You may remember Elton John’s 1976 hit song, Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word (if you weren’t around for that decade or need a refresher I’ll embed the video at the end of this post). The lyrics from the song include the chorus of:
It’s sad, so sad
It’s a sad, sad situation
And it’s getting more and more absurd
It’s sad, so sad
Why can’t we talk it over
Oh it seems to me
That sorry seems to be the hardest word
That refrain got stuck in my head last week as a young man we have been sharing the Gospel with told us, “I’m sorry. I don’t believe in God. I don’t want to talk to you anymore.” Truly to me, this is a sad, sad situation. How much sadder can it get than to hear someone tell you that they are choosing a path that leads to eternal separation from God. We are still praying for this young man while honoring his request that we not talk to him anymore. I pray that God is not finished with him. I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to gnaw at his thoughts by causing him to continue to consider the claims of Christ, the seeds of the Gospel that have been planted in him as we shared. But I’m also resigned to the fact that he may be one that has hardened his heart past the point of no return. Not just sad. Eternal sad.
God is doing some awesome work in Viet Nam. We are seeing people respond positively to the Gospel. We are seeing Believers grow in discipleship. We are seeing Believers share the Gospel with their family and friends. But that is not to say that everything is rosy. There is a serious spiritual battle going on here, and it is more evidenced by some of the reactions of those that reject the life of hope which God offers.
Over the past weeks and months we have had some great opportunities in sharing the Gospel individually and in groups. Many people have heard the Gospel more clearly than perhaps they have ever heard before. In the past they may have thought that Christianity was interesting, or that Jesus was a good teacher. But now they know that Jesus Christ presents a decision to them that they must make. They cannot sit on the fence. Either move forward in faith and call on His name or they reject His offer. For some, when realizing that Christ poses such an uncompromising choice, they react strongly, like throwing cold water in hot oil they explode, lashing back at those sharing. Some threaten to call the police, some just walk away never to be heard from again.
Whether their rejection is strong or silent, it breaks our heart. It would be easy to turn that rejection inward, to despair of ourselves. But instead we know that even in this we can rejoice, because God has found us faithful to proclaim the message. He has allowed us to plant seeds and by seeing those who reject the message, the ones who are not rejecting also come more clearly into focus. It is those to whom are hearts really go out. Failure, and with it sadness, comes not from rejection but from the absence of proclamation.
Please pray with us:
- Pray that we as Believers in Viet Nam will continue to remain faithful in consistently proclaiming the message of Jesus Christ – a stumbling block for some, but the Cornerstone of salvation for those who accept.
- Pray for this young man and several others like him who have categorically rejected the Gospel, might continue to be disturbed by the truth they have heard. Pray that God will give them yet more chances to hear and that He will open their eyes to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
- Pray for some 30 plus individuals whom some of us have been sharing and are continuing to show interest in the Gospel. Pray that we be given the words to share that will speak best to their need that each one of them might place their faith in Jesus Christ. Pray especially for DD and DA who are very close to receiving Christ that they might take that step of faith.