I was prompted to write this blog after a week of hearing many negative and critical remarks about our country, our government, and life in general. I am concerned when I see Christianity attacked and belittled, and I believe that we must do everything we can to be good witnesses before all people. I am certainly not immune to negativity, but when I study the bible and read the promises of Jesus, I am able to return to positive thinking. Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:23, NIV).
History, even recent history, reveals that the church tends to grow when under attack. When Christians were being harshly persecuted in China, millions of Chinese people became Christians, even though they had to meet in secret house churches. In many parts of the Middle East, brave Christians risk property loss, family separation, or even death as they share the gospel, and many people have accepted Jesus as Lord of their life. This has all happened because Christians were willing to take up the cross and be God’s witnesses wherever they were.
When we recognize and trust that God is in control and work to be God’s good witnesses, we can make a difference and we will be better equipped to follow Paul’s instructions: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14, NIV).
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”— Numbers 6:24-26 (NIV)