Sunday, May 22, 2011

Persecuted, But Not Forsaken; Cast Down, But Not Destroyed...

Princes persecute me without cause, But my heart stands in awe of Your words. Psalm 119:161
This story of a fairly recent persecution that has happened in North Korea has pierced the depths of my heart. Please read, and allow the Lord to impact you through this. (Extracted from a Voice of the Martyrs article)
The young brown-eyed girl looked up at her mother. What would she decide? 
Earlier that morning, the young girl's mother, their pastor, and twenty-six others in her North Korean village of GokSan were bound and taken before a screaming crowd of Communists.
One of the guards ordered Pastor Kim and the other Christians, "Deny Christ, or you will die." The words chilled her. How could they ask her to deny Jesus? She knew in her heart he was real. They all quietly refused. 
Then the Communist guard shouted directly at the adult Christians, "Deny Christ, or we will hang your children." The young girl looked up at her mother. She gripped her, knowing how much her mom loved her. Her mother then leaned down. With confidence and peace she whispered, "Today, my love, I will see you in heaven."  
All of the children were hanged. 
The remaining believers were then brought out onto the pavement and forced to lie down in front of a huge steamroller. The Communists gave them one last chance. "Deny this Jesus or you will be crushed." The Christians had already given up their children; there was no turning back.
As the driver started the heavy piece of equipment, the singing from the villagers started softly.
"More love, O Christ, to thee, more love to thee."

Blessed [are] they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. "Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great [is] your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:10-12

It is so vitally important that we trust in Jesus with all of our heart, mind and soul - Even unto death. It is no coincidence that all of the disciples died a martyrs death... God called us all (even you and I) to be witnesses (Acts 1:8).
Witness literally means "Those who after his example have proved the strength and genuineness of their faith in Christ by undergoing a violent death" - Yes, God has called us all to be martyrs for His name's sake. And, oh is He worthy!!

Amy Carmicheal once said, "Diamonds that reflect the most light have received the roughest treatment. Every flaw must be cut out, even a microscopic flaw."

Oh Jesus, make us low, so that you may be lifted high. Strip us of ourselves, so that your glory may shine within! May we trust in you all of our days, with all that we are. Make us willing, dear Father, to undergo slow and painful deaths, and to suffer, for your name's sake. To faithfully have patience in this: that Your will is going to be accomplished in and through us. Teach us to bask in Your loving kindness, through prayer and supplication. Thank you, Sweet Jesus!

For the King and His glory,

Hannah Brooke Hartman

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