Are You Making a Difference?

Have you ever wondered if you are making a difference in this world? After all the praying, praising, Bible-reading, and good-deeding, what if only one person is reached for Christ? Will it be worth it?

Let’s go one step further…what if it seems as though not one person is influenced positively as we strive to live out our faith? Sometimes we need to be reminded that the positive effect we leave on others will often not be known by us this side of heaven.

When our God-inspired actions elicit negative reactions or none at all here on earth, it requires us to commit to “keep on keeping on” regardless of how receptive the world seems. It becomes necessary for us to be more concerned with seeking God’s face and God’s grace than the applause and approval of others. Seeking God’s favor above all else takes intentional prayer on our part. Eventually we see that when pleasing God tops our priorities, pleasing others begins to disappear off of the list.

2 Corinthians 5:20a says, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” We are Christ’s ambassadors – His representatives. That is quite a responsibility, but it comes with an unmatched reward of knowing that we are displaying His light to a dark world in desperate need. And shining that light matters more than anything else. More than “what other people think.” More than acceptance. More than admiration.

If our “well-done-good-and-faithful-servant” life doesn’t receive many earthly accolades or some every-once-in-a-while “attaboys” or “attagirls,” let’s make the choice to stay encouraged! If we are striving to be Christ’s ambassadors, we are doing just what we have been asked to do. It is the most important difference we can possibly make in this world and, praise God, in the next.

Sunday is Right Around the Corner

Friday was dark. It was the darkest the world had ever been. Never had desperation, discouragement, and despair blanketed the world like the day Jesus died a horrible death and was put in a grave. The King of Kings endured treatment that could only be classified as cruelest of the cruel.

Imagine how distraught, alone, and confused those involved must have felt. The path toward solutions to the problems they were facing must have seemingly come to a dead end. The questions that they had swirling in their minds must have overwhelmed them, as they stood there with no answers in sight. Jesus was gone. Therefore, so was peace of mind, comfort, and rest for their troubled souls.

But…even though there were no visible signs that made anyone suspect the greatest miracle known to man was about to occur, the situation changed as dramatically as possible!

That Friday, the world was void of light, life, and love. That Friday was indescribably, inconceivably, and incredibly dark. But Sunday? Sunday was the brightest the world had ever been! A talking, walking miracle was in their midst. The turnaround from Friday to Sunday was one for the record books. From buried to risen. From death to life. The Resurrection comes alive in a whole new way when we realize the two extremes: how depressingly dark the world was on Friday and how brilliantly bright the world was on Sunday.

What about when I am going through a phase of feeling forgotten? Do I doubt that God is working? I admit that during those moments, I have sometimes believed He wasn’t concerned; that He found something more important to do. However, when we are facing a Friday, it is important to remember that we are never forgotten! God might be working behind the scenes, or waiting for us to be fully ready to receive His answer, or waiting on someone else to make a decision that sets His plan in motion. But rest assured, He is working.

We have the choice to wait in hope and joy to see what He is going to accomplish or to not wait that way…either way, we are on His timetable. Waiting in confidence looks a lot different to God (and others) than waiting in bitterness. When we wait in confidence, not bitterness, we trust His wisdom. When we wait in confidence, not bitterness, we remember that His plans are meant to “prosper us, not harm us.” (Jeremiah 29:11) When we wait in confidence, not bitterness, we remember His amazing faithfulness.

There have been times when I truly could not see a solution in sight, and I felt like Jesus was ‘gone.’ Then, seemingly out of nowhere, He came through. He was faithful yet again. It was a Friday-to-Sunday miracle. We serve a God of victory!

When a situation is seemingly at its bleakest and most miserable…when you are going through a Friday in your life, Sunday IS coming! Sunday is right around the corner!