One of the subscriptions I get monthly is “Voice of the Martyrs.” It encourages and challenges me to be more Christ-like in a world that seems to have gone astray from the biblical teachings of our Lord. We are being bombarded by the voices of the deceiver seeking to draw us away from the truth of the gospel message. But, in times like this our character is revealed when we are not deceived but remain fixed upon Christ even when persecuted. It is then that we prove more than ever that we are as those who the deceived mockingly call us “the people of the cross.” What they mean as derogatory is really a badge of honor. For that we should be most grateful. They have coined a phrase that we can honor by our lifestyle, our character, our words and actions. However, we who reside in the west are being told we are being persecuted which is far from the truth. It is those that are living in the “east” or “middle east”, or even “far east” who are the ones revealing to us what true persecution is and how we are to respond to it if it should reach our shores. We who are free ought to be praying diligently for those who are experiencing true persecution. When they are asked what can we do for you their immediate reply is this: “pray for us”. Paul shares with us in his letter to the Thessalonians how to actually do this. The following post is what I wrote on this for today’s reading in 2Thessalonians chapter 1. You can read it here along with the other posts I have done: https://www.facebook.com/bible.org My goal is to walk with you day by day encouraging you to be strong no matter what comes your way and to encourage you to pray and pray some more and then pray again for those undergoing persecution.
Here is the Facebook post for today. Come and join us as we walk the pages of the NT, Psalms and Proverbs each day.
“talent is formed in solitude, but character in the storms of life” [Goethe] How true those words are and evidenced as we watch from the sidelines those who are persevering in the midst of affliction. What was true in the time of Paul, in the time of Nazism, and in our present age is this; the arrows of evil seek to divide and conquer but what is meant for evil is used by God to bring about a harvest of new souls. In doing so the character of our brethren’s flourishing transformation not only humbles us but challenges us to join in partnership with them.
We accomplish this through the avenue and the privilege of prayer because it is our spiritual weapon against the powers of darkness. Paul never prayed what one author called “Father Christmas prayers for health, wealth and happiness.” Instead he prayed for these who were facing persecution to faithfully endure under fire so that they may be made worthy of God’s calling. He prayed that they reflect the truth that God who began a good work in them will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. He prayed that the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit would assist them in enduring under pressure. Lastly he prayed that they seek to glorify the name of Jesus. This is how we too can voice our prayers before God for our persecuted brethren.