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8.17.2021 – “911”

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!”—Psalm 91:1-2

Over the last couple of days, as I’ve heard of all the persecution that has been unleashed upon the Christians of Afghanistan…

It is hard to even imagine what they are experiencing right now…

…to comprehend what it must be like to go through

this level of persecution.

According to The Voice of the Martyrs, persecution is really nothing new for them…

WHAT IT MEANS TO FOLLOW CHRIST IN AFGHANISTAN:

“Afghan Christians cannot worship openly. They must worship in homes or other small venues, and evangelism is forbidden. Christians and seekers are highly secretive about their faith or interest in Christianity, especially following a surge of arrests in the past decade. Beatings, torture and kidnappings are routine for Christians in Afghanistan…”

The persecution that the bible speaks of

…is very real for them.

But I was also reminded of this…

how REAL Jesus must be to them right now as the persecution intensifies.

How close He must be. ❤️‍🔥

They are NOT alone in what they face!

And they are NOT forsaken!

“…persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed”—2 Corinthians 4:9

This morning, as I was praying for the Afghan Christians who are under persecution—

…it hit me

that even though our lives and experiences are very different,

as brothers and sisters in Christ

we share the same faith,

we read from the same Book (though many of them cannot keep a bible of their own)

we stand on the same truth,

we’re saved and redeemed by the same One and only Jesus Christ,

we are all the children of a Heavenly Father who loves us more than we can imagine.

And though they face a level of persecution that most of us cannot even comprehend…

How real God must be to them right now…

how tangible our Savior must be to them.

In these moments that they face,

He is with them. 😢💝

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”—Psalm 34:18

He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him…”—Psalm 91:15

And this morning, as I brought this deep, overwhelming burden to God in my prayers…

…it’s like He brought a strange sense of joy—with a sense of anticipation, a sense of excitement for what Jesus is doing in the midst of these people, in the midst of what they face.

Our God IS our safe haven, and under His wings, His people take refuge. He makes a way for His peace, within His presence—no matter where we are, no matter what we face.

He has our ‘911’ emergencies “covered.” 🕊

He provides the peace to carry His people through—a peace that makes no earthly sense.

And everything I’ve taught you is so that the peace which is in me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in me. For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous, for I have conquered the world!”—John 16:33 TPT

And I do not understand what it is to face what they face,

but I do know this

Lord Jesus, You understand…

And You are NEAR…

in the midst of our greatest fears…

YOU

ARE

GREATER.

And God, my heart breaks for these people…

But oh God— the stories of Your nearness

and of Your power,

and of Your peace, within Your presence…

Oh, the stories of experience

and encounter with YOU

…that we shall hear. 📖✨

Encounters with You that they will treasure, and not trade for the world

Oh Lord Jesus,

You

are

near

Your people need not fear. 💖☀️

“Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”—2 Corinthians 12:10

Father, will You speak to our hearts, will You guide us in prayer for these people, for their needs right now. Will You stir our hearts, will You speak to us in the daytime, will You speak to us in the night, that we will know SO specifically how to pray, and that we will remember that our prayers truly matter, big and small. As we partner with Your will and with Your heart, our prayers can can truly make a change in this world. Help us to wake up and do our part—whatever it may be. Thank You, Lord. In the name of Jesus I Pray, Amen.

-Heather 🌺

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