Living by Faith in Witnessing
“We live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Paul said this while talking about going to heaven. This principle, however, applies to most, if not all, areas of a Christian’s life – including witnessing.
It’s especially important to remember this in witnessing. But it’s also very difficult. We are so engrained to measure success by results. For many people, the bottom line is all that matters. When it comes to witnessing, it’s easy to start thinking the only successful witnessing conversation is one which results in a person believing.
If this is the case, I would have quit long ago. Rare are the times when somebody confessed their faith in Jesus the first time I talked with them. With the few who did, almost always it was because I was just the most recent in a line of Christians witnessing to them. I was at the end of their “witnessing chain”.
More and more, I find this picture of a chain helpful. A person coming to faith usually results in numerous different encounters with the saving message of Jesus’ love over a lengthy period of time. Each encounter is like a link in the chain. But I don’t know what link I represent. Only the Holy Spirit knows. I could be at the beginning; somewhere in the middle; or towards the end. Regardless of my placement, however, my witness – my link – is important.
Believing this – and taking it the next step and being content with it – takes faith. But it is well-placed faith. It is founded on the fact of God’s love for all people and his desire that all be saved. It rests in the fact that God’s Word is astonishingly powerful. It is enveloped in God’s promise that his Word will always accomplish God’s purpose.
There’s no denying there is great joy seeing a person being made alive by the Holy Spirit. There also should be no denying that there is great joy in adding another link to a person’s witnessing chain. Jesus made the same point with a different analogy when he talked about the sower and reaper rejoicing together (John 4:36).
Live this truth. Fight off witnessing fatigue or frustration. Rather be filled with contentment and joy.