Friday, August 26, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Peace in the Midst of Violence
Romans 8:18-28
 

Shannon Thomas
Long Island MTC, New York 
18 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.

Before last week, many of us may have never heard the name Omran Daqneesh. However, in recent events, Omran Daqneesh became the face that represented thousands of children killed and injured in the midst of brutal civil war.

Omran Daqneesh is a five-year-old boy who was pulled out of a damaged building from an airstrike that struck the war torn country of Syria. The photo of Omran posted all throughout media is one where he is covered in dust, smeared in blood, and sitting in the bank of ambulance, completely dazed and seemingly in shock. One of the cameramen that captured footage of Omran being pulled out of rubble said, “he did not say a thing. He was traumatized from the shock… He did not scream, he did not call anyone…. with his innocence, how he wiped the blood off with his hand. He was used to all this- the airstrikes, the blood- this is his daily life.”

Unfortunately, the story of Omran is far too common among the nation of Syria and many other countries facing violence and persecution. These clusters of events in history should remind us that our world is one permeated in suffering and pain. For many, destruction runs rampant and waking up in fear for one’s life is a constant reality.

In today’s scripture portion, we see that suffering was also common for the first-century believers. Many of the believers at the time were facing many kinds of persecution and at times even faced death. But Paul encouraged the believers to hold fast to their faith, for the suffering in this world was merely temporary.
As believers, we must hold on to the hope and knowledge knowing that even in all the pain the world experiences, there is still a purpose. Even in the midst of unfathomable violence, God is all knowing and sovereign above all. There will be one day where there will be no more tears; a day where will we be able to peacefully coexist and ultimately be reunited with our Father.
Till then, we are called to continue to live in radical obedience, faithfully serving the Lord in everything we do. We may not be in immediate persecution or danger, but we are called to love, help and pray for our brothers and sisters who are. We as believers must refrain from being indifferent to the world around us. Although what's happening around the world may not seem to directly affect us, we serve a global God, and therefore are called to love a global people.

We must place our anchored faith in knowing that although our trials in this world are and will continue to be great, our God is greater. The Lord will restore what evil has destroyed. So until that beautiful day, let us as a church continue to live faithfully, and pray earnestly, Come, Lord Jesus, come."


PRAYER


Father, even in the midst of violence, You are continually faithful and sovereign. We ask that You burden our hearts for those around us. Allow us to continue to seek You through these tribulations for our comfort, guidance and strength. We await your second coming, O Lord. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
“Was there ever a better reason given under Heaven for being fearless than this- that God is with us?” – Charles Spurgeon