When Praising is Perilous

This Easter, while many of us donned new dresses and enjoyed hearty meals with our families, many believers around the world risked their lives in order to gather and celebrate their risen Savior. One such believer is Julia*. Julia’s husband pastors a church in a country halfway across the globe, and they have young children. Julia wrote to our small group soon after the Easter holiday to update us on their missions work and to request prayer. Julia told us they learned that the country’s officials had ordered special security for their Easter services because they had received credible threats involving attacks to the church. Julia shared with us the challenge of explaining the situation to their children that, even though their very lives might be at stake, they couldn’t neglect the task before them: to share the gospel with the people they’ve been called to serve.

Julia’s testimony reflects a call to selflessness that all believers share. It is not only missionaries who are called to go into the dangerous places where darkness lives in order to call people into the marvelous light of a relationship with Jesus Christ. Even though God may not be calling you to place your life in the path of danger, he has called you to lay it down for His sake.

In fact, right after he bids his disciples to take up their crosses to follow him, Jesus declares, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” (Matt. 16:25 NIV). Julia’s story reflects the weight of this calling. The call to follow Christ and to lead others to follow him might cost us our lives. It will cost us our comfort, at the very least. In other words, it is a call to selflessness—the loss of self. And when we lose ourselves, Jesus promises we will find life there.

Maybe God hasn’t asked you to enter a dangerous land to share the gospel. But he has called you to lose yourself for His sake. What areas of your life do you need to let go of in order to find life in Jesus? Where do you need to lose yourself in order to follow Christ?

*Name changed.


Rachel Forrest is a 30-something working mom of two. Though she’s an event planner and office manager by day, she’s truly a logophile. She loves words and creating with them. When she’s not chasing her toddlers, you can find her nose stuck in a book. She also writes about the “coffee stains and growing pains” of motherhood at www.rachelforrest.me.






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