It is no sin to say, “Lord, this time in my life is overwhelming and uncomfortable. I need Your strength and courage.” He invites that kind of confession and prayer. But God does have a problem with Christians who say, “I moved out in faith but when I began to feel a lack of peace, I knew it wasn’t from the Lord. So I stopped.”
Here is the problem with that line of thinking. If we stopped walking in faith every time we had a lack of peace, we would never do anything in obedience to the Lord.
Yes, we should have a prevailing peace that undergirds all we do. Such peace comes from God’s immovable Word. But we have to know that if we are about our Father’s business, our peace will be rocked from time to time. Even a man of faith like Joshua could be shaken. That’s why God told him, “Be of good courage; don't fear” (see Joshua 1:6, 7 and 9).
I know my father, David Wilkerson, never would have gone to New York City to work with gang members if he had thought every lack of peace was God telling him to stop. There are times we have to hear God’s voice in the midst of being rocked. His desire for us in chaotic times is not to quit but to discern the Spirit’s voice. That’s how we find peace when our world is being shaken.
A century ago in China, many faithful missionaries spent decade after decade toiling with very little to show for their efforts. Some had only one or two converts; others had none. They suffered under decades of harsh, repressive conditions and many died or were kicked out. There was no reason to believe their efforts amounted to anything more than one massive failure.
Today, tens of millions of Chinese Christians worship God in the underground church alone. Sociologists say that by 2050 the church in China will outnumber all believers in the rest of the world.
Were those missionaries’ efforts a failure? Not at all. Those servants faithfully planted seeds, not knowing what would result. And most of those missionaries died never knowing the results. I urge you, take their example to heart. Whenever we face negative circumstances, it is our call to obey Him. The results are up to Him.