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Reading:                                        Psalm 119

כ Kaph

 (Verses 81-88)

My soul faints with longing for your salvation,
but I have put my hope in your word.
My eyes fail, looking for your promise;
I say, “When will you comfort me?”
Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke,
I do not forget your decrees.
How long must your servant wait?
When will you punish my persecutors?
The arrogant dig pits to trap me,
contrary to your law.
All your commands are trustworthy;
help me, for I am being persecuted without cause.
They almost wiped me from the earth,
but I have not forsaken your precepts.
In your unfailing love preserve my life,
that I may obey the statutes of your mouth
(NIV).

Reflection

Christians around the world are going through an unprecedented time of persecution. Broadly speaking the news media has done very little reporting on this topic. In China, new church buildings have been bulldozed to the ground. In Syria and Iraq, Christians have fled for their lives as Islamic extremist rampage through their communities raping and killing any who remain. In India several states have passed anti-conversion laws in an attempt to halt the spread of Christianity. Christmas celebrations were cancelled in Manipur state because of clashes and threats of violence from Hindu radicals.

liz-kranz-3

Radiant glory — photo courtesy of Liz Kranz

For those who are suffering, these verses from Psalm 119 are particularly pertinent: All your commands are trustworthy; help me, for I am being persecuted without cause. They almost wiped me from the earth, but I have not forsaken your precepts.

Satan and his minions are determined to wipe Christians from the face of the earth. Sensing that his end is near, he has inflamed a host of religious extremists and fanatics to attack the bride of Christ. Though he rages, he will not succeed.

In their suffering, persecuted believers turn to the Lord and to his holy word. These words are their prayer: In your unfailing love preserve my life, that I may obey the statutes of your mouth.

We ought to thank the Lord daily for the freedom we have to assemble and worship our Savior. It’s a freedom we may one day lose.

Response: Father God, have mercy on those who are suffering for their faith. Be with those who are fleeing persecution. Travel with them and be their guide. Show me how I can help. Amen.

Your Turn: Do we take our freedoms for granted? Have you faced opposition because of your faith?