Staying True to God
Do you remember the first day your child left for school, or you dropped them off at childcare? They were on your mind constantly. It didn’t get any easier when, years later, they left home for college or the military. Still, you worried. You wondered what they were doing. Were they safe? Were they happy or sad? Were they standing up to the lies and temptations confronting them? Were they staying true to Christ?
The parents of Daniel in the Bible had the same concerns. But, instead of waving goodbyes to Daniel heading off to college or the military, their last image of their young teenage son was of him in chains, being led away as a captive of the Babylonian army. I’m sure they wondered whether he’d survive the long march to Babylon. And if he did survive, would he continue to follow God in that pagan city? We know from the book of Daniel that, with God’s help, Daniel did survive and became one of the most influential men of his time.
As an older adult, Daniel faced strong opposition among his fellow administrators. After years of faithful service to God and to the king in Babylon, these political heavies, to get Daniel out of the way, fooled the king into enacting an executive order in which no one was to pray to anyone except the king for a month. The penalty for disobeying this law of the land? A night in the den of lions, a sure and painful death. In spite of that fearful punishment, Daniel continued his daily practice of prayer to God. Sure enough, he was thrown into the lions’ den, but God protected him through the long night.
Our partners, especially those in India, face a similar pressure. Their society is pluralistic and is actively opposed to the one true God. There is extreme pressure to succumb to the idolatry around them. Instead of converting to Christ, there is political pressure to remain faithful to the pagan gods of Hinduism. In that land, it doesn’t matter what god you worship, as long as it’s not the God of the Bible. Christians often are the objects of persecution.
Your gifts are a pragmatic blessing to our partners. In addition, they are a great encouragement, knowing that people on the opposite side of the globe are concerned about their plight. “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” (Hebrews 13:3). Thank you.