As I thought about that this morning I thought about several friends of mine who live and work in very dangerous - closed countries. They are there for the sake of the Gospel - they are there because they long for others to know Jesus. So they risk their lives and families everyday. Many of them CANNOT meet with other Christians especially openly. So as I read the next chapter in my normal reading today these verses took on new meaning for me:
2 Corinthians 4:11-13 (NLT) Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies.  So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.  But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.”
Paul’s situation was so dangerous that he said we FACE DEATH everyday WHY? For one reason - that others may know Jesus and have eternal life. These verse reminded me of Carol’s nephew who was killed last year because he was living and working openly as a Christian in a close country. His deepest desire was to see young men and women become disciples of Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:15-18 (NLT) All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.  That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.  For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!  So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
Why would you take your wife and children into dangerous place to live and work? Paul said he did it for the BENEFIT of those who had NOT yet experienced God’s grace. He said He would NEVER give up no matter what he was facing no matter what the hardship may be. WHY? He saw that the painful present struggles would be overshadowed by the wonder and glory of the gospel the joy of seeing people’s lives changed for ALL eternity. So we FIX OUR GAZE - or focus - NOT on the hardship or the painful struggle - but on the things that CANNOT be seen... on eternity and our Lord Jesus. As we do God WILL Receive More and More Glory and that is what it is all about.
NOT BEING ABLE TO MEET... what would that really be like.. Not just the roads are slippery... or I'm too tired... or it is too much hassle to get ready and go. But if I meet with other believers I will be in DANGER. Some of my friends would do anything to be able to be at a Sunday service with other Christians. But the best they can expect is to quietly carefully worship with their family praying for the day when there will be MANY Believers because of their sacrifice.
PRAYER: Lord God, help me NEVER to take for granted the wonderful privilege of worshipping YOU with others - free from fear of any kind. Please Lord encourage and strengthen my Brothers and Sisters who are in real danger everyday because they are Serving You. Please LORD help them see the REALITY that what they do WILL have Eternal Results.