“My Times Are in Your Hands”
Psalm 31:14-15 (NKJV)
True Christians in America are already dealing with the persecution of despicable discrimination, media mockery, ridiculous ridicule, contemptuous court cases, and sometimes violent vitriol (as in the cases of Cassie Bernall and Rachel Scott at Columbine, and the violent attacks by homosexual activists against the promoters of Proposition 8 in California), but it is likely to get much worse and widespread far sooner than most Americans realize. Last summer our home congregation had a guest speaker from Voice of the Martyrs, and after the service, some ladies asked him if he believes such violence is coming here, as many Christians in other countries now experience and endure. His response was immediate – “Oh, it’s inevitable!” In full view of the impending danger to believers, I want to share three responses:
1. Don’t be surprised – be prepared! The apostle Paul wrote, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” II Timothy 3:12 (NKJV). Jesus said, “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.” Matthew 24:9 (NKJV)
2. Don’t be afraid – trust God! It is an amazing, but well established fact that the best church growth takes place in spite of persecution (or because of persecution). There has been phenomenal growth in China and Sudan parallel with powerful pressure and persecution. Let’s pray like David did. “But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in Your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me. Make Your face shine upon Your servant; save me for Your mercies’ sake.” Psalm 31:14-16 (NKJV)
3. Don’t miss the blessing – rejoice! Let’s remember the words of wisdom from our Wonderful Counselor. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:10-12 (NKJV)
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