I Want to Change the World

I want to change the world. I know; it is crazy, right? I want to be a part of something big, something revolutionary and earth shaking. I want to leave my mark on society, a legacy for generations to come. I want to honor the Lord and make my parents proud.
 
It is frustrating though. I am nearing halfway through my earthly journey, and I cannot seem to get any traction on attaining my dream. Honestly, changing the world is hard work. With all my heart, I strive to set the world afire with passion. With enthusiasm, excitement, and a sense of purpose, I fan the flame within me expecting it to consume the world, but the cold winds of discouragement, doubt, and anxiety constantly blow in the opposite direction. Sometimes I wonder if I am making any impact at all.
 
I have been studying the lives of the great reformers of church history. Martin Luther was born in 1483. I was born in 1980. Call me crazy, but it just strikes me, the similarities between the last two digits of our birth years (83 vs 80). Guess what Luther did in 1517. He nailed his ninety-five thesis to the door of the church at Wittenberg, a move that stoked the flames of the Protestant Reformation into an out-of-control inferno. He was three years younger than me which makes me wonder, why is it taking me so long?
 
Did Luther have a greater cause than me? Did he want to make a difference more than me? No, I believe we share a common cause and passion. I concede that He was much smarter than me and much more talented. This, however, does nothing to quell my heart’s question. Why can I not seem to make a difference?
 
In a much more exhaustive study of the life of Luther and that of other reformers, I receive my answer. I am like them in passion, however, I am different from them in mindset. To change the world was not their first objective. Rather, to serve God faithfully was their primary objective. Compared to me, their priorities were much more in line. Indeed, they changed the world, but only through their faithful service to God. Like Joshua at Jericho, it was not their passion or talent but their faithfulness that brought down the walls.
 
They got discouraged just like me. Men like Huss, Luther, Knox, Calvin, and Spurgeon were known to suffer from depression and anxiety. They were hard pressed on every side, but they pressed on and overcame by the strength and joy of the Lord.
 
Their lives gave witness to the truth of Romans 5:2-4, “…we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” Suffering persecution and endless doubt did not quell their hope. Rather, it was under the tutelage their trials that they learned to hope all the more in the glory of God. Tribulation did not cause them to hope less. It caused them to cling to Him even more.
 
This is how they were strengthened and made able to endure. Their sufferings and discouragement did not reduce the temperature of the fire within them. Every frustration, difficulty, trial, and tribulation served as fuel for their heart fires. With every lash of the enemy’s whip, they grew more obedient, more faithful. It was not in their determination but in their emotional and physical vulnerabilities that Christ was shown to be powerfully at work in them.
 
I still want to change the world, but now I understand that I must be faithful first. What about you? Do you want to change the world? Then be faithful. Christ is in you. Do not place your confidence in your passion or talents, nor your enthusiasm. Instead be confident and “rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”
 

Every challenge is an opportunity to show that He is faithful. Every weakness is an endowment from Christ, who through your weakness shows Himself to be strong. Tribulation is your tutor from whom you will learn perseverance. Every moment of suffering is a gift from God, given to refine your faith and prove your character. With every great trial, you will accumulate more hope. Just be faithful. Then, watch the walls come tumbling down.