Bad for Our Bodies Good for Our Souls
The recent elections in Iran have fomented a burgeoning revolution of people standing up against government corruption. On the political level, it is a power play over who’s in control. On the popular level, Iran is crossing a threshold of what people there are willing to put up with, and the implications for the whole Middle East, and indirectly for all of us, could be huge.
Yet here’s the story you don’t hear in the news: Nationally, the fastest growing church in the world is in Iran.
Besides the sovereign work of God, the “earthly” reason is because in Shiite Islam, religion and state are joined. When the people see corruption in the state, it equals religious corruption, which leads to tremendous openness to the gospel. The events we read about, especially if Ahmadinejad stays in power, will only increase the rate of church growth.
The irony is that what is good socially or politically may not be good spiritually. The church almost always grows best and fastest in places where there is poverty or political oppression, because these hardships crack people’s pride enough to let God in.
Many Christians in China actually pray for persecution of Christians in America—because they love us and want us to grow more passionate in our faith. Earthly suffering is intimately tied to God sharing his glory.
Whether or not you feel persecuted, I encourage you to connect in prayer with the work of God in the world, with his purposes and work behind the news. That could be in Darfur, Zimbabwe, North Korea, China, India, Iraq, Afghanistan, the USA, or right where you live.
Those who do this don’t just hear the news, they’re part of it. How about you?
PRAYER: I give my circumstances up to You. More than being happy, I want to experience Your presence, especially when times are bad. I also join my heart with others in the world who are suffering, and I pray that you will work mightily in the midst of their hardship.
“Remember those in prison as though you were in prison with them, and those ill-treated as though you too felt their torment,” Hebrews 13:3, NET.
Today’s devotion is by Peter Lundell, author of Prayer Power. A rising new voice on connecting with God, he is a pastor, Bible college teacher, and conference speaker. Visit him at www.PeterLundell.com for his inspirational “Connections” and free downloads of articles, parables, short stories, and book chapters.