Thursday, May 2, 2013


“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated
me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love
you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the
world, but I have chosen you out of the world.
That is why the world hates you.”
                                              John 15:18-19

      Yesterday, I read an article that made my blood boil. I read it again then proceeded to write my congressman and explain my total disgust. I knew the all-out, unabashed, unashamed persecution of the church (the bride of Christ) was on its way. I suppose the article shocked me into realizing that it is here—now! It happened faster than I supposed.

     Webster’s defines persecution as constantly afflicting or harassing so as to injure or distress, oppress cruelly—especially for reasons of religion, politics or race. One glance of a major newspaper, perusal of the internet or random hour of watching television confirms my supposition.

     The article began by telling readers that “The pentagon has released a statement confirming that soldiers could be prosecuted for promoting their faith…” (by Ken Klukowski) HUH? I thought I misread so I read it again.

     The article continued: “This regulation would severely limit expressions of faith in the military, even on a one-to-one basis between close friends. It could also effectively abolish the position of chaplain in the military, as it would not allow chaplains (or any service members, for that matter), to say anything about their faith that others say led them to think they were being encouraged to make faith part of their life.” HUH?

     A chaplain that cannot talk about faith in God is like a military jeep in the desert without wheels. Useless! And, that is the point—isn’t it! Nothing would make the persecutors of the church happier than to muzzle those who speak the Word of God.

     After I threw my personal and very private little fit and wrote my email to my congressman and felt my blood pressure returning to normal, I reached for the Word. Funny how so often we do that last! It was there that I was reminded of what I already knew—the Words of Christ—written in red: “Remember the words I spoke to you. No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” (John 15:20)

      I flipped over to Revelation chapter four. Persecuted for his faith in and following of Christ, John, sentenced to exile on the Isle of Patmos, had a personal encounter with his Lord. The Holy Spirit allowed him a vision into heaven. Seated on His throne with the appearance of precious stones, a rainbow resembling an emerald encircling the throne and lightening flashing as thunder pealed over the crystal sea, John saw God! In control. Not wringing His hands. Not plotting Plan B. Not wondering what to do next! In control!

     After that reading, like King David, I encouraged myself in the LORD my God. (1 Samuel 30:6) I reminded myself that there is nothing I can face that is bigger than my God. Nothing can overpower Him. Nothing can separate me from His love. Nothing! If you are a follower of Christ, it is the same for you.  

     So, the next time I feel the need to have myself a little fit, I will go to the Rock, the Word, the Redeemer and remind myself that God retains all control forever! When the time comes and Plan A reaches its culmination, I, along with many of you, will be bowing in the presence of our Holy God while the persecutors of the church will be left scratching their heads and saying, HUH!

     I am praying for their redemption. I hope to meet some of them in heaven. Until then, I will face the “huh” moments knowing that my God is in control! Glory to His Name!

©JP 2013

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