Many throughout the world are presently being severely persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ and for their testimonies for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Numerous saints of God are being martyred because they refuse to deny the name of Jesus Christ, they refuse to bow to the world’s system, and because they will not stop sharing the true gospel of salvation. Jesus said we would be hated as he was hated, and that as he was treated, so would we be treated, if we are his true followers. So, this should not take us by surprise when this happens, and it will come to America, too, because scripture teaches us that in the last days this persecution will increase, and that the dragon will be enraged, as though he is not already, and he will pursue Christ’s true servants and witnesses with hateful vengeance. Yet, we are not to be afraid of those who can kill the body but who cannot kill the soul. We must believe that God is sovereign over all things - events and all people - and that nothing can enter into our lives, outside of ourselves, but what he allows it, and he has a purpose in it which will bring glory to his name, and many to saving faith in Jesus Christ. So, trust Him. Rest in His love. Believe Him that He will work it all for our ultimate good. Divine discipline is painful, but necessary in order to mature us, to purify us and to make us holy. We are not here on this earth for our own pleasure, but rather to honor and magnify our Lord God. “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. 69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us— 72 to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. ~ Lu. 1:68-75 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. ~ John 3:19-21 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. ~ 1 Peter 3:13-17 Why Are You Afraid? / An Original Work / December 5, 2013 Based off Various Scriptures Do not be afraid. Your Lord is always by your side. Serve the Lord in righteousness Before Him all your days. Those who hate the light Will not come to the Lord. They fear their deeds Might be noticed. So, they hate the light, And they embrace the night. Do not be afraid, Although your enemy attacks. Dare to share your testimony Of God’s saving grace. Do not fear their threats, But honor Christ, your Lord. Be prepared to give an answer For the hope you have, With gentleness; respect. Why are you afraid? For all that’s hidden will be shown. What I tell you, speak in daylight. Let the truth be known. Do not be afraid Of those who’ll take your life. Fear the Lord with understanding. Trust Him with your life, And give not up to strife. Do not be afraid. Take courage, it is I, your Lord. Bow before Me; now adore Me. Oh, why do you doubt? Listen to the Lord. Get up, and bear His name! Run and tell the world He loves them. Jesus came to save. Give Him your all today.