THE REPORT OF THE PERSECUTED CHURCH:
"Richard Wurmbrand dared proclaim his loyalty to Christ rather than bow to a government hostile to the gospel. For this, he spent a total of 14 years in prison, two of those years alone in a solitary cell. As he sat alone, he dreamed of a mission that would one day help Christians like him. Today, you have the opportunity to read his testimony in: Tortured for Christ" (The Voice of the Martyrs). "One Chinese church leader, who spent 23 years in prison, once said this to Christians who did not face persecution: Sometimes you need to build yourself a cell. He says, "I was pushed into a cell, but you have to push yourself into one. You have no time to know God. You need to build yourself a cell, so you can do for yourself what persecution did for me—simplify your life and know God." It is vital that we "Be still and know that He is God" by spending time with God, to grow in Him, so we are prepared to stand strong in the face of persecution" (Standing Strong Through The Storm, Open Doors Curriculum, 2015).
"Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering".
Romans 12:12 AMP
"Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer".
QUESTIONS FOR DEEPER REFLECTION:
1. Have you ever felt like you were in a prison? or imprisoned by some circumstance that you can take and relate to those who are in real prisons suffering for their faith?
Ask God to reveal where you may need to eliminate the things that don't really matter in light of eternity from your focus? Have you de-cluttered your life and adjusted your focus in light of eternity?
God our thoughts are not Your thoughts, neither are Your ways our ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, Your ways are higher than our ways and Your thoughts than our thoughts. We know that there are countless Christians who have died without seeing the fruits of their labors. All that has been and all that is to come is in your hands, and our labor is not in vain. Thank you for your strength and hope that comes from sitting at your feet where you give what no-one and nothing can take away!
(Insert any additional) In Jesus Name, Amen.