2 Corinthians 4:8-9 – We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (NIV)
Hebrews 13:3 – Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow-prisoners, and those who are ill-treated as if you yourselves were suffering. (NIV)
My son and I were doing devotions recently, and the subject of persecuted Christians came up. He asked me if that really happens. We talked about how there are places in the world where people have to meet in secret to have church because they risk financial ruin or losing their life.
I have to admit that I have not thought much about Christians outside of my little world. My son#39;s comments made me consider how much we both have to learn. I started doing some research, and I am saddened by what I have found. However, knowledge is the beginning of change.
What about us? We can worship freely. We can own Bibles. We may hear a snide remark, "Oh, you#39;re a Christian?" every once in a while. Does that make us back down, or do we stand up proudly and say, "Yes, I am!" Do we have that kind of courage to continue to worship in the face of discomfort?
Sometimes when something is free, we tend not to treasure it as much. If we have to fight for it, we become more involved.
Prayer is a powerful weapon in the fight.
Ephesians 6:18 – And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. (NIV)
Prayer: God, help us to be aware of the situations of Christians in countries all around the world. May we treasure the freedom we have to speak Your name out loud in public. Thank You for the Bible and for its many words of wisdom that tell us how to handle these situations. We pray for those Christians around the world who are not able to worship You freely. May they have the courage and strength to remember that they are persecuted, but not abandoned &mdash by You, or by us. Amen.