Say What?!

Hardships come with living on this planet, doubly so for Jesus followers.
Philip Yancey, author of Finding God in Unexpected Places, states, “According to some estimates, Christians in developed Western countries now represent only 37 percent of believers worldwide. As I travel and also read church history, I have observed a pattern, a strange historical phenomenon of God ‘moving’ geographically from place to place: from the Middle East to Europe to North America to the developing world. My theory is this: God goes where He’s wanted.”
Could the reason lie in another of the author’s observations? “When difficulties come, Christians in affluent countries tend to pray, ‘Lord, take this trial away from us!’ I’ve heard persecuted Christians and some who live in very poor countries pray instead, ‘Lord, give us the strength to bear this trial.’”
Even troublesome trials have a purpose. Jesus said we’re blessed when they come in His name. Paul states believers should actually expect such trails. James writes they mature our faith. And not because we’ve done anything particularly wrong either; but, because they can be used to make us holy is the insight given from the Hebrews author.
Las Vegas, Nevada. Houston, Texas. Southern Florida. Puerto Rico. The Caribbean. Mexico. Israel. These people, let alone believers, are facing tremendous hardship at the moment. And what about how it’s affecting those who don’t even live there?
Merely living on this planet brings its challenges…some extremely more so than others. Yet when they come, and they will, the question for Jesus followers is, “Will we pray to be delivered from or to be given strength to go through them?” Your answer will lie in the following, “How bad do I need or want to get to know Jesus?”

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