Sunday, March 15, 2015

Persecuted, but NOT Abandoned

These words jumped off the page at me a few mornings ago as I read them afresh in light of recent events and my own fears regarding the world my children will face as they grow up. They leapt into my heart imbued with the precious gift of hope. Our dear brothers and sisters around the world who are in the news lately for facing the most extreme form of persecution for their faith – they are not abandoned! God is with them, in their midst, indwelling them. He is their strength. He shines through them. Though their very lives are taken, not a hair on their head is harmed. Though they are struck down, they are NOT destroyed!

This is not to make light of their suffering. It is heavy and atrocious and we certainly must plead for them in prayer. But our prayers need not be the wailing of those with no hope. We must not esteem our enemy as greater than he is. Though he thrashes about in his defeat, inflicting as much harm as he can before being restrained forever, he can never inflict a wound greater than our Savior’s ability to heal. He can never impose a suffering weightier than the glory that it achieves for the blood-bought child of the King. Even in unbearable persecution there is One who upholds the weak, the downtrodden, the oppressed, the martyr. And He redeems. He redeems our souls, yes, and He even redeems our suffering.

When we pray for these dear ones certainly let us ask for their freedom, for their comfort, for their rescue. But let us also pray for their faith and for strength to hold fast to the God who supplies all their needs according to HIS glorious riches. Let us ask for God to supply them with eyes of faith that look at the unseen, glorious eternity before them rather than the very visible, very painful, but blessedly temporary suffering that they endure. Let us ask for this hope – because such a well-placed hope does not disappoint. And friends, though our trials may look very different, it will not disappoint us either.

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done.
For he who avenges blood remembers; he does not ignore the cry of the afflicted.
The wicked return to the grave, all the nations that forget God.
But the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish.
Arise, O LORD, let not man triumph; let the nations be judged in your presence.
Strike them with terror, O LORD; let the nations know they are but men.
Pslam 9:9-12, 17-20 (NIV)

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful explanation of a blessed life. Yes we do suffer at times but always, ALWAYS, we are not alone. We are always in The safety of Him.

    Thank you for these beautiful words and reminder to be praying for our sisters and brothers who are being persecuted. Also to never cease praying for our world that our children and for me our grandchildren are being raised in.