Do you ever feel your service is not appreciated? You are not the only person. An elderly missionary was returning home after many years of service. He and his wife had given their best years serving in Africa. He buried his wife and two children in the jungle. He had sacrificed more than most and was sick and weary.
As he exited the airplane, he saw many people holding banners and signs waiting at the gate. For a few moments he thought, “Can it be? After more than forty years of service, these people have actually come out to welcome me home?"
It was not for him. On the same plane was a famous official returning from a visit to Africa. While in Africa and traveling this man had every whim and need met. He returned home like a conquering hero.
Not a person showed up to welcome the old missionary. As he watched the festivities for the famous official, the man’s sadness became almost unbearable. Tears came, and he began to feel sorry for himself.
After a while, the missionary started to pray. "Lord God in Heaven, why? I’ve served You faithfully for so long. I don’t assume much. Is it wrong to wish for there be some kind of a welcome home?" In his heart, the old man heard the Lord say, "My child, you are not home yet." Wow, what a truth!
Jesus said to His disciples, “In my Father’s house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you.” Jesus then continued, “I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” Please stay faithful. Your service has caught heaven’s attention and reward will come in due time. You are not home yet.
Jeremiah 12:5a says, “If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses?”
What an unusual question God asked Jeremiah. The idea behind this verse is that if you cannot handle the little things in your life, how will you fair when a big problem arrives. Jeremiah felt his current difficulties were weighty, but God was warning him of bigger ones on the way.
Life deals people problems almost daily. Most folks will experience major trials multiple times during their lifetimes. If the little challenges consistently get you down, how will you ever cope with the big ones that are in your future?
If you know the Bible even a little, you understand that big problems are coming for this world. 2 Timothy 3:1 says, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.”
It is quite possible that the trials Americans are undergoing are a tiny portion of what we will see in the coming years. If current hardships have us constantly complaining and wanting to quit, how will we handle the larger problems we could soon face in our nation?
God is rebuking Jeremiah for his soft attitude. God does not want a sissy but a soldier, and He expects the same from us. 2 Timothy 2:3 say, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”
Are current trials affecting your spiritual walk? Horses are coming, so we had better learn now how to run. Hebrews 12:1 says, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”
The Lord has promised strength and endurance for those who trust in Him. Isaiah 40:31 says, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Trials come our way to test us and make us stronger. Pass the test!
It would have been impossible for America to have won the Revolutionary War and freedom without God’s help. It was a ‘David vs. Goliath’ battle, and Goliath wins every time unless God intervenes. Seven years before he died, George Washington wrote, “I am sure that never was there a people who had more reason to acknowledge a Divine interposition in their affairs, than those of the United States.”
One of the amazing battles early in the war was the battle of Bunker Hill, which was actually fought on Breeds Hill. Why does history still name it to have been fought on Bunker Hill? I believe it was because the spiritual battle was fought there by a Connecticut Baptist preacher named David Avery. Avery wrote in his diary, “I stood on a neighboring hill (Bunker) with hands uplifted, supplicating the blessing of Heaven to crown our unworthy arms with success…” As he prayed, historians write that one could literally feel the surge of reassurance pervade the ranks below him. Many feel that the bitter experience at this battle psychologically crippled the British for the remainder of the war. General Gage wrote, “The success, which was very necessary in our present condition, cost dear.” There is no doubt that they showed a healthy respect for American forces after this bloody battle. The British “won” this battle at great cost, but the real victory was won by a chaplain on the higher elevation who prayed during the entire conflict.
If space would allow, many more miracles could be shared of God’s power to give us freedom. It is sad to watch as America turns away from the One Who created her. I challenge you on this July 4th to recognize the God who gave you this freedom by attending church this weekend and to thank Him for the freedoms you have enjoyed. My prayer is that God will continue to show mercy on this nation.
The Rural Texas Pastor sharing some encouraging thoughts from a small East Texas town.