perspective....

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so, as we are walking the dogs late last night, my husband says to me that he read that lots of Christians were killed again this weekend by extremists.  he complains that the situation with the extremists are really getting out of hand.  i comment that a lady phoned in to a radio station and asked if you can't just deny Christ while they are threatening your life and still be saved.  i say that it is so sad that people think they can deny Jesus and then expect Him to NOT deny them one day.  to which my husband says that i have never been persecuted or threatened by death for my faith, so how would i know what it is like?

and it made me think - he is right.  i have never been threatened with my physical life for my faith.  i am free to worship Jesus whenever and where ever i please.  it is, however,  becoming harder and harder to LIVE OUT my faith in a world that is nowadays frowning upon Biblical principles, only embracing the "soft" side of religion - the warm and fuzzy parts that make people feel good about themselves.  no one wants to hear about the hard stuff and be confronted with sin in their lives.

i did say to him that when you live our Western lives - the house, the comfortable bed, car, job, kids  - pretty much living the suburban dream, it could be really hard if you are faced with an extremist waving a machine gun in your face telling you to denounce your faith or you will be killed.

BUT

when you are living in horrible conditions, with literally nothing on earth to live for - no wordly comforts and you have met Jesus - perhaps through an Evangelist who risked his/her life to come and tell you the Good News, and you KNOW what is waiting on the other side of that machine gun or machete, it just might make you think differently about denouncing Jesus - as you really do believe God shall wipe away all tears from your eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away, once you are no longer on this earth (Revelation 21:4)
and if you have been living death, sorrow, crying and tears - why would you risk all the above promises by denying the One that made it all possible for you?

i am NOT saying for one second that ANY persecution in ANY form is good and should be tolerated. 

i am NOT saying that these extreme people should NOT be brought to justice

i am NOT saying any of it is ok.

here is a link to a really informative article about perspective on persecution....  a must read.

i leave you with a prayer found in the clothes of a dead young child in a Nazi Concentration Camp, Ravensbruck...

 O Lord, remember not only the men and woman of good will, but also those of ill will. But do not remember all of the suffering they have inflicted upon us: Instead remember the fruits we have borne because of this suffering, our fellowship, our loyalty to one another, our humility, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart that has grown from this trouble. When our persecutors come to be judged by you, let all of these fruits that we have borne be their forgiveness.

 how many of us can pray that prayer today?

 

 

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