Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Comfort Words For Missionaries In Spiritual Chains

When we hear the word "missionaries," we often think of the figures like David Livingstone, Adniram Judson etc who have played active roles in the foreign mission field.

But then, what about Christian servants who are powerlessly lying in sick bed right now? What about mission-minded, spirit-filled passionate Christians who are chained and downcasted under the discouraging circumstances?

Did Paul and Silas stop being "missionaries" when they were chained in an obscure, dark dungeon in Philippi (Acts16)?

Did Hadson Taylor, a founder of China Inland Mission, stop being a  missionary when he was forced to retire in a shabby apartment in London, being forgotten by most of his friends and supporters for nearly 7 years? Was that the "end" of his missionary life?

No! No matter what the situation may be, they had never stopped being missionaries. Because it was He who appointed them to be His missionaries and He has power to keep holding and sustaining us in the darkest period of our lives.

People tend to value our "usefulness" by our outward activities and public displays. However, the Kingdom values tell us something completely different. It's a upside-down value system! In this system, the outward chains, limitations, shortage, lacking, and lamentable situations would rather be considered "blessedness" because those who mourn shall be comforted (Matt 5:4)

Dear Father in heaven, I lift up my hands and pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are in chain. How difficult their situation might be! How easily they may be tempted to sink into the pond of despondency! O gracious Lord, hold them tightly and remind them once more that they are Your missionaries and they shall be until the end! In Jesus' name. Amen.


Anonymous said...

Recent years some of our church members got serious sickness.Everytime when I see them in personal,it make me think a lot.
I know that sincere christians also suffer from family problem,financial one,physical and mental sickness.Yes,it's not rare.
As for me,I have many limitations.

The world hates limitations.We also do.But I know that God can use these limitations to make us the more like Jesus.

May God be with all suffering christians always,especially those who feel forsaken,forgotten,not understood and scorned.May He bless all of you.


Kinuko H said...

My dearest Sanae,
Thank you so much for your comment. Yes, you are right in saying that the world hates limitations. This morning as I was meditating on Isaiah 35, the Lord gave me cool, fresh water into my inner wilderness and filled my heart with quite joy. Matthew Henry wrote the following wonderful notes on this chapter.

"Though blossoms are not fruit, and often miscarry and come to nothing, yet they are in order to fruit. Con vertigo grace makes the soul that was a wilderness to rejoice with joy and singing, and to blossom abundantly."

When I see the quiet, clean, peaceful, beautiful house districts in Holland, Japan etc...sometimes a thought comes to my mind that it would have been so nice to open my eyes in the morning and find myself in such a beautiful, fairy-tale-like atmosphere! However, I realised that the fact that I live in one of the most "un-romantic" and "un-poetic" districts in Athens (*this could be one of my limitations), rather widens my mental horizons and enriches my imaginations!! Moreover, these earthly limitations help us to expect something un-earthly, something celestial and perfect which is to come in the future!