FAITH THAT BRINGS HOPE


STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM

FAITH THAT BRINGS
HOPE
======================
…for everyone born of God overcomes the world.
This is the victory that has
overcome the world, even our faith. 1 John
5:4

We often think that faith is our duty, or something we can give back to God.
In reality, we cannot even do that on our own. There is nothing we
can give to
God. We must rely on Him for everything—even our faith. When we
accept it as
His precious gift, we find victory over sin and trials. We could
never have
this victory if we relied only on our own tenuous faith. “Faith
does not
always provide exemption from suffering, but it does keep us from
being
defeated at the hands of suffering.”

Carl Moeller, Open Doors’
USA President says, “I met secretly with a
courageous believer who had been
forced to hang from his ankles or wrists
every day, subjected to repeated
beatings and was crammed in a three-foot
square box for three
weeks.

Racked by memories of the agony he’d been through, Aran had been
looking at me
with a pained expression until I asked the question, “What were
you thinking
or feeling during that time?”

His face completely
changed. A huge smile broke across it, and he gave me two
thumbs
up.

What was he thinking…?

Aran simply said, “That I was counted
worthy to suffer for Jesus Christ.”

A Christian leader in another
restricted country shared the situation there in
these words:

In our
country, we live in the midst of a pressure cooker. To survive as
Christians,
we must have a pressure cooker faith. Our young people decide for
Christ not
because He offers them the most, or because it is fashionable, but
because
they consider that here is One worth dying for. That may even be what
their
discipleship may have for them.

Standing Strong Through the Storm (SSTS)
examines persecution and the results
of persecution—suffering and martyrdom.
Satan wants to dishearten us and
create hopelessness because of persecution
and suffering. We will expose
Satan’s lies and show how by faith we can
experience God’s restoration of our
hope—“the oxygen of the human
spirit.”

RESPONSE: Today I will rely on the Lord to walk by faith and not
by sight, no
matter what happens.

PRAYER: Lord, help me to ignore
Satan’s lies and live victoriously today by
faith in the hope which only You
can give and restore.

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