One of the privileges of reading Christian biographies is to learn of the diligence of past Christians in persevering in the face of great trials. When one studies the life of William Carey, a Baptist missionary to India, one sees that the fruit of his labor did not come without a cost. By the time of his death, he had seen the Scriptures translated and printed into forty languages, he had been a college professor, he founded a college, he opened the door to new missionaries coming into India, and he had seen many Indian converts to Christ. The great fruit came as a result of diligence in the face of testing. William Carey went through many dark valleys during the time of his mission work. Carey faced opposition and difficulties through his life but chose to remain diligent. Carey could not get ordained for two years because his preaching was boring. His desire for missions work was opposed in England by many preachers. When he arrived in India, his first wife went insane. His first and second wife died and so did some of his children. He had a ministry partner who mismanaged funds. He had a fire destroy years of translation work. He suffered at times from malaria, dysentery, and cholera. He labored for 41 years without a furlough. When one looks at the life of Carey, it makes our trials seem so small. Carey remained diligent in spite of his many trials.
In 2 Peter 3:14-15a the Bible says, “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation…” 2 Peter 3, reminds us of the coming Day of the Lord when God will return and bring judgment upon the ungodly and will usher in “a new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (v. 13b). As we look for this hope of Christ’s return and the restoration of all things, we are commanded to remain diligent in the face of our “light affliction, which is but for moment” (2 Cor. 4:17a). Any discomfort or suffering on earth will be worth it as it “worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:17b). The labors of William Carey were worth it because Christ was glorified in his life and many people have come to know Christ through his labors. God is longsuffering. God is delaying His triumphant return as He patiently awaits the “reward of His suffering.” That reward being the many who come to know His redeeming grace through Jesus Christ the Lord.
God’s judgment is coming. All wrongs will be vindicated. God will receive the glory. We will forever be with Him. This should motivate us to be diligent in the face of all suffering so that we “may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”