March 2, 2015

Do we know what real affliction is in the United States?  Do Christians know what it means to be persecuted?  What do we consider trials and conflicts?  What do we consider discrimination in regards to our faith in Christ?  For a lot of people, a trial is a shortcoming in money for bills they have to pay and food they have to buy.  A trial is a snowstorm that prohibits them from going to church.  A trial is exceedingly high balances on credit cards and mortgages.  A trial is your favorite TV show being canceled.

The worst trial we can conceive is something tragic happening to our physical body.  We realize after test results that we have cancer, or we are involved in a terrible car accident.  Our kids become involved in alcohol and drugs and become sexually active in the tenth grade.  While these are all trials and can be devastating, they are not an attack on our beliefs.  We turn to what we believe, in the power of our Lord to give to us the strength to persevere through the situations listed above.  But how would we be if we were dragged out of our house, our small group or out of our church building on a Sunday morning because we were breaking the law and worshipping God.

We do not know what we would do.  This is one of those possibilities were cannot conceive happening in this country.  I see it in the children I observe that they are not aware of the probability that when they are older they might face persecution similar to what the early church faced.  A majority are enamored with celebrities in music and movies, more excited about news concerning them then they are when we drag them to church.  I worry that the church would die because the depth of our faith and the faith of our children is so shallow.  What would I do if a person held a gun to my wife’s head and told me to denounce Jesus as my Lord or she will be shot?  I’d like to say that I wouldn’t because I know that she knows Jesus and would go to heaven.

I need a radical faith to burn inside of me.  A faith that believes in visible physical healing, not the charlatans that are on TV after my money.  One where, like Jesus at the pool in John, I can walk by a man or woman, hold their hand and tell them in the name of Jesus to rise and walk.  A faith that is not concerned with appearance or opposition, only one that believes that God can do anything and all things that I have read in the bible, and can carry me through all situations.  A faith that will be the same whether I live or face death.

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