I don’t care if they make trouble for me. The important thing is that they are telling people about Christ. I want them to tell people about Christ. They should do it for the right reasons. But I am happy even if they do it for false and wrong reasons. I am happy because they tell people about Christ, and I will continue to be happy. You are praying for me, and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me. So I know that this trouble will bring my freedom. The thing I want and hope for is that I will not fail Christ in anything. I hope that I will have the courage now, like always, to show the greatness of Christ in my life here on earth. I want to do that if I die or if I live. (Philippians 1:18-20 ERV)

I've always wanted my life to count, but without my having to do anything terribly difficult, of course. However, the more I learn about the lives of men and women whose words and actions have a positive and profound effect upon others, I see that they learned life's most essential truths while struggling to survive the hardships they faced.

In the preface of her book, He Sets the Captive Free, Corrie ten Boom says: "I learned a great deal in prison, as this was a very difficult class in the schoolroom of life. When you are in a difficult class with a good teacher, you learn much — and my teacher was very good. It was Jesus Himself." (p. 7)

Although Corrie would never have chosen to experience the atrocities she suffered while a prisoner of the Gestapo during World War II, she learned this great truth and then spent the rest of her life sharing it with others: "Even when circumstances look utterly bleak, there is a victorious life which is real and available to you." (p.7)

The more we rely on Him!
The more we experience such an awareness of the presence of Christ within us and all around us, the more we rely on Him not only to sustain us but also to give us victory over our circumstances.

Then our testimony, like that of believers throughout the ages, becomes powerful. Even those who care little about religious doctrines long to have a faith that works, especially when life's lessons are the hardest. So, whenever you and I can demonstrate to others the reality of the victorious life and tell them such a life is available to them too, we'll be persons of influence. Our lives will count. No doubt about it!