When Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was being stoned to death, Acts 7:55–56 (NIV) tells us that he “looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ ” It was in seeing Jesus that Stephen found the strength not only to live for His Savior, but to die for Him as well.
Notice that it was not the great need to get the Gospel to all people that gave Stephen the fortitude to continue even when persecuted. It was not the depravity of the lost that kept the disciples enduring until the end. It was only because of Jesus. The good work you are doing or the fruit you are seeing can never be enough to keep you going. Only in seeing Him will you find the strength to endure all things to the end.
Hundreds of times, by different reporters, presidents and prime ministers from all over the world, Mother Teresa was asked the same question: “What makes you do what you are doing? How do you keep going?” Never was her answer, “There are so many lepers in India. There are so many poor people in India. The suffering and needs are so great.” No. Her answer was always the same. She would simply reply, “Because of Jesus.”
And this is how I want to encourage you also. In everything, at all times, look to Jesus. Come to Him and remember Him. I can say this to you because I have learned from my own experiences how easy it is to wander. How easy it is to get so caught up in all that happens in life, becoming sidetracked and losing our focus. But our hope and our life are in seeing Jesus.
This entry was written by K.P. Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia, with the intention of encouraging and edifying the Body of Christ. To learn more about Gospel for Asia or to receive additional free resources, visit Gospel for Asia’s website.