I am so very humbled by an article I read in the Jerusalem Post; in this article, a Christian woman from the Middle East who calls herself “Maryam” tells believers in the West, “Don’t pray for the persecution to stop, but pray for the Christians there: for their boldness, their encouragement, for their faith, and that they can all be witnesses for God’s work and for God.”
She continued, “We are not afraid or worried that the persecution will increase. We are just feeling that this is God’s time. God is working perfectly now in the Middle East. Even with all these crazy stuff happening, God is really working now… ” She also read a passage from her Arabic Bible: “But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad” – Exodus 1:12. WOW!
My heart was stirred up by this timely piece. I live in luxury, abundance, and comfort. I have everything I could ever want, need, or desire. I have so much “stuff” that I don’t know where to put it all. I am a complainer. When trials come my way, my first thought is to complain, grumble, or blame others. Rarely do I respond in prayer or love to the Lord when I first encounter difficulties. However, God has used Maryam’s bold testimony to move my heart to grieve over my hardened soul and to seek His loving grace to empower me to change.
There is no doubt that the power of the Holy Spirit is at work through men and women who remain true to Christ in the midst of terrible persecution. Rape, murder, human trafficking, kidnapping, and the plundering of our possessions are not things any of us look forward to, yet Maryam shared, “We are not afraid or worried that persecution will increase… God is working perfectly now in the Middle East.” O’ how I pray for this kind of faith! O’ how I pray to honor the Lord with such faith in Him alone! May we who name the name of Christ seek to be loosed from our calloused, hardened hearts and become renewed in our minds to the true purposes of God in the earth. May we like, Maryam, believe and profess in the midst of great suffering and persecution, “God is working perfectly now…”
May you know the love, grace, and power of Christ at all times my dear friends.