Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me. (Psalm 50:15)
It is a nearly unbearable feeling reading about brothers and sisters around the world who are being persecuted for their faith and feeling helpless in knowing how to respond. This is true in situations like the current catastrophe of Iraqi and Syrian Christians as well as in the everyday persecution friends face in many corners.
My heart has been breaking the last several weeks as I stand with my sisters and brothers in Christ facing persecution today. The news brings us an onslaught of horrific stories of what is happening, whether it be in Iraq, Syria, Gaza, or beyond. At times, the feeling is so overwhelming that I fight compassion fatigue. Yet, despite the onslaught of bad news, I stand firm with my friends and do everything I can to support them. As the psalmist says, we can call on God in our day of trouble and He will deliver. I’ve seen this happen many times. One leader even just told me, “Joe, we thank God when we are persecuted because it makes people curious and several come to faith.” So, here is what I pray:
- That persecuted believers would know the hope God gives (Eph. 1:8)
- That the Holy Spirit would strengthen them (Eph. 3:16)
- That they would know how much God loves them (Eph. 3:17)
- That they would know how to share the gospel (Eph. 6:19)
- That they would fearlessly tell others about Jesus (Eph. 6:20)