It’ll Be Worth It

2 The Lord protects and preserves them—
    they are counted among the blessed in the land—
    he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
3 The Lord sustains them on their sickbed
    and restores them from their bed of illness. Psalm 41:2-3

David is still referring to those who help the weak here. Many blessings will come upon this person. Since Jesus Himself cannot be physically here to take care of the downtrodden, he has tasked us to do it. Are we up to the task?

If it were easy, everyone would do it.

It’ll get messy.

You won’t know what to say or do.

It’ll be awkward.

But it’ll be worth it.

“Inasmuch as you’ve done it unto the least of these brethren, you’ve done it unto me.” Matthew 24:40

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Blessed to Bless

Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;
    the Lord delivers them in times of trouble. Psalm 41:1

I suspect there’s a certain segment of people that bristle when reading this verse. Even within the Christian community there are people who regard the weak as just that, weak.

Jesus himself had regard for the weak. If you look through Scriptures, you’ll see plenty of references to caring for the weak, which is often defined as widows, aliens, orphans, and those in prison. Three of those three groups make regular headline in the news shows these days.

So, then, what are we to do? Since Jesus himself had a special regard for these classes of people, shouldn’t we? For those with the gift of mercy, it should be easy. For those where mercy isn’t in their genes, it may be a big struggle.

Helping these classes of people is not required, of course, but you will be blessed by doing it. Ministering to each of these groups poses challenges, but ministry itself in general is like that. People have problems and when we get involved with those people, we have to deal with those problems.

This is how we are blessed.

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For Everything

17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
    may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
    you are my God, do not delay. Psalm 40:17

David considered himself poor and needy? Wow, at one point in his life he was the King over Israel and Judah, and yet he says he is poor. In a sense we are all poor and needy, aren’t we?

This week I read a quote by Corrie Ten Boom: “You don’t realize that Christ is all you need until Christ is all you have.”

What if all was stripped away? What if all we had was Christ, what then? It’s impossible to know though we’d like to think that He would be sufficient for us. As you may remember, Corrie Ten Boom and here family hid for many years from the Nazis. Everything they had was stripped from them. They had to rely on Christ. It wasn’t an option.

So the question for us then is “what’s holding us back from completely relying on Christ for everything?”

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Mild Persecution

15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
be appalled at their own shame.
16 But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
“The Lord is great!” Psalm 40:15-16

I return to the list of persecuted Christians again.

  1. India
  2. Sri Lanka
  3. Tunisia
  4. Bhutan
  5. Algeria
  6. Mali
  7. Palestinian Territories
  8. United Arab Emirates
  9. Mauritania
  10. China
  11. Kuwait
  12. Kazakhstan
  13. Malaysia
  14. Bahrain
  15. Comoros
  16. Kenya
  17. Morocco
  18. Tajikistan
  19. Djibouti
  20. Indonesia
  21. Bangladesh
  22. Tanzania
  23. Niger

This time the list is of nations that mildly persecute Believers.

Persecution can take on a lot of forms. Imprisonment is one major form. getting fired from your job is another. Being shunned and ignored by neighbors (because the government tell them to dissociate) is a third common form of persecution. In some nations, authorities will come to churches and snatch the pastor and burn the church to the ground, and sometimes with the people still in the buildings!

So, there is real persecution going on in the world. We do our Brothers and Sisters a disservice when we try to hide from or ignore these realities.

Again, choose a nation from the list and pray for that land. Probably you do not know anyone there, but that’s fine. The Lord knows your heart, and obviously He knows what is going on in those lands. Pray also that you will not grow cold and calloused to these things. If we don’t pray for the Persecuted Church around the world, who will?

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Awareness

14 May all who want to take my life
    be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
    be turned back in disgrace. Psalm 40:14

If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I have a passion for making people aware of the Persecuted Church around the world. Most of the time in our busyness we forget our Brothers and Sisters who are under intense persecution. The following 27 countries are considered heavily persecuted from Open Door USA’s list of persecuted nation.

Click on any of the links to find out more about that country.

  1. North Korea
  2. Somalia
  3. Syria
  4. Iraq
  5. Afghanistan
  6. Saudi Arabia
  7. Maldives
  8. Pakistan
  9. Iran
  10. Yemen
  11. Sudan
  12. Eritrea
  13. Libya
  14. Nigeria
  15. Uzbekistan
  16. Central African Rep.
  17. Ethiopia
  18. Vietnam
  19. Qatar
  20. Turkmenistan
  21. Laos
  22. Egypt
  23. Myanmar (Burma)
  24. Brunei
  25. Colombia
  26. Jordan
  27. Oman
  • Then pray for the Believers in that country. Ask that God would send confusion among those who are persecuting the Christians. He’s done it countless times in the past.
  • Pray that those who are being torn down because of their faith would remain encouraged and joyful despite their circumstances.
  • One last prayer: pray that the Lord will help you to be passionate about that land.
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