Martyrdom

Martyrdom

Today’s entry from EQUIPPED! (written years ago) is very appropriate with the news I just got: yesterday a expat worker in T was stabbed and killed, the first martyr since 2007. Others, both expat and local believers have received death threats.
 
This is in addition to the expelling of dozens of long term workers from the country,
 
And, the government just approved turning a historic church building into a mosque.
 
Pray for the expat workers and local believers to not give in to fear, but to keep on the armor, to be strong in faith, in the Lord who is their shield and fortress.
 
“Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands are my delight.”
Psalm 119:143
 
I praise you this morning, Heavenly Father, for you are the Sovereign One, controlling all that goes on, all that comes to me. You hold back the tide of evil, allowing Satan only so much rope, and you use the fury of his attacks to advance your Kingdom.
 
I read of how many thousands in Haiti have come to faith after the great earthquakes of 2010. You used this tragedy to plow the hard and rebellious hearts of people, opening them to hearing Truth and surrendering to you.
 
Suffering is an unavoidable part of life in this sin-warped world; you are the One who allows the suffering that comes to us, regulating it according to what we need to grow and give you glory, as well as what we can bear with your grace.
 
In the suffering that comes, you have reasons, you have goals, you have growth, you have privileges for us. And we have the responsibility to flee to you, to turn to your Word, to take up and use your grace, to praise, to rest in you, to embrace what comes as opportunity to bring you glory.
 
I praise you:
• for your wisdom, which is far above our understanding;
• for your grace, which is more than enough;
• for your compassion, which provides all we need;
• for your love, which you pour out on us every moment.
 
The words of Psalm 119:141-144a come to mind, “Though I am lowly and despised, I do not forget your precepts.” The negative reactions and hurtful words and actions of people and their rejection of us can easily block out Truth from our thoughts.
 
But our response must be to go immediately to your Word, Lord, to find our comfort, perspective, help and direction. People may not understand us, but you do. We may not understand what’s happening and why, but you do and will help us through it.
 
“Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands are my delight.”
 
We so easily confuse comfort and convenience with good; but you so carefully teach us that weakness, hardships, insults, persecutions and difficulties are also things to delight in—when we have your perspective, think your thoughts and see with your eyes (2 Cor. 12:9,10)
.
Praise you that with your Word you work to give us the big picture, to help us understand what you are doing. You draw us up above the snares and rebellious thoughts of the world, the flesh and the devil.
 
Thank you for the shield of faith that we can raise with praise to ward off the fiery darts of self-pity, anger, frustration, impatience, self-centeredness and hurt as well as short-term thinking and feeling.
 
• Praise raises the barrier of protection.
• Praise heals the wounds.
• Praise opens our eyes.
• Praise produces perspective.
• Praise brings freedom.
 
May Your commands be our delight no matter what we may experience.
 
Prayer: “Praise you for your great wisdom, love, grace and goodness. We bow before you in worship, we lift up your name, we exalt you in your perfection and we surrender our hearts to your love. We rise up now to obey you through the day as part of our worship. May you be glorified in our lives today. Amen.”
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