Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Strength of Hope

“…always being prepared to make a defense to anyone
who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you…” (1 Peter 3:15)

Believers around the world are shocked by the recent news of the martyrdom of 21 Egyptian Christians. And, rightfuly so. The image of 21 believers in Jesus Christ lined up with their hooded executioners standing behind them is one that will not soon fade from our memories. And, rightfully so. Surely, we continue to pray for others who, like these single-minded believers, refuse to deny their faith even knowing there is a good possibility they will be called to experience a brutal and gruesome death because they confess unyielding faith in Jesus Christ. Surely, we continue to pray for the comfort of the families personally impacted by these barbarous acts.

I’m stirred in my soul. Although I didn’t see the video (and don’t plan to), the reporters have said that the last word uttered by many of the men was none other than the Name above all Names — the Name of Jesus. Their hope in the Lord, their faith in the Truth of His Word, and their unwavering testimony of eternal life through Jesus’ sacrifice, was undeniable. The executioners will surely never forget the declarations of hope in the cross of Christ demonstrated by the uncompromising faith of their victims.

Is the hope you have in Christ enough to sustain you in the face of the ultimate persecution? Could you cling to the promise of eternal life through Jesus in the face of barbaric torture? Would you be willing to testify of your relentless faith to your accusers knowing that doing so would cost you your life?

I pray this grisly report from Lybia will stir the Body of Christ worldwide to a deeper conviction of Truth and a stronger testimony of the hope that is within us.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

Refrain:

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

Refrain

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

Refrain

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

Refrain

 

_____
(c) 2015 Jan Ross
All Rights Reserved

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