God also wants you to reach out to make the cord stronger. Yes, I’ve charged the lonely with taking the initiative. But I think each of us also has the responsibility to look out for the stray sheep. Just as Jesus spoke of leaving the ninety-nine to seek out the lone lamb, you and I have a special ministry in pulling in those who are estranged and alienated. We should rise on Sunday morning, have our time with God, and ask Him to send us to the one who needs us the most. It’s easy for us to gravitate to the great herd of sheep where we’re comfortable and loved. That’s a good thing, but let’s also go where we’re needed. The ministry of acceptance and encouragement is our distinguishing mark in this world.

Many today know the name of Anne Frank whose family was imprisoned in its own home during the Second World War. We read about the family’s troubles in the diary that Anne kept all through the experience. Millions have read it or seen the movie based upon it. This family lived every day with the fear of discovery. And yet along with the claustrophobia and daily fear, Anne nurtured other feelings in her heart—including joy. Anne spoke of climbing the ladder to the loft and looking out at the blue sky.  She said, “ ‘As long as this exists,’ I thought, ‘this sunshine and this cloudless sky, and as long as I can enjoy it, how can I be sad?’ ” She reminds us that we can lose everything external—people, things, even prestige—“But the happiness in your own heart can only be dimmed.”

You and I can have that kind of overcoming hope as we look to the heavens, but our hope is not in clouds or sun or sky. We have Jesus Christ, the Lord of the universe, living in us. The ground beneath us may crumble, and the skies may pour torrential rain or the chaos of the whirlwind. But those things are not eternal as He is. The light of day lasts a few hours, and the light of a lifetime burns for perhaps eighty years. But the Light of the Savior shines now and forever. That’s why my circumstances don’t define me, don’t limit me, don’t even thrill me. My hope is in Him, and He will never fail. He will never depart. He will always be greater than our needs.

David Jeremiah, Slaying the Giants in Your Life (Nashville, TN: W Pub., 2001), 52.

This article excerpted from Slaying the Giants in Your Life.

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