If you have ever watched the film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, then this should hit home with you. If you have not watched the film, then you may want to go watch it before reading this. I would hate to spoil the movie for anyone. With that being said, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington tells a moving tale about a young Senator who is suddenly called to hold office and consequently given the chance of a lifetime. Young Mr. Smith is handed the position of Senator because he is assumingly unfit for the job and therefore won’t be able to cause any trouble. But little do his electors know that Jefferson Smith possesses a quality that they fail to possess. I’m talking about integrity.
Because Mr. Smith is ambitious and he soon makes plans to do something good for the young boys in his home state, those who elected him begin to oppose his work. If Mr. Smith’s plans go through, then several unjust politicians would be brought to light. Even the men that Mr. Smith trusted with his life soon begin to turn on him and eventually he is framed for a political crime that he did not commit. Because everyone believes the men who framed him, the young Senator is soon on trial to be expelled from the Senate, and his work and good reputation are in line for ruin. At the moment when all hope is lost, Mr. Smith makes the decision to stand up and begin a filibuster. If you know much about government, you may know that a filibuster is the choice of a senator to continue speaking in hopes that he will eventually get his point across. You see, as long as a senator has the floor and continues to speak, the senate must remain in progress and listen to what he has to say. The longest filibuster in history to this date lasted over twenty-four hours.
The Truth is Worth Fighting For
Mr. Jefferson Smith continues to talk because he will not give up believing that the truth is worth fighting for. No matter how long he must stand up there talking, he decidedly pushes on, speaking the truth of the matter, hoping that someone will believe him. Why am I talking about Mr. Smith? I’m talking about him because there is another truth that is worth fighting for. I’m talking about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Paul the apostle faced hardship after hardship during his missionary journeys on which he proclaimed the gospel. In Acts 18:9-10, the Lord gives Paul a vision of encouragement. It says, “And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, ‘Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city.” If hardship will tell you one thing, it is to sit down and be quiet. Paul was dealing with persecutions that included being beaten, put in prison, and ridiculed for the sake of the gospel, but even despite these afflictions the Lord came to Paul and encouraged him to continue speaking. Why? Because the eternal consequences of someone accepting the truth outweigh the temporary hardships you face when someone rejects the truth.
Those Who Listen Make It All Worth While
In the film, Mr. Smith keeps on speaking. He keeps on speaking right up until the point when he collapses on the floor from exhaustion. And sadly, almost no one believes him. Almost no one listens to him. No one listens to him, except the one person who matters. The very person who had been falsely accusing the young Senator finally begins to see the light. He finally admits that Mr. Smith was the only one who had been speaking the truth. It really doesn’t matter who decides to not listen to you. What matters is that those who God is drawing unto Himself hear the message that you have to speak. There are people whose hearts the Lord is softening to hear the gospel, but how will they hear it if you and I do not continue speaking? And the ones who accept the Truth make every hardship worth bearing.
Thank God we do not have to bear hardships on our own. The Lord said to Paul, “Do not be afraid any longer,” and we can take the same encouragement in Him today. We need to not be afraid and we need to not be silent any longer. We need to take a stand and begin to speak the gospel and the name of Jesus Christ. There are people that need more than anything to hear that God sent His Son to die on a cross so that they could be forgiven of their sins when they repent and believe on Him. God thought that we were worth fighting for. They are, too.