Ramadan Day 13- Forbearance
Indonesia – An Open Doors colleague spoke at a Standing Strong Through the Storm seminar. Most of the 800 pastors attending were victims of attacks by Muslims on the island of Ambon. They had lost homes, churches and even family members during these attacks. They were hurt, devastated and needed answers to the challenges they faced. As soon as he began preaching, one pastor stood up and interrupted, “Must we accept the persecution from the Muslims, or should we retaliate? We are tired of forgiving just to be attacked again. We believe it is time to defend the honor of God and retaliate. What must we do?” Then another pastor interrupted, “No, pastor, tell this brother he is wrong. The Bible tells us to accept our suffering. We will dishonor God if we retaliate. Seventy times seven we need to forgive. Isn’t this true?” “The Bible is clear,” said the speaker. “You MUST retaliate!” The group was stunned into silence; division filled the room. “Wait, brothers!” the speaker continued. “Let me finish my sentence. Luke 6 teaches us clearly to retaliate, but in doing so, we need to choose our weapons. When someone curses you, you don’t just accept it. You retaliate by blessing him. When someone mistreats you and persecutes you, you don’t just accept it. You retaliate by praying for him. When someone slaps you in the face, don’t stand for it. Retaliate! Turn your other cheek.” STAND “ONE WITH THEM” Register to receive the daily e-devotional Standing Strong Through the Storm, offered by Open Doors. “When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous will stand firm forever.” Proverbs 11:25 PRAY “ONE WITH THEM” Lord, strengthen Christians living in Islamic nations to retaliate in incomprehensible ways, not with angry words or guns, but with the love of Christ and prayer. Amen.