Written by Samuel Strandberg
The Bible says in Proverbs 11:25, “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”
This truth is so powerful, and it reminds me of an incident some years back when I felt I deserved to be the recipient of the whole world’s focus and attention. I had been treated unfairly and thought I had the right to have a bad attitude, be angry and irritated. I probably made it into a lot bigger deal than it really was, but I definitely felt like I was the one in need of refreshment!
When I called up my mentor I explained to him what had happened and waited for him to agree with me, feel sorry for me, and maybe wrap up that session by praying for me. I could not believe my ears when I heard his response. He asked me, “When was the last time you shared your testimony with a neighbor, your coworker, or a stranger?
I thought to myself, “What does this have to do with anything?” And responded, “Well, I have been so busy, done so much ministry, had so many talks with people, and preached in services that I haven’t had much time. It’s been a while.”
My mentor went on and said, “That is the thing! What you need to see a breakthrough is not a pity party, prayer, or anything else. What you need is to share the gospel with someone! When you do that, you will see what will happen!”
As I hung up the phone I felt confused. I thought, “No, This is not what I need. I need help! I need someone to pray for me! I need to be ministered to…” I need, I need, I need!
After thinking about this for a few minutes I convinced myself that maybe I should just do what he told me to do. It couldn’t hurt! As I headed out, with really no agenda at all, other than trying to share a bit about Jesus, I started to notice things and people around me that I had not noticed for a while.
A change happened as I started to serve others, share my story and the simple gospel with people. All of a sudden, I noticed a drug addict standing by himself at our city square, his whole demeanor was crying out, “help!” I saw a group of men and women that clearly had had too much to drink, standing in a circle pushing each other, on the brink of fighting. All of a sudden, I started to notice people that were lonely, hungry, sad and without hope just drifting.
I talked to some of these people about Jesus and things began to happen. A few went home with a new found faith in Jesus. Others went away with a spark of hope. And most of them received some kind of a breakthrough in their lives. All because of a simple story of Jesus. As I was on my way home, I remembered that I had felt upset, offended and angry at something an hour earlier, but now I didn’t seem to be able to recall why. I realized that I myself had received exactly what I needed, by sharing Jesus. As I got home, I nailed down three things that had happened to me as a result of me stepping out in faith that day.
- I felt empathy. I forgot about my own emotions at the moment and began to care for others.
- It gave me a new perspective. As I was talking about Jesus, my issues seemed to become smaller and smaller compared to the people I talked too.
- It refreshed me. As I was out that day, something happened in my own life. It was like the Holy Spirit ministered to me at the same time.
I understand that sometimes we all need to be ministered to and to receive care. I’m not trying to downplay moments in life when we really are the ones that should be the focus of a miracle. Many times though, we need to step up and serve someone else. That step of faith will often lead us to what we need! God is such a good Father! Always remember, “The gospel is really real! It is really the power of God unto salvation for ALL who believes (Rom 1:16).”
I want to challenge you to start to share what you have received freely (Matt 10:8b) from God, and He’ll show you it’s possible to receive your breakthrough while praying, investing in, and standing in faith for someone else’s miracle!
Samuel Strandberg is the Director of Northeast Ministry School and an evangelist for Mission SOS to the unreached people groups in South Asia