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Send Me: A Story of Hope
One of the most challenging parts of being a Christian is the aspect of complete, relentless faith in God and HIS plan. God instructs us through His Word how to be obedient, but often we don’t see the reward or conclusion to our obedience right away. So, at times we question if our obedience really matters.
Have you been in that position? You know that God has told you clearly in scripture to do something, but it just doesn’t seem to be working. Friend, you aren’t alone. From many conversations with other Christians, obedience, in the category of making disciples, appears to be a daunting task that doesn’t always have quick results and often leaves Christians feeling exhausted and even doubtful.
Sophie, a Woodside Bible Church’s Dearborn campus member, was there once. She felt the burden of her family having a relationship with Jesus. She accepted Jesus as her personal Savior when she was in college. Since her own spiritual transformation, she wanted nothing more than to have her family experience the same saving faith she had received. Sophie had joined the church, joined a Life Group, and learned to pray to God.
Her sister lived with her for one winter and witnessed how Sophie lived a Christian lifestyle. However, no matter Sophie’s efforts, her sister was not interested in being involved or hearing about God. This rejection took a toll on Sophie as she desperately wanted her family to know God.
Maybe you’ve been in the exact shoes of Sophie. Perhaps you are the only one in your family who truly knows God and is longing for your family to seek Him too! Even if this isn’t your exact story, I think we all have that person, a friend, neighbor, co-worker, or even spouse, who doesn’t really “get it” or possibly has denounced the entire Gospel! It can feel lonely and useless. But Jesus reminds and encourages us in the book of Matthew:
“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” — Matthew 28:18–20
Jesus tells us to “go and make disciples of all nations,” including our very own community, friends, family, and different social circles. Yes, God does call many to go to far away nations, but others He has called and commanded to make disciples right here where they are planted. And it’s not a suggestion, it is a command, and He wants us to be obedient!
But with this high challenge direction, Jesus ensures us of something else: “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” So when sharing the Gospel with “that person” seems repetitive and unfruitful, we are reminded that Jesus, our Savior, is with us to the end!
This is so hopeful for every one of us. No matter the outcome, Jesus is with us!
One day, Sophie realized her prayers for her family’s salvation weren’t as consistent as they should. As our church focused on prayer, she felt convicted. She said she prayed for her family all the time, but realized it was sporadic. She committed to praying for them every day, and God has been moving in miraculous ways.
Out of nowhere, the same sister who lived with her reached out and shared how she was compelled to read the Bible. Her sister told her that even though she rejected the way Sophie was living in Christ previously, her example and consistency had planted a seed in her heart. Now, her sister was curious about this way of life and was seeking out the truth of the Bible — daily! Praise God!
Shortly after this event, Sophie’s dad ended up in the hospital following a routine cancer scan (since he was in remission). Although this was a hard situation, Sophie didn’t waste this opportunity to turn to God. Sophie and her Life Group committed to praying for him, and they also sent him a care basket. Sophie’s dad later called Sophie in tears. When his biopsy revealed a very treatable cancer, all he wanted to do was worship. He also mentioned that Sophie’s sister had been sending him texts full of Bible verses that she had been reading to encourage him. In a small span of time, Sophie saw multiple family members not just experience God but seek after Him.
About a week later, her dad prayed to receive Christ with Sophie on the phone. And soon after that, her sister also came to know Christ as her personal Savior. God sent Sophie to be a witness to her family, and that obedience seemed long-suffering. However, God knew the whole story and simply asked for Sophie to be obedient to His call on her life. Glory be to God, Sophie was obedient even when it didn’t feel like it was working! God is faithful and is working even when we don’t see it.