Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. Revelation 12:12.
In all ages God’s appointed witnesses have exposed themselves to reproach and persecution for the truth’s sake. Joseph was maligned and persecuted…. David, the chosen messenger of God, was hunted like a beast of prey by his enemies…. Stephen was stoned because he preached Christ and Him crucified. Paul was imprisoned, beaten with rods, stoned, and finally put to death…. John was banished to the Isle of Patmos “for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
These examples of human steadfastness bear witness to the faithfulness of God’s promises—of His abiding presence and sustaining grace. They testify to the power of faith to withstand the powers of the world.
The season of distress and anguish before us will require a faith that can endure weariness, delay, and hunger—a faith that will not faint though severely tried.
Many of all nations and of all classes, high and low, rich and poor, black and white, will be cast into the most unjust and cruel bondage. The beloved of God pass weary days, bound in chains, shut in by prison bars, sentenced to be slain, some apparently left to die of starvation in dark and loathsome dungeons…. No human hand is ready to lend them help.
Will the Lord forget His people in this trying hour? Did He forget faithful Noah when judgments were visited upon the antediluvian world? Did He forget Lot when the fire came down from heaven to consume the cities of the plain? … Did He forget Elijah when the oath of Jezebel threatened him with the fate of the prophets of Baal? Did He forget Jeremiah in the dark and dismal pit of his prison house? Did He forget the three worthies in the fiery furnace? or Daniel in the den of lions? …
Though enemies may thrust them into prison, yet dungeon walls cannot cut off the communication between their souls and Christ. One who sees their every weakness, who is acquainted with every trial, is above all earthly powers; and angels will come to them in lonely cells, bringing light and peace from heaven.
Conflict and Courage p. 369
—–Please pray for Leslie who is battling cellulitis in her leg. Rose
—–Please pray for DG who is in the path of the wildfires. Pray for her safety. M (People are running out of food, gas, and other necessities in the evacuation areas. They need prayers as well.)
—–please pray get to keep all my sick pay vacation pay and no one will try to get me fired before my time. Ann
—–Please pray for me. I still have a respiratory problem that comes and goes. It’s been going on for at least 5 months. John
—–Please pray for a coworker of mine. I’ve worked with him for 9 years and he’s a great brother in Christ but has been going to a church that has some very strange beliefs. He’s been attending a prophecy seminar at a local SDA church and has loved it and shared it on FB. I don’t know who invited him but I’d love to welcome him into our church. Will you please pray for him and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the prophecy series at Southern Hills SDA Church? Jesse
The other day, Esther needed to do some things and asked me to babysit. As a treat for the children I let them watch Janice’s Attic on the computer. I like that program because it is very quiet and soothing as well as informative. Janice was visiting a quartet playing brass instruments. She showed how important it is to have all of the parts of the music to make sense of what was being played by having each player play their part for us to guess the song. Nothing made sense until the trumpeter played the melody. Suddenly, all of the other parts made sense.
So it is with Christ’s followers. Each has a part to play within the body of Christ. If we were to listen to only one part, it is not harmonious, but as we allow the Holy Spirit to direct us in all things, we become part of the beautiful whole. Paul puts it this way, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit, To another faith by the same Spirit, to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit, To another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another divers kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour, and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it, or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” “And he gave some, apostles, and some, prophets, and some, evangelists, and some, pastors and teachers, For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” 1 Cor 12:1-27, Eph 4:11-16
May we be so close to Jesus that we may be used by Him as He wills. May we remember Jude’s warning to, “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 3, 4 May we be in unity with our brethren without compromising the great truths found in God’s Holy Word is my prayer.