April 27, 2012

God is with us

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in The Journey

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NORTH KOREA FREEDOM WEEK: Been praying this week for those living where faith costs the most – North Korea – #1 on the World Watch List for the last 10 years.
Information is so restricted in this country, everything is so controlled, we don’t hear much in the news about persecuted Christians.  Even though of us who monitor the news for such stories hear very little.  I have been exposed to new eyewitness accounts that have taken me to a deeper level of prayer this week.  And then today, my buddy Whitt posts an account of the North Korea death camps. 
It was so hard to read the escapees’ words of the death camps.  So hard.  But then there are the drawings they shared.  I felt numb all over.  I felt like all the blood had been drained from my body.  Simple, almost child-like drawings depicting such horrible atrocities they witnessed.  I didn’t know whether to include the link or not, but ultimately felt led to do so.  Each reader can decide whether to read … and … look … or not.
I found my prayer stuck on, “LORD, how will you be glorified in North Korea?”  I tried to move on, but couldn’t get past that, “LORD, how will you be glorified in North Korea?”  I’m still working through this with Him, but here’s what has sunk in so far:
  • He is glorified by the Christians’ ongoing and growing faith.
  • He is glorified by their endurance in the face of these atrocities.
  • He is glorified by their witness drawing others to Christ.
  • He is glorified by their ultimately being conformed to the image of Christ.
God does not cause persecution, Satan does.  But God uses persecution for our good – to conform us to the image of His Son. 
After poring over the drawings from the escapees, I turned to today’s devotional and read from Genesis 39:20-21, “… But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him …”  The devotional was written by a persecuted Christian in Cuba, who was making the point that wherever you are, however hopeless the situation may seen, and however lonely you may feel, the God of Joseph is with you.  And the God of Joseph is with the 400,000 persecuted Christians in North Korea right now.  And He’s with the 50,000 to 70,000 who suffer in labor camps.  Suffering for Jesus.
     For such a time as this,
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