Courage

Douglas VanBronkhorst

READ : Philippians 4:10-20

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (v. 13, niv)

I was with a national pastor in the Middle East. His church was growing. Muslim background people were coming to Christ through the witness of members. That was exciting. The Christian church has been in the Middle East from New Testament days, but it’s been a long time since it did much evangelism with Muslims, for obvious reasons. It’s hard to just survive as Christians in a Muslim country, much less be evangelists! “What explains this change?” I asked. “Well,” he said, “The country is a little more open to Christian activity, but mostly it stems from two things, starting with the work of the Spirit.”

“And the second reason?” He pointed to two young American Christians with me. “People like them have been doing it and we realized we could, too.” I was grateful my friends were having that kind of impact. I also knew they didn’t risk as much as the pastor and his members. Americans who offend Muslims get sent home. Nationals can get prison or worse.

Courage is required to proclaim the good news. This world is never a friend to the gospel. We all need Christ’s strength to be his witnesses, some more than others.

PRAYER

Jesus, fill me with your Spirit so I dare speak your name to others. Amen.