Encouragement From The Word

Privilege and Persecution

The tragedy in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, and its politicization, has illustrated the reality that Christians are under attack, being persecuted and executed in these days, and often, the western media don’t even mention it.

It’s not getting any easier to be a follower of Jesus in our time.  Even as little as 50 years ago, the church still enjoyed a privileged position, in our country and in many western nations.  But that is no longer true.  As time rolls on, our relationship to the culture is looking more and more like the church of the first century.

And in many ways, that’s actually good news.

The church that experiences cultural privilege is less likely to rely on God. The church that experiences cultural persecution is more likely to rely on God, because he’s all there is to rely on!

And the church that experiences cultural persecution has a greater tendency to grow if it’s being faithful to Jesus and his Word.

So don’t worry about persecution; remember that Jesus is greater than any persecution we could face.

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16.33, NLT).

Encouragement From The Word

A Rough Week For The World

Normally, after a week that has had so much “news” – everything from an ice storm to bombs going off – I would write to reflect on where God is in the midst of all this.  And I could still do so, but there is someone who already has done so, and with eloquence.  If you are not familiar with Ann Voskamp, and her book, One Thousand Gifts, you will be after you read this post that she wrote yesterday.

Her words capture what we need to know in these challenging days.  May they be a blessing to you.  And don’t hesitate to click the links in the text of her meditation.  They will enlighten you with some details of what has been going on in our world.  Please read Ann’s post.

Jesus said, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16.33b, NLT).