The Joys of Ministering to International Students

Tonight, I was at an international grad student Bible study, filling in for a Crusade staff member who is at a conference.  Toward the end of the evening, I started to instruct the students how they would go through follow up lessons with a new believer.  I prefaced it with, “We’ll go through this pretty quickly, since you three already know Jesus.”  Then, Soo (pronounced “Sue”), who is from China, said, “Uh, I am not Christian.”  I looked at him and said, “Oh, then this will be really good for you!”  I couldn’t tell because his answers to the questions were very “Christian.”  What he said next was shocking and exciting wrapped up in one: “I am trying to become Christian.”

I couldn’t help but smile when I heard this.  At that moment I prayed, “Lord, make him a Christian…and soon!”  I know that God is sovereign and he calls and chooses those who will come to him.  That is first and foremost.  But I also understand that we have a responsibility to place our trust in Jesus.  The Bible says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21; Rom. 10:13).  I fully believe that.  Right now, Soo is wrestling with the truth of the Bible, the claims of Jesus, and the promises God makes in Scripture.  His childlike heart is utterly refreshing to me.  It gives me so much joy because I don’t know if I would have ever heard an American say anything close to that.

There is no doubt in my mind that Soo will soon place his dependency on Jesus and turn from darkness to light, from death to life, and experience the power and joy that comes with knowing Jesus as Lord, Savior, and Treasure.


Resting in God’s Sovereignty

The God of the Bible does not take risks. He is not a God who sees the world spinning out of control. He never gets frustrated at what happens. Nothing is “out of his will.” Psalm 115:2-3 reiterates this. “Why should the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’ Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.” Later on in this chapter, in verse 11, it says, “You who fear in the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.” The psalmist is communicating that God is a God to be trusted in because he is dependable and unchanging. He is a rock and a defense. He is not a God who is doing things on the fly. Later on, in Psalm 135:6, David says, “Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.” That whole chapter teaches how the Lord controls all things. God does all things and everything pleases him, because he ordains it. He cannot disappoint himself.

O, how we can rest in the only Sovereign in the universe! O, how we can turn to him in times of trouble and rely on his unshakable nature. When times are hard and questions come, God is a utterly immovable. When storms arise and our lives our flooded with trials, resting in the sovereignty of God gives us a fortress of safety and comfort. He is a God to be praised and worshiped because his knowledge is far beyond anything I can think up. It is deeper and wider than what I can fathom. As Paul cried in Romans 11, “O, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!” It’s too much for my finite mind, yet it is glorious to embrace and learn about.

I urge you to wrestle with this attribute of God and search the Scriptures. Discover the blessing of trusting in the Sovereign Lord, for he is our help and shield! He is in the heavens and he does all that he pleases!