Date(s) - November 12, 2017
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If God is For Us, Who Can Be Against Us?
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”
(Romans 8:31, 32 NIV).
Above is the theme verse for this year’s International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. This passage goes on to say: “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:33-35, 37-38 NIV).
Sometimes as Christians we may feel that the world is against us. Certainly many people in the world oppose the Church. As Christians, we can expect some persecution because of what we believe. Jesus explained clearly in His teachings about that: “‘Truly I tell you,’ Jesus replied, ‘no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life’” (Mark 10:29-31 NIV).
Persecution for our faith can separate us from friends and family. In some countries, Christian leaders are thrown into prison simply because of practicing their faith. They are separated from their families—who sometimes do not even know where their loved one is being imprisoned. Families are left to support themselves while the breadwinner is confined to a prison cell.
Yet in the midst of such suffering, God gives comfort to these families. They can pray for each other’s protection, safety and provision. God hears those prayers. Despite their hardship, these believers are cared for by the Lord.
Here in Canada, Christians may not suffer as much as our fellow believers in other nations. We sometimes face opposition because of our beliefs, but are usually not jailed because of them. But we need to remember to intercede for our persecuted brothers and sisters.
“Pray for us …” is the cry of persecuted Christians around the world. Today across the earth more than 100 million of them are suffering for their faith in Jesus Christ. Each year, Christians in more than 130 countries stand in prayer with our persecuted sisters and brothers through the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP). Please join with us as Christians across Canada unite in prayer for our brothers and sisters who suffer because they declare their faith in Christ.
IDOP Canada 2017 will take place on Sunday, November 12. If you are unable to participate in IDOP Sunday on this date, we encourage you to set aside time on another day to remember our persecuted brothers and sisters. The important thing is to pray. The IDOP Canada team annually creates free downloadable resources. Be sure to register to access those resources. The 2017 resources will be posted in early fall. Thank you for your prayers.