I know that all the reports about ISIS, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, etc., are disheartening. Difficult to hear.
You might live in a country that is directly experiencing their evil cruelty. If so, the rest of The Findables can be praying for you.
I was recently in the Middle East and had a conversation with a Christian who lives there. His perspective was helpful, and I’d like to share it with you.
The book of Habakkuk begins with Habakkuk complaining:
“O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you ‘Violence!’ and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise.”
Sounds pretty close to today’s news, doesn’t it? The word “violence” in Hebrew is Hamas.
God reminds Habakkuk that he is in control. That God is in the midst of accomplishing his plans. God remains in his holy temple. He is aware. He is acting.
Habakkuk ends his book, saying even if things are awful. Even if they are in the midst of war or famine. He says…
“yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength…”
The only way to have perspective like this is to view events from God’s perspective.
As I remember our conversation, my friend explained this way…
I believe that God is in the process of shaking the Arab world. Arabs will not listen to God. They will not pay attention to him. So it is like God is taking the Arab world by the shoulders, compassionately looking them in the eye, and shaking them, begging them to realize that their hope in Islam is false.
Many Arabs are beginning to be very disillusioned with Islam. They see it is it’s truest form. What ISIS is doing is what the Quran talks about. There is no difference between ISIS and Islam. [grey part deleted 11-18-15]
God will use anything to move people to listen to him. We don’t like to see it, But will even use wars to bring people in the nations to him. This is God’s way.
For many years in the Middle East, we saw very few people become Christians. But now many are coming to Jesus. God shakes the world because he wants to restore truth. He wants to bring people out of slavery, out of the harsh demands of Islam, the abuse of women, the false belief that they will go to heaven. He wants to bring people to know his love for them. He is in the process of shaking the Arab world, so they will turn from this cruel, false belief to the real God.
How do we trust God as this is taking place?
I think Isaiah 41 is perfect in guiding us. What God said to Isaiah, I believe holds true for us also. Here are just a few verses from it: (verses 10,13,14)
…do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.’
Do not be afraid…for I myself will help you, declares the Lord, your Redeemer.
I’ll end with Psalms 37:7,39,40
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes…The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in times of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.”
He might deliver us through death…but even then, we are saved!
He is our Rock. He is the one true God. No one who believes in him will be disappointed.
A good article to share with people about this would be this one: