By Dawn Hill, The Lovesick Scribe
Words seem futile in times like this, at least words originating from my own thoughts and emotions while sitting in the comfort of my own home far away from unimaginable horror and persecution. Right now, there are thousands of people thousands of miles away in Afghanistan facing incomprehensible tribulation, torture, and even death. A recent article spoke of a pastor in Afghanistan receiving a letter from the Taliban saying, “We know who you are, what you do, and where to find you.” Thankfully, he had gone into hiding before they reached his home. Others are suffering the loss of their children, particularly their daughters. The Christians are and will be hunted for the sake of Christ. Many acknowledge they will likely see Jesus’s face to face in a matter of weeks. These words are futile. Their suffering is not.
My prayers turn daily to my brothers and sisters in Christ in Afghanistan with Romans 12:15 coming to mind, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” A faint orange highlighter illuminates those last five words, and in praying for them to be strengthened in their faith in Christ, protected amid peril, comforted in the face of evil, and emboldened to proclaim the gospel, my heart breaks for them in the uncertainty they face and for the hopelessness unbelievers in that country face in these dark times. I weep for them and with them, for the loss of innocence taking place in the lives of young girls who are forcefully taken from their homes and placed into sex slavery. I think of the desperation seen in the eyes of young women begging to leave and the images of young men clinging to the side of a C-17 plane in flight only for a few moments. There is so much suffering in the world, and there is no end in reasons to pray and to petition the Lord in these times. There is certainly an assurance of such atrocity, and I cannot fathom or comprehend what these people are facing and the evil staring them in the face. Weep with those who weep.
And while the second half of this verse jumps off the page, the words preceding put their suffering in perspective. For those in Christ Jesus, their suffering will not be in vain. Though there is weeping, there is rejoicing with fellow believers even in death. The promise of eternal life cannot be taken from them. Those who kill the body can do no more. It is reported that when a group of Christians found out the Taliban had taken over, those gathered sang,
Let goods and kindred go,
this mortal life also;
the body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still;
his kingdom is forever!
Romans 8:18 says, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” The verse prior to this reminds us that to be a co-heir with Christ comes with the provision of suffering with him in order that we may be glorified with him. 2 Corinthians 4: 16-18 says, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” It is convicting that the first response from these believers was not one of despair or contempt, but one of praise unto the Lord. The suffering is real. Eternity supersedes it all. Rejoice with those who rejoice.
So many are weeping right now for various reasons. We weep and pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Though we are separated by distance, there is no distance in prayer. We pray for their protection and for God’s mercy. We pray that the gospel goes forth amid this tribulation and those souls are saved out of darkness. We pray for those who face uncertain death as believers in Christ. Though there is sorrow and pain, death has no sting because of the victory found in Jesus Christ. There is great joy in His salvation. They will see Him in all His glory as He welcomes them into His glory. It is in this that I rejoice with them while still weeping for their momentary affliction. An eternal weight of glory awaits them.
|Dawn Hill is a disciple of Jesus Christ, a sinner saved by grace, a wife and a mother. Her writing challenges individuals to be true disciples of Jesus Christ while searching the Scriptures. After coming out of a hyper charismatic/ NAR church, she is passionate about sharing the truth and pointing people back to Jesus Christ and back to His written Word as the standard of authority for Christian living and instruction.
Dawn is the writer and blogger known as The Lovesick Scribe. She resides in Virginia with her husband and her two children.