Very soon I will be in Atlanta, Georgia, training for a short trip to North Africa. The trip's purpose is two-fold: First, it is to assist the established missionaries in connecting with as many people as possible so that relationships may be brought to a place where the Gospel can be spoken and received. Second, it is to immerse believers in Muslim culture in order to better understand their hearts so that, while in North America, they may be more efficiently served with the hope and salvation of Jesus Christ.
This morning I wrote myself a note to read whenever I become discouraged while overseas. It seems fitting to be shared with more than just myself:
If you're reading this, you are probably discouraged. Let the discouragement be countered in Jesus' name. He is more powerful than your enemy. I pray that the hope of future victory will cause you to rejoice even now. The greater the opposition, the greater the victory. Your God can not be defeated, you are His, and there is nothing that can shake that. Let the Spirit of truth encourage you -- the evil forces at work may be more intense than you have previously experienced, the Body may not be functioning ideally, and things may not be going according to plan. But take heart. There are unchangeable things in place that are worth praising Him for.
David wrote in Psalm 27, "I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Be strong, and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait for the Lord."
His goodness is shown simply by you being here. Being...regardless of what you do. He has done an incredible work already: You are salt. You are light. This light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can not overcome it. Above all else, rejoice that your name is written in the Book of Life. Not only is your God good, but He reveals His goodness to you continually. Rest in His love for you, and remember the victory that was already won for you and for all of the saints.
And as for this affliction? It is light and momentary. Any pain will be surpassed by His comfort. Any fear will be driven out by His love. Any lie will be exposed when the Spirit of Truth works to set you free. Any opposition will cease when Jesus, who is for you, speaks His will into being. The pain of the cross was real, but the joy of the resurrection is eternal. Rest effortlessly in the victory that was won for you as Christ makes Himself known among the nations. Whatever He gives or takes away will cause you to rejoice. You will see His goodness and praise Him for it. Let Him make this your unwavering hope. You'll be Home soon.