Thursday, March 30, 2006

Comfortable Living In A Time of War

Evil is a real thing; it is not an illusion. The forces of evil are powerful and clever, and they are intent on prying people away from God. There is a war going on, and it is not pretty.

And here's the reason why this is so important:

Most of the people reading this blog have never really known poverty. Few of us will ever have to worry about being thrown in prison and tortured for our beliefs. We live in relative comfort and ease -- an age of unprecedented wealth and affluence. Certainly, this is a blessing in many ways. Many of us live in nice homes and eat good food, have drinkable water and access to good medical care.

But times and conditions like these are abnormal in human history. Only recently has comfort and ease become part of an average person's lifestyle. And, as much of a blessing as this has been, it is also something of a curse as well. It's made us soft. It's made us forget that there are people -- even people in our world today -- who do not have it so good. More people have been murdered for their faith in Jesus in the last 100 years than ever before. There is a war going on still. Persecution is not a thing of the past. Neither is it something that will happen one day during "the tribulation". It goes on today in places like the Sudan, Indonesia, China, Afghanistan.

Being a Christian does not mean everything will go well for us in this life. Because of our current living situations, we often plug away with what we think is a vital faith. But when something bad happens with our health or our job or a relationship, we're tempted to have that faith shaken to its core and wonder why God is not keeping up his end of the bargain.

Daniel's vision tells us: Expect trouble. There is a war going on, and the goal of that war is to pry people away from God. It went on in Daniel's time. It's going on in our time as well. It will continue until Jesus returns.

So here's the challenge for us: Stop taking your comfortable lifestyle for granted. Receive it as a gift from God, but don't expect it to last forever. Don't feel guilty for having nice things and making good money. Realize that you're called to use that wealth to further God's purposes in this world. Remember those who are still persecuted for their faith. Pray for those who go to bed hungry tonight or imprisoned. If you're interested in doing more than sending happy thoughts, you might want to go visit a couple of websites and get some information on how you can roll up your sleeves and get involved in working for justice in this time of war:

Voice of the Martyrs:
Compassion International: