Tuesday, November 1, 2011

PERSECUTION AS STRATEGY

On Sunday morning, during my present visit in northern MN at Susie’s, I had the blessed opportunity to go to a fellowship meeting. About a dozen folks were in the house, mostly 60 to 70-plus years old... and when I walked in I knew I was at “home”... they were joyfully worshiping and praising the Lord.

I attended because a couple I met about a dozen years ago, from another portion of northern MN, was going to be there, the husband speaking. I always LO
VE listening to him share.

Voice of the Martyrs is their present ministry. Between their involvement with VOM and other groups, he has been in China, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. He has smuggled Bibles, attended underground church meetings, baptized brand-new Christians –-
once in mucky water right next to cobra-infested river banks. He's 70 now and still ready and willing to go.

When I left the house and was climbing into my car, something caught my eye. In the midst of a very gray day, bright red berries hanging in a tree.


And that is one of the principles most of us don’t quite understand. Before I was told about this
word carnival today, I had already been thinking about the manner in which God drops His bright red color into our lives and the lives of others ... especially the persecuted, imprisoned, martyred in many locations of our world.

When Doug quoted pastors and others in persecution-oriented locations it caught my attention... and my heart. You see, they see persecution and imprisonment –- gray and dark in our perception -- as God’s colorful strategy to bring more and more people to Jesus. They know that at some point, just like us, they will be taken Home –- maybe far earlier than most of us will experience –- but before that occurs, whatever it costs here on earth, their focus is to draw people to Jesus.

The Blood of Jesus sprinkles and sparkles throughout our gray world. HE is the World-Wide Strategist.

3 comments:

Zee said...

I follow VOM closely - did so for a few years, ever since I have read the book by Randy Alcorn called "Safely Home" about persecution in China.

I totally agree with you that persecution, while it's terrible, has uses. I sometimes even wish I still lived in the communist USSR instead of "free" Ukraine. Ask anyone on the street about religion, and the stats say that over 75% of people will say "I'm a Christian" (most of Ukraine is Orthodox, since that's the generally accepted religion here), but I doubt half of them are (I wish)... Persecution, on the other hand, forces people to value their beliefs and know what they believe in. And yes, I can see God's strategy even in something like persecution.

Okay, enough rambling :)

Great post!!!

Cris Ferreira said...

God has strategies that we don't understand at first, but after years, sometimes decades or even centuries, we look back and get it.
I remember reading in a book by Philip Yancey, when he talked about the church in some middle eastern countries where now they start the see churches growing. For many many years, christians were executed and the believers were spread. Now, they are gathering and growing. He said that a lot of people died and never saw any results of their work before dying. And it took many years for results to appear.
So we have to trust Him, because sometimes, we don't see the results, but they will certainly come.

A Joyful Noise said...

The plans of God are often beyond our scope of understanding. Persecution is ramped not so much here in the USA, but actively in other nations. The news has little or nothing to say about Christians being killed or imprisoned for their faith. Your 70 year old friend is a true missionary – ready and willing to return to the field and to the harvest. Thank you for your kind comment to my post that was linked to “One Word at a Time.”