At a time like this, many saints have become discouraged. The world has always seemed overwhelming. Seemed because we remember the lesson of the Radiant Woman in Revelation 12. She appears doomed. At first, she is the nation of Israel in the throes of birth-labor. The child she bears, Christ, survives in spite of the seeming overwhelming opposition of Satan. Then the woman, who has now become the Church, flees into the wilderness. Her child has ascended into heaven, but God helps her escape the dragon and his angels and nourishes her. Her children overcome this daunting opposition “because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and because they did not love their life even when faced with death.” (Rev. 12:11) Take heart! Her children are “those who keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus.” (Rev. 12:17) That can be you or me. Remember our Chief has said, “…. take courage, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) This, after all, is why we became Christians, is it not? Apparent devastating odds do not change the optimistic result!
A small boy, pant’s legs rolled to his knees, was walking the beach and throwing stranded starfish back into the water. There were thousands! The surf had been boisterous. A man came by and watched him. Finally he said, “Son don’t you see how many starfish there are? You’ll never be able to make a difference.” The little boy whizzed another starfish into the water and said, “It’ll make a difference to him!” Perhaps this principle is one we all need to remember, at a time like this.
You and I each day encounter scores of people over whom we can wield influence for good. Some will scorn our attempts. But, even at a time like this, a few will respond. We have an obligation. Like Paul we are debtors both to Greeks and barbarians, both to the wise and the unwise. (Rom. 1:14) We owe them an opportunity to hear the message of salvation and make their choice just as you and I received grace to hear and decide.
Our orders are, not to have results, but to teach the good news. We have families and friends and co-workers we can try to teach. Paul and Apollos, and you and I, can plant and water. But even at a time like this, God gives increase. In a lifetime, we may be instrumental in saving only one person. It may be a mate. It may be a child. It may be a neighbor or acquaintance. It may be the restaurant waiter or the clerk in the store. But whoever it is, it will make a difference to him! Even at a time like this!