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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Inner Strength (04/20/06)

TITLE: Inner Strength (ii)
By Elizabeth Budd
04/21/06


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This year on Easter Sunday, our family attended a sunrise service. While the sun flamed over the treetops, we sang "Crown Him With Many Crowns" and listened to the pastor proclaim Christ's victorious resurrection. We listened to the choir sing about the certainty of His return. We visited with other Christians. After the service, we drove home and either went back to sleep or spent the rest of the morning baking ham and mashing potatoes. We visited at the grandparents' home with family members we don't see very often. We returned home tired to watch a little TV and go to bed.

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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This article has been read 488 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sue Stone04/27/06
How true - there are places in the world you really have to want to believe to put up with the pressures not to - and it takes the hand of God to keep you there. Nice reminder, nicely done.
Rita Garcia04/27/06
A good reminder. We are blessed, but what if? Well written!
Peace & Joy, Rita

Jan Ackerson 04/29/06
Very good job of contrasting the two different realities. A good challenge to believers!
Lynda Schultz 05/01/06
A very timely reminder. In the west we assume we are safe from what our brothers and sisters suffer in other parts of the world. But our complacency in all areas of life, especially the spiritual, will have consequences. Well done.