Heavenly Father, Thank you for Your presence in my life. Help me to trust you more in every area of my life. Amen…
“So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,” 2 Timothy 1: 8-9 NIV
Monthly I get the Voice of the Martyrs report. Their testimonies are amazing. V.O.M. supports Christians where Christianity is persecuted and often against the law. I am often overwhelmed by the stories of loved-ones being healed, and even brought back to life! Each account is filled with suffering because of their love for Jesus. It’s not unusual for Christians to spend years in jail, be tortured and even be killed because of their faith. Many pastor’s wives have lost their husbands only to pick up the torch and continue the mission, stating “I have joy in the Lord that He has found me worthy to suffer for Him.” In all their stories this mantra of God finding them worthy to suffer is a continuing theme.
It’s hard for us to understand the suffering our brothers and sisters experience in the 10/40 Window (10 and 40 degrees north latitude). Roughly two-thirds of the world population lived in this region, and it is predominantly Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, animist, Jewish, or atheist. Many governments in the 10/40 Window are officially or unofficially opposed to Christian missionary work of any kind within their borders.
As we live our lives remember those who are persecuted for Christ. When we feel attacked remember what Paul said to Timothy “Don’t be ashamed of the gospel.” Live a life reflecting Jesus’ character. If our identity is in Christ we will find the joy in the Lord in all our everyday circumstances and challenges. “…This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10b
Heavenly Father; I lift up my brothers and sisters around the world who suffer for the sake of Christ. Thank you for Your joy that gives us strength. Amen.