Thankful and Prayerful

By now you’ve heard of the horrible attacks on Christians in Sri Lanka last Sunday on Easter. While not surprising that Christians are persecuted, news like this still is difficult to hear. And I don’t think we are surprised that we don’t hear about a lot of the persecution of Christians on the evening news.

Even here in America we are not exempt from danger. While we have much to be thankful for and we are not seeing outright persecution here, we still remember horrific events at churches around our country as well. I hope the stories that we hear cause us to both be thankful and prayerful. Thankful that our nation is still relatively safe from these types of events. There is a vast difference between being aware and watchful on the one hand and fear and worry on the other hand.

So, I encourage you to give thanks for the freedoms we have to worship our God in Spirit and in truth. You will not be arrested at the church building this Sunday as we gather for worship at 11am and enjoy a meal together and as we reassemble together as a body at 6pm. Praise God for this freedom to honor the Lord’s Day and to keep it Holy. In many places that is not allowed. And even as we face more ridicule for holding to a Biblical faith, let us remember those who are not as blessed as we are and pray for them.

We have heard in the last couple of months the struggles our missionaries have faced in both China and Haiti. And yet we know that God is still building His Church in these places even in the midst of struggle and persecution. Even in Sri Lanka, Christians will gather for worship this Sunday as they did last week, knowing that there may be dangers associated with worship. Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering. Pray for each other. Pray that in our peace and ease we would not be complacent in our faith, but that we would take our faith just as serious as those who know they may lose their lives as they gather for worship.

Only God knows the future and He is sovereign over our lives. What a blessing it is for us to remember to trust in the love of Christ.

Romans 8:31-39, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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