Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. Behold, I am doing a new thing!
Looking back at 2015, the nations and peoples of our tumultuous, topsy-turvy world seemed more divided, more decadent, more disinterested in the Gospel, and full of more disarray than ever before. Watching cable news or reading through the paper, it’s easy to feel hopeless and helpless about the state of our world. The Psalmist’s words poignantly depict today’s reality: “The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his Anointed” (Psalm 2:2).
But look a bit deeper…and discover seeds of hope. God is doing a new thing! Explosive Gospel growth in many regions of China despite fierce opposition; Christians in Nigeria, Brazil, and South Korea rising up to take their place in history, bringing the Gospel to unevangelized and hostile regions; and the Holy Spirit pouring out signs and wonders upon Muslims across the globe. A college friend of mine who has lived in the Islamic world for over twenty years recently wrote the following:
“After literally centuries of almost no response to the Gospel from the Muslim world, I believe that we are living in a new season where God has begun to set the captives free…God is doing miraculous things in their lives through dreams, visions, and healings, while exposing the falsehoods they have believed.”
Some three millennia ago God spoke prophetically through the Psalmist: “Ask of me and I will make the nations your inheritance and the ends of the earth your possession” (Psalm 2:8).
Two millennia ago Jesus Christ challenged his disciples, “Ask, and it will be given to you” (Matthew 7:7), and John painted a beautiful picture of heaven with individuals from every tribe, language, people and nation worshiping the Lamb (Rev. 5:9).
As we enter 2016, AFM will continue asking God for the nations and sending cross-cultural workers to where the church is not, where Christ-followers do not yet exist. Thank you for your partnership, friendship, and commitment in this epic Gospel endeavor. May God bless You and Yours in 2016!