Is There Any Cause for Encouragement?

“But many of those who heard the word believed, and the number of the men grew to about five thousand.”

— Acts 4:4

Someone asked me, “Pastor, do you think there is any hope for our country? For our world? Things look so bleak that we can’t see any hope at all. Do you have any word of encouragement?” “Well, I said, I certainly do. I am greatly encouraged. In fact, I am more encouraged today than I have been for many years about what the Lord is doing in our world.”

What is God doing among us? Well, more than most people think. You know, it took one thousand years for the church to grow to the place where it has added fifty million professing Christians to its rolls. But we did that in the last five years when fifty million people were added to the rolls of the church of Christ worldwide. Meanwhile, the church’s growth around the world is exploding.

For my own curiosity, I graphed the growth rate of the church down through all twenty centuries to see what has happened. At first, it looked as if the line was almost parallel with the bottom line of the graph, it grew so slowly. The growth of the church for the first five hundred years could hardly be detected in the midst of the population of the world.

But by the 19th and 20th centuries, the rate began to go straight up. So I am very optimistic about what God is doing in the church. God is bringing His will to pass, and we have the privilege to take part in that venture.

Lord of the harvest, bring more workers into the field. Thank You for the growth of Your church around the world. Thank You for this harvesting of the earth. Help us to be willing workers…