Josef Tson and the Christian’s Call to Suffer and Sacrifice for Christ

What will you do if you are called to a ministry that, in human terms, has no chance of success?

Until ten years ago, Romania was a Communist country that persecuted true Christians severely. By a miracle, Josef Tson was able to leave the country in the 1960’s; called to the ministry, he studied theology in England. Upon completion of his studies, he announced that he was returning to Romania.

Some of his friends counseled him:

Josef, don’t do that! What chance of success do you think you have?

Josef replied:

Success? Success? That’s a typically Western way of thinking. In Romania, when one becomes a Christian, one doesn’t think of success. You think of losing your job, losing your income, of beatings, slander, and possibly martyrdom. I’m called to preach the gospel in Romania. So I’ll go.

…Listen to God’s call. Most of us are like Bartimaeus, blinded to the call of God if it includes discomfort, shame, danger, or a loss of income. The ease of life in this country inures us to the call to sacrifice. Tell God, with Bartimaeus, “Lord, I want to see!” Open your eyes to the joy set before you in this life, the opportunity to serve the king of the universe. What is God calling you to? Does it imply giving up your present career, or career plans? Does it imply selling what you have, and financing a ministry to those who have never heard the name of Jesus? Pray for vision!

(Taken from Suffering and Joy by Coty Pinckney)

Jesus Christ, as King of kings and Lord of lords, calls people to Himself and demands from them total allegiance to Himself. Nothing of this world, not father or mother, husband or wife, son or daughter, or material goods, ought to stand between Him and His children. Jesus expects them to learn from Him and to become like Him. Then Jesus sends them into the world as His Father sent Him into the world, to spread His message and to be His witnesses. He knows that the world will hate His witnesses and will turn against them with merciless violence. Nonetheless, He expects them to meet that hatred with love, and to face that violence with glad acceptance, following His example by suffering and dying for the lost world. (Josef Tson)

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