Those who live at the ends of the earth
stand in awe of your wonders.
From where the sun rises to where it sets,
you inspire shouts of joy.
With everything that is on television, in the movies, and plastered all over the covers of every magazine and newspaper that we see on display, it is easy to fall under the impression that we Christians are a dwindling population. We are under scrutiny, no doubt, and when we look beyond our local surroundings, things look somewhat bleak. I cannot speak for anyone else, but I have personally felt discouraged at times, in light of the overall decline of morality and of the Christian influence on the world. It can often seem that for every Godly display of integrity and love, there are ten more instances of failure or of people who are turning from Christ. Much of what we see tells us that, to the rest of the world, we are a joke.
I guess if you look at things from a “churchy” or “religious” standpoint then yes, Christians have become somewhat of a travesty. In many ways, the church has failed it’s God-given mission. People do mock the way that we seem to have assimilated — how we are no longer set apart, and have melted into the world…trying not to make waves…trying to find a way to fit. We seem to have forgotten that we must be square pegs, so to speak. So, when we look around and feel outnumbered, that problem essentially falls on our own shoulders.
But…beyond what we see, apart from what the world tries to feed into us, the fact still remains that we are NOT a fading flower! Pew Forum reports, “As of 2010, Christianity was by far the world’s largest religion, with an estimated 2.2 billion adherents, nearly a third (31%) of all 6.9 billion people on Earth.” Just because you cannot see them in the act of worship, just because you don’t know their names, does not mean that there aren’t people at every corner of this earth shouting the praises of our very same Father God. His goodness knows no end — no boundaries. His love endures forever! It crosses over language barriers, it pierces into the darkest places and hearts, and it finds its way into every part of this world. In world that He created, there is no keeping God on the outside. Hearts all over the universe yearn to be one with their Creator, and one day they shall.
21 “…For there is no other God but me,
a righteous God and Savior.
There is none but me.
22 Let all the world look to me for salvation!
For I am God; there is no other.
23 I have sworn by my own name;
I have spoken the truth,
and I will never go back on my word:
Every knee will bend to me,
and every tongue will declare allegiance to me.”
(Isaiah 45: 21-23)
As time progresses, we know that all who live in Christ will face persecution, but we will not be snuffed out or dissolved. We cannot let the enemy use his wiles to deceive us into thinking otherwise. Instead, we must guard our hearts and minds, and we have to use our greatest weapon to combat these lies — God’s truth — His word. Remember also, and be encouraged, that there is strength in numbers. We can’t allow ourselves to be divided by religious and denominational customs and rules. Instead, let us try to breach the barriers, to tear down these man-built walls, because where there are just two or three gathered in the name of Jesus, He is there also — with us…for us. Imagine what the unity of 2.2 billion souls could accomplish. From the dawn of time, to the end of days, He will be praised and adored.
So when you feel like this world has gone to pot, when you feel alone in your workplace or home, and when you feel like the world is laughing at what you hold most dear, know that this is a lie from the enemy of your soul. We are not alone. We are not few. We will not be shaken.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, sometimes I need to be reminded just how great You truly are, and that there is no tongue that will not eventually confess that You are Lord. Help me to stay encouraged in knowing that no matter how spread out we may be, those of us who love and serve You are great in number. Help us to pull together in unity, across borders and limits, to make Your name and your love known to all. Amen.