The Christian Online Magazine -
Chances are good that what we consider persecution is really small scale when compared to the persecution that took place in Bible times, or to what is occurring in other nations today. Take the Sudan, for instance. A recent reported stated that since 1983 more than 2,000,000 Sudanese Christians have been martyred. Today, more than 4,200,000 Sudanese are refugees... their homes destroyed and all their possessions stolen. Many who are not refugees are in slavery. In Sudan Christian children are regularly stolen from their families, taken into slavery by the Muslim government.
Maybe our sufferings pale in comparison, but Im not going to suggest that you have no right to hurt or seek relief. Our God is a mighty God, a compassionate God, and an ever-present God. He does not score our problems and give his attention only to those with the highest scores. He will not shrug his shoulders at you or say, What are you complaining about? Youve got it good compared to So-and-So!
God wants you to bring your burdens to Him. Trust him. He is your loving Father. He wants to help you. Open your heart to Him, share with Him your doubts and fears. Whether you are persecuted by family, co-workers, neighbors, government officials, or even evil spirits, you can go to God and He will hear you. May he guide and protect you each day.
Psalm 11:1-2~ In the LORD I take refuge. How then can you say to me: Flee like a bird to your mountain. For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart.
Isaiah 51:12-14~ I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mortal men, the sons of men, who are but grass, that you forget the LORD your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, that you live in constant terror every day because of the wrath of the oppressor, who is bent on destruction? For where is the wrath of the oppressor? The cowering prisoners will soon be set free; they will not die in their dungeon, nor will they lack bread.
Matthew 5:10~ Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Romans 12:14~ Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
2 Cor. 4:8-10~ We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
2 Tim. 3:12-15~ Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 34:17-18~ The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
In closing, my prayer this month comes from Psalm 35:4-9. This was Davids prayer at a time when he was being persecuted. The Lord has promised that his Word will not return void, and therefore I often incorporate scripture into my prayers. If you are suffering from persecution, cry out to God with these words of David: May those who seek my life be disgraced and put to shame; may those who plot my ruin be turned back in dismay. May they be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the LORD driving them away; may their path be dark and slippery, with the angel of the LORD pursuing them. Since they hid their net for me without cause and without cause dug a pit for me, may ruin overtake them by surprise -- may the net they hid entamgle them, may they fall into the pit, to their ruin. Then my soul will rejoice in the LORD and delight in his salvation.
Copyright 2001 Brenda B. Covert