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Your Future = Suffering, Persecution, and Normal Christianity

Do you fear at times what your future may hold as a Christ-follower?  Do you worry that Iraqi and Syrian Christians’ experience will become yours?  Maybe you are an Iraqi or Syrian Christian reading this today.  I’ve noticed that there are readers from countries all over the world who have begun reading these posts.  What a unifying thought, to think of some of my beloved brothers and sisters who are seeing your children beheaded and one another slaughtered to read this, maybe reading it as a letter of affection to you and to all of us who have nowhere near the sorrows you have.

The media doesn’t seem to highlight these sufferings nearly as much as say Robin William’s suicide recently – as terribly grieving as this was.  A friend of mine pointed out to me yesterday the irony of this weak and lacking misprioritization of topics in the national media in the US.  Robin wanted to die.  None of these Christians and other minority groups want to die except maybe because they want relief from their suffering inflicted by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) and others.  You can read a recent report about ISIS and it’s growing power and financial strength HERE.  Regarding suffering Chrisitans, I’d point you to a talk from John Piper earlier this year that talks about the opportunity believers have in suffering to grow in our affection for our Savior, referencing of course Philippians 3 – CLICK HERE.

My personal prayer is that I would amp up my passion for Christ in response to hearing about the suffering church.  My good buddy Patrick Atkins is constantly in prayer, and I join him today yet again to have a high priority on (1) Prayer for revival and renewal through believers and non-believers finding their HOPE in Jesus Christ and His death for OUR SIN!  And, (2) The Persecuted Church – all followers of Jesus Christ in particular.  I also include in my prayers those who aren’t calling themselves followers of Jesus, yet who are also being targeted and raped and killed and tortured in the name of this false religion.  You know a religion is not true religion when it results in slaughtering all who do not bend the knee.  This is a seeking to grasp at the power and judgment of God.  Only God ultimately decides who is okay and who is reprobate and deserving of His wrath.  The only plumb line we have is the death of Jesus Christ and our placing our full weight on God, fully relying on Him to save and rescue us.

In this place of holy dependence, we find ourselves increasing in passion to RUN INTO HIS ARMS!  ALL WE HAVE IS CHRIST!  Jesus is our LIFE!  My wife and I have begun having the song “All I Have Is Christ” playing as we wake up.  CLICK HERE for a YouTube of this beautiful worship song.

Oh holy God,

May we relentlessly respond to Your relentless grace!  May we run into Your will for us more every day, abandoned to You.  May You and Your sufferings for us on the cross become more and more real to us than even our day-to-day labors of love.  May our labors of love be more and more inspired by Your Holy Love for Your Bride, Your Church!  Please spare Your dear children from the sufferings they are encountering around the world, but wherever You do not do so, please enliven our hearts to find You as all the more near and all the more excellent and all the more beautiful to behold and long to see.  Come, Lord Jesus, and bring Your people home!  We long to see You!  We trust You in the mean time and struggle on in Your sustaining grace, finding all our delight in You, LORD, for You care for us and are our prize posession.  We count all as loss compared to KNOWING YOU!

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