February 12, 2021
Friday, Day 802
God is calling each of His children to suffer for Him. Philippians 1:29 makes this clear to us, “For you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.” Paul wrote this during his imprisonment in Rome.
Jesus said in Matthew 24:9-10, “They will deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and you shall be hated of all nations for my name sake. (10) and then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and hate one another.” What is more Paul told Timothy, his protégé, “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).
And so, we must expect and prepare for the coming onslaught against believers, which we already see happening in the West just as it has occurred in many other areas of the world in the past 100 years. The fact that Lisa Miller and I are in prison is merely one indication but the signs are abundant! Christians are being “canceled” by the cancel culture, being marginalized, shamed, and kicked off media platforms for refusing to compromise God’s Word. We are being falsely ridiculed and blamed for many of society’s ills. Christian organizations with no warning are having their ability to process credit card donations nullified and stripped by the platforms or credit card companies. Churches are being fined for meeting while gyms, marijuana stores, strip clubs and others are allowed to remain open. All of this targeting of Christians is increasing at a dramatic pace, and The Constitution seems now to offer no protection for us.
How then do we prepare for such troubles? For it will eventually happen to us. Scripture says we are warned plenty of times in Scripture not to be caught off guard, but to be ready to face such difficulties. I am not fearful of what they might do to me and my family but have made certain preparation for the worst of scenarios, such as cutting off our utilities, refusing to allow us to buy or sale, or stripping us of access to our bank accounts or retirement funds. All throughout Scripture we are provided with examples of God’s servants making preparation for difficult times coming. Joseph preparing for the famine is a prime example. God expects us to do what we can to prepare without panicking or living in fear. We must continue to trust God to carry us through difficult times but we are to prepare.
But the most important thing we can do is to prepare our own hearts by drawing close to the Lord. Peter says it very well, “And who is he that will harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your heart, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who ask you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that and nothing in which you are slandered, those who reveal your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than what is wrong” (1 Peter 3:13-17).
I pray for all that you might take heed and prepare. We are living in troubled times and we must draw close to HIM.
In His service, Philip