14 August, 2023

Faith in Persecution

My life has always been focused on the Antichrist because he is the main turning point for all Christians (and Jews) in our lifetime.  I haven't always understood the impact this has on our everyday lives.  I looked for things in life that would/could somehow be attached to when he would show up.  I didn't realize what this search would do to my own life.

We don't seem to see the spiritual battles that are going on all around us.  We think they are caused by other things, so we don't even register their spiritual nature.  Our lives become filled with struggles we can't understand and don't seem to be able to overcome.  We wonder where GOD is, and why He has allowed these problems, and why He doesn't "fix them."  

Our faith seems to falter when some of these trials enter our lives.

We blame GOD, not the Enemy.  

In my own life, I was so confused by all the struggles I didn't understand.  It made me seek GOD for the reasons why.  It made me find answers I never saw before.  I began to understand all those people in the Bible I never really thought about.  I learned more about our true relationship with GOD.

We study the stories of the Bible to learn more about GOD and our relationship to Him.  Because the stories in the Bible are about people from way back in history, we think our lives don't really compare to them.  But that isn't true.  They were people like us.  Every human being throughout life on Earth has the same nature.

We like to lift up the blessings GOD gave them.  We tend to make them holier than they were.  We believe there must have been something supernatural about them to have done the things they did.  But the struggles are the same for ALL humans.

We don't seem to have the same kind of faith GOD's best people had.

I have wished I had that kind of Faith.  I wondered why GOD even put the desire to make places to help Christians on the way to the Antichrist and then didn't provide.  Was it my Faith that wasn't big enough to deserve His provision?  I didn't know.  Something was wrong, but what was it?

I still don't know, and GOD still hasn't provided what Working Together needs to build any resources for Christians as persecutions rise.  I can't make anything happen.  I believe there is a very thin line between prayer and presumption.  We can ask GOD for the things we need, or we can push our own plans into being.  If GOD is going to use Working Together to provide for His People, then He has to provide for its needs.  I know GOD has created this direction in my life, so I continue to wait for His path to making it a reality.

With all the struggles I have had to this point in time, I understand more about the unseen battles that go on in GOD's Work on Earth.  In the beginning, I expected GOD to quickly provide whatever was needed in ways that were normal for our time in history.  It was a godly work, so naturally GOD would provide.  Then a lot of problems seemed to happen.

GOD provided for our individual needs as each day happened, but not in the ways I thought He would.

Persecutions entered our lives.  Hidden attacks we couldn't really fight against.  Miracles happened that we would be hard-pressed to verify.  

Eventually, I gave it all to GOD and tried to walk through each day as it happened, trusting that GOD was bigger than Satan, believing GOD would do with Working Together what He wanted.  I guess I began to see I might die because of my place in GOD's Work, but only when it was GOD's time for me to go.  I couldn't do anything without GOD's provision so I tried to find things I could do in my circumstances.

We are heading into greater persecutions than anyone thought possible.  Technology has changed the battlefield.  I don't know how I will deal with what is coming, or how the greater Church will change, but I know we can survive each day and trust that GOD knows all the hidden details.  He will be with us as we walk each step.  We may not get all the "goodies" we think we need, but we will have enough for the moment.

Trusting GOD in the middle of really hard times is not easy.  We lose things that matter to us.  We might only have the clothes on our back and a piece of bread.  It is what we need for the moment.  

The Bible doesn't say GOD promises everything we want.  He only promises food and clothes.  It was a hard lesson to learn. 

We see the blessings of Job, not the suffering of Job.  The prophet had only a brook for water and ravens for food.  The apostles left everything behind to follow Jesus.  

Faith isn't easy.  It has a price.

I hope I can stay faithful to the end.  I want to spend my eternity in Heaven, with those I love.

In Christ,

Deborah Martin


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