He was a member of the Sanhedrin and the ruling party, very powerful. He had the highest possible education and much that would bring him esteem, but then he gave his life to Christ. Immediately after his commission, Jesus said, “I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake” (Acts 9:16). Then, for 30 years, Paul was like a wounded animal: Everywhere he walked, he could see the drops of blood from opposition, but he never stopped. He knew his destiny as a minister for Christ.
When the prophets in Acts 20 foretold that he was going to get beaten up and imprisoned and risk his life, for Paul it was kind of confirmation. He knew what was coming, but he didn’t regard his life as dear to himself. All he wanted was to preach the Gospel in simple language.
The price you are to pay and I am to pay in obeying our Lord is to face real-life opposition. We don’t realize we’re enlisted into an army. Maybe even with all the preaching, teaching, writing books and everything, I still don’t fully grasp this. There are times I wish somebody else would do this; I am old and tired.
We want to escape, find peace, find some rest. If you are going through trials and opposition, welcome to the reality of your enlistment in the army. Here we are, recruited by the Lord. In His grace and mercy, He enlisted us. He could have chosen 10,000 other people, but He chose you.
Whatever battle I am dealing with, whether it is a difficult telephone call, a social media firestorm or my own failures, I need to understand it is not just accidental. This is not just normal life; these struggles are as powerful as real bullets. The spiritual battle is real, but God never abandons us or forsakes us; He is with us and will give us grace.
The national missionaries featured in this newsletter have, like Apostle Paul, committed their lives to sharing the Gospel. May their lives inspire you to persevere as you continue to serve our Lord, who will grant you grace for whatever circumstance you find yourself in.