My heart is so heavy for so many reasons. In fact it’s broken. The same words I hear from a Persecuted Brother who recently told me, “I am broken.” These words should resonant and touch every Christian in the world. But sadly it does not. Sadly we in Western Nations go about our business as usual unaware that somewhere in the world our brethren are suffering, they are losing their minds, they are losing their lives, they are facing such evil and darkness we can not even imagine. And as they reach out to those of us who are watching and listening, they ask for prayer, they reach at anything that could bring them a ray of hope. What a dis-service we as the Body of Christ have done to our mission.
Judgement begins in the House of the Lord, you would think that we would be feverishly about the business of our Savior since His return seems imminent. One would think we would want Him to find us working as we were commanded. Yet sadly we are not. Just as Jesus told us, watch for you don’t know what hour your master will return, just as He gave us so many examples such as the Bridegrooms who didn’t have oil for their lamps, or the workers that were lazy and didn’t care. What have we become?
Another brother who has looked into the face of evil and tasted death, tells of a struggle just to remain faithful. And tells us that in his darkest hour he can feel us praying for him. Pastor Saeed who is in prison under the harshest conditions, enduring torture beyond our comprehension sends encouragement to the Church and Body. Others tell of their flight from evil and how God’s presence led them in the darkness to safety. Waking up each morning in hiding or locked away to avoid detection, not knowing where help or your next meal will come from. Not knowing if you will survive another minute, let alone another day. One brother say’s “we are mentally sick.” Do you know what that’s like? I hear the words of one in a refugee camp that say’s “I couldn’t even give my child the orange he was crying for.” Or the brother that say’s: “My people are dying and no one cares.” Or another in a refugee camp “We haven’t had meat or even salt in weeks.” And it’s verified others resort to eating grass just to survive. Do you know what that’s like? Do you care? These are all true and verified statements, so if you have been turning away from them, you go against what the Bible commands us to do. It’s very simple really. Hebrews 13:3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
I saw an article today from World Watch Monitor that was titled Libya is not the place for Christians to come. They give this quote from a Christian man in Libya: “I am a Christian and that’s why the men would always come to our house and attack us. We were three Christian Nigerians living in the same house … Even in the streets, armed men would ask me if I am a Christian.”
Libya, where western nations said everything would be better if we just rid the country of a tyrannical leader.
So please remember these words “I am broken” and “I Am Christian” and “we are mentally sick” and “my faith is wavering.” Remember to pray for those enduring, remember to encourage, even if all you can do is say “I am praying for you.” And as Pastor Saeed asks, pray for a revival in America. Every time you pray say a prayer for those in bonds, those suffering, ask for God’s mercy and for caring hands, and blessings. Ask that your church take a minute from every service to pray for these brethren. And use empathy as commanded. Empathy: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also : the capacity for this. (Merriam Websters Dictionary)
So the next time you see a story of Persecution, or the evil spreading across the Globe, don’t turn your face in disdain or horror, read it, absorb it and pray!