The enemy advances. The horns blast as the battle begins. Defeat seems inevitable as we become overwhelmed with the struggles and hurts of life. God’s enemy, Satan, monopolizes our life with disappointment that leaves us stonewalled from the “fullness of life” that Jesus promised.
Through all this, Jesus says: Don’t quit! Victory is imminent!
In Acts 15:36-41, the Apostle Paul and Barnabas found themselves in a heated disagreement. The Bible reveals a situation that seems to be just short of them dropping their gloves and duking it out.
What were they fighting about? Glad you asked! They were arguing over a young man named John (also called Mark). Not long before this heated encounter, John Mark deserted them while on a missionary journey in unwelcoming territory (Acts 13:13).
The Bible does not provide any reasons for the departure, but for whatever reason he left them. Now John Mark stands watching a serious argument about whether or not they want him on their team.
Put yourself in John Mark’s shoes as he watched this heated exchange. Barnabas wanted to give him another shot. Paul didn’t want anything to do with him. The trust factor was gone. From Paul’s perspective, John Mark was useless.
Have you ever felt like that? Some mistake or disappointment in life defines your existence. Maybe you have thrown in the towel of defeat with a sense of uselessness like John Mark at that moment.
You have a choice, what will define you: disappointments in life OR victory in Jesus? No one else can make that choice for you.
John Mark’s story continued. We don’t know all the details, but we know he overcame his obstacles as he traveled with Barnabas. He found victory in his battles. He went from being knocked down and useless, to a game-changer. In fact, Paul’s opinion of him changed dramatically. In 2 Timothy 4:11, he asks that John Mark be brought to him because “he is useful to me”. Ultimately, this young man, once rejected, penned the Gospel of Mark. Good thing he didn’t buy into the lie that he was ‘useless’!
You are useful. Don’t quit! Victory is imminent!