Hard Places

“You shouldn’t go to that place.  You understand why they call it Haiti, don’t you?  Because it’s like Hades - hell.  There are diseases and poor people might rob you.” she barked at me.

“If you adopt those kids, it will be the worst mistake of your life,” he said.  “If I don’t do it, who will?” I replied.  “I don’t know but why you, Kim?”

Not everyone was cheerful at my choice to follow God’s calling on my life into missions in Haiti or to adopt four Haitian children.  Some were downright angry.  It is not that they didn’t want me to help others.  It’s that they were confused about why in the world I would willingly place myself in a challenging situation.

Aren’t challenging circumstances at the heart of the Gospel?

It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.
— Jesus in Mark 2 : 17

I wasn’t in a good mindset before I was set free by Christ.  I was living a life smeared with confusion and selfishness.  Then I realized who Christ was and who I am in Christ

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
— Romans 3 : 23

If it weren’t for someone else stepping up to love this battered heart of mine, pointing me towards God, I would have never understood the Gospel of my Savior seeking out my broken heart and healing it with His compassion.

and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.
— 1 Peter 2 : 24

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, do not be afraid of what you are going to face by loving people in the hard places and sharing the Gospel with them.  It is bigger than what you thought it would be.  It is harder than you ever expected.  This experience will not always feel good.  As a matter of fact, you may never know more pain than what you are going to deal with living a life for Jesus.

Because of Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection,
we have the hope of something much better ahead.  

Do we believe that?  The Bible tells us that even the faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains.  Do you believe that the purpose of the gospel is greater than the pain you will face living out the gospel, even if it is death?  Jesus did.  The purpose He clung to was God's will on His life.  He boldly took each lash, comment and nail for that purpose.  

These are easy words to say but it all comes down to action.  If you believe Jesus is who He says He is, if you believe God is who He says He is, then you are able to joyfully live in the freedom of forgiveness, love and eternal life.

Perhaps the world considers our message irrelevant because it doesn’t feel good.  If we don’t go to the dark places, we aren’t bringing the light of the gospel.  

Missionary C.T. Studd once said, “Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell.”

What hard place will you go into today purposefully seeking to love the lost?  Challenge your church to do more than have a BBQ or get together but get into the lives of those you know are in need of the hope that Jesus has to offer.

Take action getting out of the church building to go be the church.

Jesus,

Permeate my soul so that there is no fear left in me that I may purposefully fulfill the will of the Father who has sent me.  May I abide in the truth of the Father when I go into the hard places.

Lord, radiate your light through me in the darkness.  Give me a boldness to preach the gospel in the hard places and not be overwhelmed by the world.  My heart rests in You and Your will.

Amen.

See You in The Round!
Kim


*Scripture quotations are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.