Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Inner Strength (04/20/06)
TITLE: Inner Strength (ii)
By Elizabeth Budd
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On the other side of the world, in India, our brothers and sisters in Christ also celebrated Easter. They too attended special services celebrating Jesus' resurrection. They too carried their Bibles and read the almost unbelievable story. They too enjoyed the company of other Christians. But while we drove home unmolested to take pleasure in the rest of the day, they were attacked and beaten.
These men and women, whose only crime is believing in Christ and trying to bring others to Him, were attacked by extremists. Some were beaten with cricket bats. One pastor was slapped and beaten with chains, rods, and sticks. His arm was fractured, his ribs broken. Another Christian required stitches to close up a head wound. Some were dragged to a Hindu temple and told to worship or be beaten. They were beaten. (www.persecution.com)
Where do these Christians, and so many like them in other countries, find the inner strength to hold fast to Christ? How do they keep serving Him in the face of such merciless persecution? Why do the continue to preach Christ?
I think the answer is found in Psalm 27, Isaiah 40:28-31, and Hebrews 11. They know the Lord, Who is their light and their salvation. They know the One Who gives power to the faint and strength to the weary. They remember that He is the everlasting God Who doesn't faint or get tired. They mount up on eagles' wings and remember the great cloud of witnesses cheering them on.
If the day ever comes when we in the United States are truly persecuted for our faith - not merely mocked or ridiculed - we will have to look up as they do to the One Who is unchangeable. We will have to find in Christ the strength to endure and, perhaps most difficult of all, the strength to love and forgive the ones holding the bats.
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