Here’s an important thing to learn! Not everything we attempt to do for Jesus is going to please everyone. People may not rally to us! But this is the price of the call! As followers of Jesus, we will attempt the things others refuse to do. David was like that. He stood against Goliath while the rest of Israel cowered and cowed down in troubled fear. Yet his elder brother, Eliab, was furious and rebuked him when it became apparent he would undertake the fight. David wanted to bring glory to God, but it brought him harsh criticism and attacks from those who should have known better.
When the great missionary John G. Patton was preparing to bring the Gospel to the savages of the New Hebrides an old gentleman in his church took him aside to warn him he was on a fool’s errand. “The cannibals, the cannibals,” cautioned the older man, “they will surely eat you.” Patton replied, “Mr. Dickson, with respect, you are advanced in years, and your own prospect is soon to be laid in the grave, there to be eaten by worms; I confess to you, that if I can but live and die serving and honoring the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by Cannibals or by worms; and in the Great Day my resurrection body will arise as fair as yours in the likeness of our risen Redeemer.”
For Patton, Jesus was enough! With Jesus, he was more than able to endure the discouragements thrown into his life. His ministry in the New Hebrides would last for over forty-three years. Did cannibals eat him? No, but some of his fellow workers perished that way! However, serving Jesus brought him a far from trouble-free life. He endured multiple disappointments. His first wife and child died-----he dug their graves with his own hands. He withstood affliction, shipwrecks and illness. But perhaps the biggest disappointments of all were the indifference of the Christians back home and the betrayal of friends and converts on the field. His life was filled with major disappointments. But for Patton, Jesus was enough!
And what of his work? He lived to see the entire culture of the New Hebrides transformed by Christ. Men who once had hated and eaten one another would come to sit down together and worship the Lamb who was slain.
Maybe the Lord is calling you to feed orphans and widows in India; maybe your call is to partner financially with those who are spreading the gospel throughout the world. Maybe it is to go feed the poor and homeless in your hometown. You have only one life, make it count for Jesus. But be warned, not everyone will love you for taking the Word of God seriously. Members of your own family may think you’ve gone mad (Mark 3:21).
Let’s face it then, it is nothing for us to serve the Lord when everything is easy, when there is no opposition; when there are no roadblocks. However, what will happen when we encounter disappointments? Will we give up or be faithful in the midst of discouragement? The more we learn that Jesus is enough, the more we will be equipped to withstand the storms which come against us.
And that’s the Gospel Truth!