Even If

even if

For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. (1 Peter 2:21)

Read: Ezekiel 47:1 – 48:35, 1 Peter 2:11-3:7, Psalm 119:49-64, Proverbs 28:12-13

Relate: I admit I have a bias. I have uprooted my life and moved into the Middle East in a very large part because of what is happening in Syria and the refugee crisis that Bashar Assad spawned and ISIS exacerbated. My heart, my prayers, and my thoughts are constantly running in that direction and I have to admit that when I see some of the bias, bigotry, and nationalism coming out of the west masquerading as Christianity it simply breaks my heart. When I see one after another supposedly Christian governor, president, or politician cave to the political winds and say, “Not here, not now” I am almost embarrassed to call myself American.

I hear the arguments. To a degree, I empathize with the feeling even though it is usually misguided and based on partial information or false facts. People want to stay safe. People want to stay comfortable, and there is a fear that allowing in a “torrent” of refugees will shatter that security. What if terrorists sneak in among those refugees? It will cost us way too much to support them. They should be taken in by neighboring countries/Muslim countries/somebody else… anybody else. Why are we allowing in Syrian Muslims but not Syrian Christians? Etc. I have dealt with some of these false fears (here and here) other places and will be dealing with others in the near future.

React: It is as close to an impossibility as one can get but what if every single one of these fears or concerns were true? They aren’t, but for argument’s sake, what if they were? Are we as Christians called to be good only when it is convenient and safe? Are we supposed to be selective in who we show love to? If we have the ability to do so, but don’t use it can we even call ourselves Christian? (Hint: James and John both say no.)

Physical comfort is not a factor. Finances is not a factor. Politics is not a factor. Even our own security and safety is not a factor. Jesus Himself said, “Do not fear the one who can harm the body…” The only concern we should have is, “What is the right thing to do?” What is the loving thing? If Jesus were here, how would He respond to the needs of the poor and the destitute? The thing is, Jesus is here. He is living in and through us. At least… He is supposed to be.

Respond: 

Dear God,
I ask that Your love would be made manifest through Your Church. I pray that You would stir the hearts of those who call You Lord. I pray that You would motivate them… us… to step into a place of obedience even if it requires a level of sacrifice or discomfort beyond what we think we are willing to accept. Help us to embrace a love that would drive out fear. Help us to follow You even if that road we walk ends in a sudden and violent end. Let disobedience be something we fear far more than death.
Amen

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10 thoughts on “Even If

  1. ‘Let us fear disobedience more than death.’ Your prayer is spot and very sobering. Let us all come to that place by the grace of God.

  2. Hi there

    What an interesting read and I found one of the comments quite relevant to your post

    “We would need to pray, to find out what God would have us do. I wish someone would send a ‘list’ of what is needed in that region of war. I know there are a lot of people there with a lot of needs. How do we get help to them/or ourselves to them (like you have) when they are inside of war zone?”

    • If you want to donate to someone who is daily working with Syrian refugees, there’s a button to the right that says, “To Support The River Walk…”
      The school I work with is also partly funded through world relief. World Vision and Doctors Without Borders are reputable organizations that are doing much good. I was just talking with someone who works with Save the Children. I like what he is doing but I cannot speak towards what percentage of donating in America/Europe goes directly to what is happening on the ground here.

      I can say that often the biggest problem on the ground inside Aleppo and northern Syria is not so much funding as it is access. Be very sceptical of donation pleas promising that they will get such and such to whatever location by promised date. Until the political/military situation changes the best investment of donation dollars is spent going toward refugees who have already fled that zone and are now in places like Jordan or Lebanon or here in Turkey (mostly Gaziantep but also some in Sanliurfa)

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