All I can do is praise God every minute that my son is back in the United States. This is especially true after the last several days worldwide! I don’t know about you, but as the news of the Libyan Ambassador and other Americans being killed started popping up on my TV screen, I got an instant sick feeling deep down inside my being. It was similar to the day when I watched the news updates about the Twin Towers being destroyed in the 9-11 incidents. As I have heard about even more trouble popping up everywhere, I can’t help but wonder how much more time we have before Jesus returns.
Not only are we seeing more attacks simply because someone is an American, but also because of one’s faith. As Americans, we haven’t seen near the trial and persecution that other lands are getting just simply because they are professing a faith in Jesus Christ. However, it seems as though it is increasing here as we speak. Last week my friend, Pastor Roy in India, sent a photo to me about a silent march of the Christians there recently. The Christians are experiencing great persecution from the government in their land. Typically if someone was unhappy with the government in India they would do more of a riotous march. They would gather together, walk through the streets and be shouting bad things aimed at the government. They might also beat up cars or other things along the path to show their anger about the situation. Last week’s march, however, was silent. Christian men donned white robes with black belts while marching through the streets. The black belts were to symbolize their sadness or grief over the current situation. No one spoke; nor was there any violence. It was a quiet and peaceful act to protest the decisions the government is making regarding the Christians.
When the government is corrupt or simply not God-honoring, it affects us all who are God-honoring negatively. As we are going into another election soon, I don’t know about you, but I grieve. Sometimes I want to put on a white robe with a black sash and quietly walk through the streets to protest my unhappiness with the direction in which our leaders are taking our country just like they did in India. As Christians living in this world right now, what is our place? What should we be doing? Who should we vote for? Yesterday, our pastor had a great sermon about how we as Christians should react in the days ahead. The one thing that rings in my head from what he said is that no matter who gets elected, God is not surprised. He knows what our days ahead involve and He also knows how it all ends. For those of us who are believers, it ends well.
My heart is heavy for those in the midst of chaos and persecution. I am very aware it could happen to any of us at any time, anywhere. I am praying earnestly for those affected daily. I am praying for other people’s sons and daughters who are serving abroad at this tumultuous time in our world. I am praying for our current leaders and future leaders if there were to be a change in the months ahead. One thing I know. I live in a world in which I don’t belong. I’m just passing through for a while. I’m not meant to be content here. I may not even feel safe here at times. However, the Holy Spirit that lives in me can guide me and direct me safely home. He can prompt me on the things I am to do as a Christian such as pray or take action. He will tell me when to speak and when to be silent. He can even guide my decision for who I vote for! I need only to trust in Him.
So in the days ahead when you see the suffering and chaos all around, take the time to pray. Pray for those who are being persecuted, suffering and even being killed because of their faith or nationality. My pastor, Chris Russell’s, sermon yesterday was so reassuring and encouraging at this time of crisis for our nation. I hope you might take the time this week to listen. It should be posted in the next day or so and is well worth it in order to see these times in a different light. I have touched on a few of his points in this blog, but he certainly said it well. Even though the sermon was titled, “Jesus, Politics and Obama…A Refreshing Perspective”…it is not talking for or against any candidate. It just simply looks at all of this from a Christian point of view. Just remember, it won’t be up for another day or so on the site. Just hang on to this message for a few days so you can listen later. Here is the link!
I was encouraged by 2 Corinthians Chapter 4 today in my daily reading. Take the time to ponder it and see how God speaks to you. I look forward to hearing some feedback from today’s message. See you next week!