Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hebrews 11: for the persecuted church, Faith is the Victory

Our persecuted brothers and sisters sitting in jail cells, they need faith.

To survive, they need to know, down deep, who they really are. And Whose they really are. They need to know they are free. They need to know they are winners, conquerors, prayer warriors in the battle that is not against flesh and blood.

Because everything and everyone around them is screaming the opposite. Mocking them for being stupid. Guilting them for abandoning their families. Threatening them for being treasonous. Spitting on them for bucking the system everyone else accepts.

They are walking the road of the Cross, well-trodden by their fellow-suffering King and High Priest, who heard the same voices:

"He saved others, but he cannot save himself. We have no king but Caesar. For the sake of the nation, this man must die. What is truth? Prophesy - who hit you?"

And they endure this abuse when they are tired, in pain, hungry, thirsty, deprived of medicine, good food, the normal comforts, and above all isolated and unable to respond at will. A perfect storm of misery, with God seemingly standing by and conversing with the Prince of Afflication, "Behold my servant Job."

And yet, by faith they know He is NOT just standing by. By faith they know Christ is with them in example and spirit, the ultimate brother in suffering. By faith they know he will deliver them from that suffering, coming on a white horse. By faith they know He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and their pain will be remembered no more.

The old hymn says, "Faith is the victory, we know, that overcomes the world."

Said another way, faith is only the overcoming victory if




After I sang a song I wrote about and for the persecuted church last week at Jericho Congregational, a brother with a relative in severe family distress asked me for the words. We agreed that there are all kinds of prisons, not all of them have bars we can see.

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