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The amazing thing is that these people who are suffering, they are not miserable, they are filled with joy. They forgive those who oppress and abuse them. Talk about a witness!
I heard a story the other day, a true story.
A Christian in a Asian country, had to get up every morning to pump water into his rice patty using a bicycle. Boards held the water in his rice field. Every day, his neighbor, who was down hill from him, would remove the boards and let the water run into his rice field.
The Christian prayed about what to do. He had a family to feed, this neighbor knew what he was doing. His neighbor hated him because of his faith.
The next morning, the Christian got up earlier, removed the boards himself and pumped water on both fields. He won his neighbor to Christ through his actions.
Now, how many of us in America could do this? This is what I am talking about.
I receive the VOM newsletter every month and I am touched deeply by the true stories of Christians and how they are responding to the brutal persecution that they are facing. They are experiencing God, they ARE joyful and they, of all people, have every reason to be bitter, miserable and be full of self pity. This is the amazing thing. Their ability to rise above the suffering and share the love of God, with their enemies no less!
I read their stories and I don't think that I could forgive someone who beat me or killed my family. I don't have the relationship with my Creator that these people have. They are true lights shining in the darkness.
Does God really want us to "be happy"? No, He wants us to be joyful, in whatever situation we find ourselves in and our joy should not depend on our circumstances. It comes from within.
This is a "high calling" and its difficult. I wonder if our relationship with God couldn't be measured by our treatment of our enemies? Just a thought.
Go on to: Comments by Juli - 13 Jan 2009
Return to: God and Suffering
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