I am sickened by the news. Words cannot convey what my heart feels. Going through the motions of every day life has become difficult.
People are hurting. People are suffering. People are dying. At the hands of evil.
Our Christian brothers and sisters are being tortured because of their faith.
Why should I be surprised? God's Word clearly tells us that the Christian people will be persecuted for believing in the Son of God. Persecution is nothing new to our faith.
Jesus' disciples were all persecuted for His Name.
Yet, my heart still hurts.
I know this is how our world will play out until Jesus returns, yet I cling to His comfort and peace as the days grow darker here on Earth.
The more I hear the news of Christians being persecuted, I think to myself, "How can a person not believe? Everything in the Bible that was prophesied has come true and is still coming true."
There are approximately 2500 propehecies in God's Word. Do you know how many have come into fulfillment thus far? 2000. Yep. 2000.
"Since the probability for any one of these prophecies having been fulfilled by chance averages less than one in ten (figured very conservatively) and since the prophecies are for the most part independent of one another, the odds for all these prophecies having been fulfilled by chance without error is less than one in 10 to the 2000th power (that is 1 with 2000 zeros written after it)!" [excerpt from www.reasons.org]
Friends, if you need proof of His Word being true, it's here!
I keep hearing this verse in my heart from Isaiah, and it reminds me that God is all knowing and none of this is a surprise to Him.
Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the LORD rises and appears over you. Isaiah 60:2
Yes, darkness is here. Evil is here.
Yet, so is God.
His Kingdom will prevail.
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18
I am also reminded of Habakkuk's prayer:
Lord, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord.
Repeat them in our day,
in our time make them known;
in wrath remember mercy.
What can WE do?
Just like Jesus did.
During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Hebrews 5:7
We must make the time to pray.
We must remove ourselves from whatever we are doing during the day and pray.
Find a closet. A bathroom. Anything.
Or in your car. Cooking dinner.
I have a friend that goes to her bathroom at work and hits her knees [literally] and prays throughout the day.
Jesus set the example for us. We must follow Him.
The lives of many around us, including our children, are desperate for our prayers.
For the next 24 hours, I implore us all to pray in unity. Lifting our voices high to the One who hears, and answers. Will you spread the word to your friends and family? All who will pray?
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14
We have to wake up! Our eyes have been pried open to the evil around us. This kind of evil can only be overcome by prayer.
Read Mark 9:20-29 if you have a minute. Jesus removes the evil spirit in a boy at his father's request. The father is plagued with unbelief. Yet, the father admits his unbelief and asks Jesus to help him overcome his unbelief.
After healing the boy, the disciples asked Jesus why they were not able to heal the boy, and this was Jesus' answer:
"He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer" Mark 9:29
Though unbelief can plague me at times like this, I will call on the One who can restore my belief. The One Who is greater than the evil that is in the world.
Through prayer, my belief will be restored, and the world be shaken on behalf of the Power of God.
Will you join me for the next 24 hours in prayer?
He hears our cries and He will answer.
Maybe we cannot go to a foreign land and proclaim the gospel, or start a street ministry spreading the good news of Jesus. BUT, we can pray!
Our prayers are needed just as much as our service.
What if it were our children being beheaded? Certainly, we would be desperate for our Christian brothers and sisters to pray on our behalf.