Contrary popular belief, being a missionary doesn’t instantaneously morph you into Super Christian. The moment you step off the plane you’re not transformed into some super spiritual being. Nor do you become immune to the stress, chaos, temptations, inter social drama or business of “normal” life. In fact, I’d suggest it’s quite the opposite. Stepping off the plane into a new culture away from the support of your family and friends, away from all the comforts of home does, however, force you to often evaluate yourself and the world around you in a new way, and if you let it, acts as a catalyst for a lot of growth and changes God wants to make in your life.
I’ve recently been reminded that when we take these giant steps in faith, our heavenly father is not the only one who notices. The enemy lurks and feel threatened by our newly refreshed confidence in the plans our Lord has for us and launches an all-out attack.
Since extending my term here, that’s exactly how I’ve felt. I am reminded of the story of Job. Satan was determined that if God stopped blessing Job, stopped protecting him from the suffering of the world, that if He allowed Job to suffer severely or long enough that he’d eventually curse his heavenly father. But praise God, we serve a God who is so much bigger than our enemy. May we learn a lesson from Job “1:21-22…The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed by the name of the Lord. In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.”
But we need to be alert, “2:2 And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” The enemy prowls, and he’s waiting to devour us! He hopes that our faith is fickle enough to collapse under the suffering of the moment. But we serve a God who is so much bigger than our enemy. A god who, when we call on him, fills us with hope and courage. A god who, when we cry out in weakness, becomes our strength. A god who raises us up out of the miry clay, who washes us white as snow, who protects us from the arrow of the enemy. Thanks be to God who is our light and our salvation. Our hope and our strength. May we always remember his sovereignty in times of suffering and may give us endurance, that our lips and our lives would always glorify his name.
This is just a brief summary of my thoughts on the awesomeness of our God who saves.
God is good, ALL THE TIME… and I will give thanks in all things.
"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suggering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." 1Pt 4:12-13