Friday, October 28, 2011

Persecuted Christians

Last night I put up a link to a website dedicated to helping Christians all over the world who are being persecuted for their faith.  Many of them have been thrown in prison, beaten and tortured for refusing to renounce their faith.  On the website, some of them tell their stories, and there's a place where we can write letters of encouragement and buy a wristband to show solidarity with them.  But most of all we can keep them in prayer.  Eventually it may come to pass that we will share their plight; it's not that far fetched.  Now is the time to strengthen ourselves so that if that time comes we will be able to stand up under it.  One man talked about being in prison for twenty years without a Bible, and how glad he was that he committed so many scriptures to memory.
I can't imagine not having my Bible.  It's the road map that tells us which way to go, how to understand what it is that God expects of us, and reassures us of how much God loves us.  One of the passages of scripture that I have always loved is this:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:  For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:35-39

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Romans 8:18

I'm so grateful that we have a God who is good and loves us. That doesn't mean we won't have trials or be tested; of course we will.  Each time we persevere we grow closer to Him and mature in our faith.
Sometimes we grumble and complain about our lives, but really, we do have so much to be grateful for.
Nothing can separate us from God's love!  Except for just one thing: ourselves.  
We can choose to walk away.   The evil one is good at leading us away.  In fact we can expect some troubles when we get closer and closer to God.  But remember, if we are relying on His strength we can't lose.
The battle is already won, thank you God!

I want to start closing these posts with prayer.  So here goes:

Father, I thank you for your great love for us.  Grant us your strength to withstand the trials we go through.
Please send comfort and peace to those who are being persecuted.  Let each one of us feel your presence as we go through our day.  Let us not let any opportunity pass to share your love with others in our life.
In the name of Jesus, Amen.

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