ps. 67:3).
- Sheep are sheep, and sheep will do what sheep do; all who belong to the Good Shepherd will follow him. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).
Our confidence in spreading the good news of reconciliation with God through Christ is founded on Christ’s confidence. He will receive worship for he is the Lamb who was slain for us and was exalted above every name. And all those whom his Father gave him, will be assuredly kept forever (John 17:11).
Christ is confident so we can be confident in him. He is our confidence who settles our nervous hearts as we implore our neighbors to repent of their sin and cling to Christ. He is our confidence who strengthens our spirit as we endure the suffering that marks our path.
The Day is coming soon when the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father (Matt. 16:27). What a Day of rejoicing this will be for all who eagerly wait for Christ’s return! And what a Day of distress it will be for all those found outside of Christ. Until that Day, God’s message of peace through Christ rings in our ears and sets our hearts ablaze. “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Rev. 7:10).