Have you ever?
“But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you. Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 3:6-8 (NIV emphasis mine)
“Is this the day I die? Li Quan’s father had taught him from childhood to ask this question every day. He told young Quan, “One day the answer will be yes, and that day you must be ready…” (quoted from “Safely Home”)
Have you ever read a fictional book that impacted your life and outlook in your walk with Christ ? I have. Let me share just a little…
Several years ago, I lead a Bible study on the book of Acts. I think it was one of my favorite ones I lead. At the last lesson we met at a friend’s house to have dinner together. What a beautiful fellowship we had. We were talking about the early Christian church—how it must have been in those days when they met for fellowship and breaking bread. AND the persecution they went through.
Our hostess mentioned a book that she read about the Christian church in China. I was intrigued to read the book myself. Although the book “Safely Home” is categorized under fiction, the author took real events that happened in China to tell a story. A story that was real for many Chinese people who became Christians. A story of persecution, imprisonment and death.
After reading the book I had so many questions. I questioned myself: “Would you stand for Christ like the characters in the book?” I honestly don’t know, but I hope I would. I think that we are truly blessed living in a country where we can openly admit that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. We don’t have to worry to attend worship services on Sundays (or Wednesdays) just to be arrested afterward.
Although many things have changed in China, I believe that many still suffer because of their faith in Christ. I think that is why I admire woman like Cyndi, who followed the Lord’s calling to pack up her family and possessions to go on a mission trip to China.
I am not saying that we all should pack up our stuff, but I would like to encourage you to at least pray for the Christians in China; for Christians around the world. Not all are free to worship Him…many suffer. I am thrilled that the Lord has crossed my path with a sweet, young woman in China who I pray for daily—that she will stand firm, trust in Him and will share His love with the people around her.
Lord of Heaven and Earth. I am asking You to open our hearts to pray for our brothers and sisters that are suffering because they believe in You and Your freedom. Lord, help us appreciate the freedom we have in this country and the countries how do not forbid to worship You freely. In the precious name of Jesus ~ Amen.
You can also find me at my personal blog Sting My Heart