Thursday, October 23, 2014

Persecution: on which I am not an expert

I have been hesitant on what to write for this month's Romans 12 study.

You see, Romans 12:14 was up.

Bless those who persecute you.  Pray for them, do not curse them.

It's not because it isn't a great verse, because it really is.

No, I just don't feel like I am an expert on the subject.

Middle class American.  Hardly been off U.S. soil.

Certainly have not felt the pain of persecution.

Who am I to tell you about praying for those that persecute you like it's no big deal?

No, I just am afraid anything I will say will belittle the true pain, suffering, perseverance that is going on right now.

My fellow brothers and sisters, beat, jailed, ridiculed, killed.  All because they love Jesus. 

It's hard for me to wrap my mind around since I have had no experience in it.  I can have conversations in open public, can freely go to church, drive with a fish emblem on my back bumper.

Without a second thought of any repercussion from it.

But truly, if we are One Body, shouldn't our brother's and sister's enemies, be OUR enemies?

When we pray for our family that is in the trenches of a persecuted church, do you pray for their enemies as well as them?

It can be a hard pill to swallow.

But despite the headlines, the poverty, the war, the executions of children, God is still moving.

He said He would never leave us.  And He always keeps his promises.

So when we pray for those who are facing persecution because of their faith in Jesus, pray also for those that hate them, who kill them.  You never know how the Spirit will move.

Apostle Paul was there once.  And look how he turned out.

Let's not let up, give up in our praying.  Because the fervent prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:17).

Because we may be sitting pretty now, but there is no guarantee that will stay.  

And if and when that happens I will be encouraged to know that someone across the world will be praying for me, and for the changing of the hearts of my persecutors.

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