We had previously suffered . . . but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. (1 Thess. 2:2)
Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Pete Fleming, and Roger Youderian—are five of the better-known modern Christian martyrs, speared to death in the jungles of Ecuador in 1956. All ordinary men, they joined a long line of believers, before and since, who willingly risked everything to share the message of salvation through Jesus Christ with those who had never heard.
What compels people to place their lives in such jeopardy?
Paul’s missionary journeys exposed him to stoning, shipwreck, imprisonment, and more, yet he pressed on in the work God called him to do. Abandoning his own inadequate strength, he relied on God alone. God filled him with the desire to see the salvation and discipleship of others. He then gave Paul the courage to face whatever obstacles he encountered in the process.
That same boldness can be ours for the asking. We may never face the spear of another. Or we might. My former pastor did. Initially on the wrong end of a Maasai warrior’s spear, he saw that young man come to the Lord later the same day. I doubt that Pastor Jones anticipated such an encounter when he awoke that morning. Nonetheless, God was with him through it and used his witness for that warrior’s transformation.
The key, as it always has been, is making ourselves available to God. He will take care of the rest.
Follow God’s call into the future.
Diana C. Derringer teaches Sunday school and serves with her husband as a friendship family to international university students.
© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.