Peace family, I’ve been having nightmares for several weeks, and I’m not sure why. They have ranged from things as dumb as my brother continually arguing with me while I try to lead a climbing team up the side of a building, to as full-blown stressful as being hunted by a team of BLM activists trying to kill me with guns as I run on foot through an unfamiliar city in the dark. On the other hand, last night I had a dream that really hit home.
I dreamed last night that a group of radical Muslims took my parents and me, along with several other “Western” people, and were torturing and killing us out of retribution of some sort. They beat us and broke our legs with rocks, then they used large fishing hooks to cut us. They also killed at least one lady with a point-blank gunshot. At the point of the dream where I realized I would bleed to death soon, I started sharing the gospel, trying to think of the best way to explain it to them as I did. In that process, I woke up and realized it was a dream, but I also realized that that scenario is a real one for tens of thousands of our Christian brothers and sisters across the world.
Peace Family, it convicted me of three actions that I want to share.
- We must remember to pray for our brothers and sisters in the persecuted church. We must pray for their peace and comfort, for the protection of their families, and we must have compassion for them and their suffering. We must pray that they will have the right actions and words to say as they are maimed, cut, burned, tortured and murdered. We should pray that their suffering will be brief, and will draw those who attempt to destroy them into a relationship with Christ.
- We must remember to pray for our enemies. Instead of allowing hatred, unforgiveness, or fear to grow in our hearts and destroy our compassion, we have to pray for the salvation of those who want to destroy God’s message of hope or who even want to murder us. We should pray for our personal enemies who have damaged us, but we should also pray for the people groups, even those we do not personally know, who want to destroy us as well, that they could come to know the love and forgiveness available in Jesus, and be saved.
- We must pray that God will be honored and glorified in our suffering. We might not be hunted down and murdered for our faith, but we might be facing disease, or financial ruin, or a person who continually brings stress into our lives, or even a plague of bad dreams that keeps us from ever feeling rested. Let’s obey God, Christ family, and be a witness to others (including the angels) with how well we suffer.
Anyway, those are just a few thoughts today. Pray for the Church, pray for the enemies of the Church, and pray that God will be honored and glorified through our suffering. That’s my prayer for us today, peace family! Hang in there, and remember that He is good and He is in control!