The recent happenings in the middle east where Christians are fleeing for their lives and dying for the sake of Christ has me doing some pretty deep thinking. I found myself wondering, “would I stand strong in persecution?” Do I have the type of deep seeded faith that would help me stand up for Christ?
I had read of a man whom according to the reporter was forced to say “there is no god but Allah” in order to save his life, however the minute he said it, they shot him.
Immediately my brain was flooded with the following thoughts.
First of all I mentally corrected the reporter because NO ONE can force you to say something, those words have to be formed by your mouth and given voice to by you.
Then I felt deep compassion on him as my human side passed judgement on him. “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” Mark 8:35 Wasn’t this clearly a case of denying Christ to save his life?
Then I remembered how Peter denied Christ not once, but three times and yet Christ called him a rock.
My human side wanted answers. So since this man denied Christ to save his life, was he saved in the end?
At this point perhaps, I heard God speaking to me in a way. He reminded me that he is God, and he is JUST. This situation is in his hands and HE is the judge. The story wasn’t there so I could judge the martyred Christian, but so I could examine my own heart.
And I wondered “what would I do in persecutions? Would I stand strong, or would I give way and try to save my life? Or maybe not my life, would I deny Christ to save my son’s life?”
I don’t need answers about that man, I need answers about me. Is my faith deep enough to keep me rooted when persecution comes?
Those are the questions I need answers to, and to be honest, I don’t know. I am the girl who reaches for a novel instead of God’s word. The one who is more likely to fall asleep thinking about the next day than praying. The one who has a very good head knowledge of the bible, but the heart knowledge is often missing.
It’s time for all of us to do some serious thinking, and asking God to give us deeper roots in his word.
And while we are looking within for roots, we need to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ, and ask ourselves what we can do to help.
World Vision is helping provide food and shelter to displaced Christians and other miniority groups.
I know there are lots of trustworthy organizations out there that are on the front lines helping. Please pray for them as they serve the persecuted church.