Any labor we do for the Lord is worth it all if just one life is enriched spiritually as a result.
Jesus is a beautiful example of this. He gave all, holding nothing back, even though He knew millions would reject Him.
To Jesus, it was worth the cost. You were worth the cost.
Paul had just cast out a spirit from a young girl. (Acts 16:16-34)
Her masters were angry that their means of income was gone.
The men brought Paul and Silas to the marketplace, provoking and stirring up the crowd with accusations against them.
Verse 22 says they were stripped of their clothing, beaten, and then bound and thrown into a filthy prison.
They were surely bruised and bleeding.
But by the end of verse 30, the jailor is begging to be saved.
A short time later the jailor and his family have all chosen to trust Christ AND get baptized.
Imagine how Paul and Silas
must have been bursting with overwhelming joy and
praise to God that their suffering had led
to the salvation of so many souls that evening.
These passages then remind me of a dear servant, in heaven now, named Darlene Deibler Rose.
She and her husband were missionaries to Papua, New Guinea.
World War II began, and they were forced to leave their people, eventually becoming POWs under the Japanese.
Darlene’s husband died in the men’s camp, while Darlene remained a prisoner during the entire war, suffering horrible, even unspeakable things.
While a prisoner, shortly after Darlene was told that her husband died, she was called to the camp commander’s office.
Mr. Yamaji was a very cruel, wicked man.
Although normally he showed Darlene no mercy, she did seem to have his respect.
That must be the reason he called her to his office to say a few kind words of comfort concerning her husband’s death.
Being granted permission to speak freely, Darlene took this divine opportunity to lay before him a beautiful plan of salvation.
Tears started running down Mr. Yamaji’s face.
“He died for you, Mr. Yamaji, and He puts love in our hearts-even for those who are our enemies.
That’s why I don’t hate you, Mr. Yamaji. Maybe God brought me here just for you.
….if you were to believe,
it would be worth everything that it has cost me.”
I want to be that way.
I imagine that is exactly how Paul and Silas felt.
When Paul and Silas saw those precious souls get saved for all eternity, they counted the cost they paid…
the beating, the humiliation, the scrutiny, the filth of the jail… to be worth it.
Then I think of our suffering.
None of it is in vain.
God can use every trial to intertwine us with the lives of others for the purpose of His glory and drawing souls to Him.
If we allow God to shape and refine us, every trial can be used as an encouragement to people we may never have known otherwise.
Our work and ministry get to be a light to those that God writes into our story.
Touching one life at a time is such a privilege.
When God allows our trials to lead to an eternal difference in even one life,
may we conclude along with Darlene, Paul, Silas, and even our Savior that no cost is too great.
***Based on various testimonies after the war,
Darlene believed Mr. Yamaji accepted Christ that day!
According to my earnest expectation and my hope,
that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness,
as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body,
wether it be by life, or by death.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and is set down
at the right hand of the throne of God.
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