When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2 Kings 6:15-17
Gracious Father, there are times when the “odds” feel quite stacked against us, as your people. Sometimes it feels like we are outmanned and outgunned. With the naked eye, the enemies of justice, truth, and the gospel greatly seem to outnumber your “troops.” Serving you feels quite overwhelming, at times even futile. Darkness on the outside and weakness on the inside wears us down.
But just when we begin to retreat into a basement of fear or question your concern and faithfulness, once again, as with Elisha, you open the eyes of our hearts and show us the way things really are—“those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (2 Kings 6:16). We praise you for your patience with us and your mercy towards us. You are always in control. Your time is always Swiss. Your ways are never in need of “tweaking.”
But the way of the gospel will always be strength in weakness—the transforming treasure of the gospel in fragile clay pots, like us. It was three hundred poorly armed soldiers, not thirty-four thousand fighting men, you sent with Gideon to defeat the Midianite army. Jesse’s youngest son, David, a young shepherd, was your choice to be the king of Israel. Most profoundly, it was the crucifixion of Jesus, not an insurrection of zealots, which won our salvation. Keep bringing us back to the cross, Father. There’s room at the cross for believers, not just for non-believers.
The odds are never really stacked against your covenant purposes and your transforming kingdom. Father, we know you’re not “trying” to do anything. You never have to resort to plan B. You never hedge your bets. You are God, and there is no other.
So help us, and your servants throughout the world, not to become weary in preaching the gospel and planting churches, in doing justice and loving mercy; in doing the next right thing and praying the next prayer of faith. We will reap a harvest at the proper time, if we do not give up (Gal. 6:9), and the gospel is all the motivation, hope, and power we need to keep us from giving up.
Before Jesus returns, he will, most certainly, gather his pan-national bride; and when he returns, Jesus will finish making all things new. This inalterable, unassailable, unbelievably glorious plan of redemption will be fully realized. Our labors in the Lord are often exhausting and discouraging, but they are never in vain (1 Cor. 15:58). Hallelujah, what a Savior! Hallelujah, what a salvation! So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ trustworthy and triumphant name.