TUESDAY, JANUARY 30
“persecuted, but not forsaken;”
2 Corinthians 4:9 ESV
WHEN PERSECUTION HAPPENS: BE ASSURED
One evening a woman was driving home when she noticed a huge truck behind her that was driving uncomfortably close. She stepped on the gas to gain some distance from the truck, but when she sped up the truck did too. The faster she drove, the faster the truck drove.
Now scared, she exited the freeway. But the truck stayed with her. The woman then turned up a main street, hoping to lose her pursuer in traffic. But the truck ran a red light and continued the chase.
Reaching the point of panic, the woman whipped her car into a service station and bolted out of her auto screaming for help. The truck driver sprang from his truck and ran toward her car. Yanking the back door open, the driver pulled out a man hidden in the backseat. The woman was running from the wrong person. From his high vantage point, the truck driver had spotted a would-be rapist in the woman’s car. The chase was not his effort to harm her but to save her even at the cost of his own safety.
In 2 Corinthians 4, the Apostle Paul testified that even though others were trying to do them harm, because they were Christians, God had not “forsaken” them. The word forsaken means to abandon, desert, leave in straits, leave helpless or totally abandoned. Yesterday we discussed how the word “persecution” means to be chased. Even though Christians are chased by people who don’t like Christianity, we can be assured that God is right there with us in the chase.
Author Eugene Peterson says in Reversed Thunder, “While conflicts raged between good and evil, prayers went up from devout bands of 1st century Christians all over the Roman empire. Massive engines of persecution and scorn were waged against them. They had neither weapons nor votes. They had little money and no prestige. But they did have prayer. And that prayer helped shape the course of history.”
Our prayers can do anything God can do. Thank God for His presence with you when you are being persecuted. Thank Him for hearing your prayers. Pray that God would change anyone you know who is persecuting Christians. Pray for anyone you know who is being persecuted to have strength.