23rd June 2014

What Happens IF…? 

“In the Lord I put my trust; How can you say to my soul, ‘Flee as a bird to your mountain’? For look! The wicked bend their bow, They make ready the arrow on the string, That they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart. If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
Psalm 11:1-3 (NKJV)

We may not immediately see the application of this scripture for those of us who live in the UK. If we lived in Syria we would certainly relate to it. For this is a cry from the heart in a situation when the normal working of a society has collapsed. 

Nowhere is that more real than in a war zone. While the terrible situation in Syria is the latest example of this, there are many other examples around the world, past and present. Recent upheavals in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Afghanistan and Iraq have caused enormous suffering to many. Parts of Africa suffer wars and famines almost non stop. Then there are natural disasters like earthquakes, tornados and floods. In all these situations the foundations of society can very quickly break down. 

While all people of any faith or none suffer in such situations, and our heartfelt prayers go up to God on their behalf, Christians often have special pressures to bear. In war situations they can become targets because they are associated with the west. In natural disasters they are often regarded as second class citizens who are at the back of the queue in the distribution of food and other aid. It is estimated that of the two billion Christians around the world about 10%, or around 200 million suffer from some form of persecution*, from the literal collapse of the society they live in during a war, to discrimination in jobs, housing and justice. In such situations all they can do is trust God to deliver them. But they can also expect, and are tremendously encouraged by, the prayer support of other Christians around the world. 

What would we do if the foundations of our society collapsed? Would our faith remain strong? Would we trust God to deliver us even in the worst possible situation? How grateful we would be for the prayers of our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. 

As we pray that God will supply our daily needs, whatever they may be, let’s pray that God will supply the daily needs of our Christian brothers and sisters suffering in war, poverty, famine, natural disasters or injustice. Most especially in those countries or areas where Christians are persecuted simply for their faith. 

Father, only you know the full extent of Christians suffering because of their faith or circumstances today. Please provide their daily needs and be a God of presence for them. Remember the constant pressures of persecution, poverty and privation and give them some relief.

Study by Keith Hartrick 

*Research by the Pew forum and the World Evangelical Alliance


keithhartrickAbout the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds, a Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK, and serves on the Church Council there.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association Community Centre
Pendas Way
LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone:  01484-312347
Email: malcolm.john.arnold@ntlworld.com

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