Once again I was reading through my husband's Bible and I found a verse circled I hadn't noticed before. Psalm 79:11 says "Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die;"
Now the words "appointed to die" leaped out at me because of Hebrews 9:27 "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" is the verse the Lord gave me when I first started this journey of widowhood. I asked Him to give me a verse, a solid answer from His Word to answer the boys' question of "why" concerning their father's death. The simple answer is "it was his appointed time to die." His time to go to Heaven to Jesus.
Anyway, I read the verse in Psalms again. I longed to ask my husband why he had circled this verse. My mind began to wonder and ponder and think thoughts the mind can think late at night. I searched the cross reference that lead me to Psalm 102:20. It says "To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death." Okay, like to set free those that are on death row.
The next morning the verse stayed with me and I longed to talk it over with my husband, but as I looked at his picture his lips were sweetly silent. I read my Bible in the quiet hours of the morning and then read something I had set aside weeks ago.
It was The Persecuted Church Global Report 2010 from The Voice of the Martyrs and on page 11 was the verse I had read in my husband's Bible the night before! Psalm 79:11!!! Now it makes perfect sense for it to be in there, but I didn't read the report to look for the verse. Are you getting this? This is how God works in my life.....same verse in less than 24 hours. God is trying to tell me something.
54 nations are classified as restricted and hostile toward Christians. 54 nations!!! In these nations, this blog would cause me to be arrested! Teaching my children about Jesus, praying with a friend on the phone, having a Bible in my purse, going to church, sharing notes from a ladies Bible study, and other normal things to us American Christians are illegal or greatly discouraged in 54 nations of this world! Go to http://www.persecution.com/ and see for yourself.
Jim's dad encouraged me to read Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand, founder of VOM. He spent over fourteen years in Communist prisons. The man knows what he is talking about. Wow! There is a eye-opening book, not that I recommend reading it right before you sleep though.
In his book, Wurmbrand gives a challenge or charge to us Christians in the free world. The first is to live a life of faith with fellowship with the invisible God. We need to be leading lives of consistent Christians, lives of sacrifice. (This is something my preacher has been trying to get us to understand for quite awhile now.) Wumbrand goes on to encourage us to protest publicly as often as Christians are persecuted. He asks us to pray for the persecutors that they maybe saved, to send Bibles, support our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ financially so they can keep sharing the gospel, and to assist the families of martyrs. And last but not least, to pray, pray, pray for persecuted Christians. Let them know we remember them. http://www.prisoneralert.com/
Another challenge I want to give you is to share with your children what is happening in these other nations. http://www.kidsofcourage.com/ is a great site for kids. It is informative about kids in persecuted countries, their way of life, and language. The newsletters are great, ideal for homeschoolers. Sharing this with your kids does several things. First, it makes them see how privileged they are living in a free nation. It alerts them to others who need prayer. It also alerts them to what the future holds.