Daily Devotional: Psalms 11:1-3
1 In the LORD I take refuge. How then can you say to me: "Flee like a bird to your mountain? 2 For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart. 3 When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?"
12 Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.
As we sit in our fancy church buildings and worship God, we take for granted the freedom to do so. It is so easy for us to assume that all those in other parts of the world enjoy the same privileges we have always had in this land. This is not true for many Christians in many places around the world! There are those who face severe persecution if caught with a Bible or teaching it to others. Many have been beaten or even executed when caught participating in a worship service.
How would we react if we faced this today? Would we have faith like the Psalmist or like the apostle Paul? Would we be willing to suffer for our Lord? It would be so easy to just say we would do so without considering what it would really be like if we faced it in person. Paul and Silas were thrown into prison for their work for the Lord and at midnight they were singing praises to God. Peter counted it a privilege to be beaten and counted worthy to suffer for the name of Jesus.
While we don’t face this kind of persecution in our land today, we may have to put up with someone making fun of us or ridiculing us for our faith in God, in Jesus and in the Bible. When this happens do we back down or just keep silent so it won’t happen again? Do we proudly acknowledge that we believe in Jesus and that we are Christians or do we try to not let others know? While we must not portray a self-righteous attitude about our faith, we should be willing to share the gospel with anyone who will listen. God will take care of us.
O Lord God, I am thankful for your love and your care for me. Give me faith to never be ashamed of you or your gospel. Give me wisdom to see opportunities when they arise to share your word and give me strength to take advantage of them. I ask your blessings on those in other countries that are being persecuted for their faith and ask you to give them strength to endure and deliverance when it is your will. Thank you for the freedoms I enjoy in this country and I pray that they will last for many generations to come. I pray in the name of Jesus.