June 10, 2014-Tuesday
Do I really have what it takes to be a "Jesus Freak" or am I just fooling myself into thinking I do? Lately I’ve been reading a lot about suffering servants of Christ. I have been reading Jesus Freaks with my Deeper Studies youth group and the book of Jeremiah in my quiet time. So many people throughout the ages have stood for justice, for Truth, for what is morally right, and for Jesus. They have lost their lives to death or lost the freedom of living as they are held captive by the enemy who didn’t want to hear the Truth. Granted, I have gone through some persecution before but it wasn't nearly close to what I've read about.
As I prepare to go to Thailand, a nation that isn’t even 1% Christian, I can’t help but wonder if I will encounter persecution. Sure, Thailand has freedom of religion but that doesn’t mean anything. Christianity is becoming less and less popular these days, especially in America where they also have freedom of religion. Certain people groups, religions, and social movement organizations have done all they can to make Christianity as unpopular as possible in the eyes of those that are not believers. Shoot even one social rights group has Christians arguing among themselves about whether a certain lifestyle is wrong or not and has fooled many Christians into believing it is OK when the bible clearly says it is not.
It’s not necessarily the persecution I am worried about, it’s the possibility of denying Christ that worries me. It’s the possibility of making a life of security an idol, being safe from harm or disapproval of others. The fact that I have the freedom to choose life over Jesus, acceptance of people over their disapproval is what scares me. Am I courageous enough to stand up to opposition when my life is on the line? Am I courageous enough to live a life that pleases what God thinks and not what others think? Would I be able to handle some of the torture I have read in the Jesus Freaks book that some of these believers have endured? Do I love Christ enough to surrender my life for Him? Will I stand or will I fail? While I don’t know the answer to these questions and concerns, I know I can pray about it now and trust that if it ever comes my way, He will have prepared me for making the right choice.
Lord, if your plan for me includes suffering, give me strength to bear it as Jeremiah and others have. May I always worship You because of Your love for me. May I always cling to the Truth of Your Word, the Truth of who You are, because it is rooted deep in my being. May I surrender my life to You. May a safe, secure life never become an idol in my life. Because you died a radical death for me, may I always live radically for You with faith that is unstoppable regardless of my circumstances on Earth. Continue to give me a heart to weep over sin and brokenness as Jeremiah did. Break my heart for what breaks yours. Show me how to love the way You love, even with my enemies. I have nothing to fear because He who is in me is greater than he that is in this world. While I live in this world may I not be of this world but stand out enough that others see You in me and glorify Your name. Because you are faithful and have always been faithful to me, may I always be faithful to You.