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Don't Procrastinate ... Prepare!

Imagine for a moment that you know – know beyond a shadow of a doubt – that you will experience persecution and suffering for your faith in Christ in twenty years. I have a question for you ... and for me:

What will you do differently today?

Change the picture in your mind. The years have passed. In twenty months, the time of persecution will come – and you will be caught up in it. Ask yourself again:

What will you do differently today?

The calendar months keep flipping. It is now twenty weeks before pain and suffering.

What will you do differently today?

The days slip away. Only twenty days remain before persecution hits you personally.

What will you do differently today?

Now, just twenty hours remain.

Are you ready?

* * * * * * * * * *

Do I know whether persecution, suffering, and tribulation will come to me or to you because of our Christian faith at some point in the future? No, I have no idea. But what I do know is that we should be ready at all times, because the reality is that it could happen. We are reminded of this in 1 Peter 5:8-11 –

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

Our brothers and sisters around the world are undergoing persecution and tribulation even as I write these words. Someday, it may come to you and me, too.

So, let’s go back to the beginning of this post. The reason I posed the questions in a time-oriented series is this: it reminds us of our tendency to PROCRASTINATE when we think problems are a long way off (or maybe will never happen), and of our tendency to PANIC when trouble is staring us in the face.

However, when it comes to the question of persecution, God calls us to rise above both procrastination and panic by being PREPARED.

Prepared how? Well, let’s take our marching orders from those who have gone before us:

WE PREPARE OURSELVES BY FIXING OUR EYES ON JESUS. Jesus is both our model for perseverance and the One who can perfect our faith so that we are able to persevere. “... let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith .... consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:1b-3)

WE PREPARE OURSELVES BY PRAYING. Prayer is talking with God. It is in our relationship with Him that we find purpose, peace, and perseverance. “The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.” (1 Peter 4:7)

WE PREPARE OURSELVES BY LEARNING TO TRUST GOD COMPLETELY. The more we know God, the more we will trust Him – even when things look the blackest. “Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.” (1 Peter 4:19)

WE PREPARE OURSELVES BY PUTTING ON THE ARMOR OF GOD. Every piece of the armor of God is vital: truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, and the Word of God. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” (Ephesians 6:10-13)

WE PREPARE OURSELVES BY KEEPING AN ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE. Pain, suffering, and death do not have the final word. The final word is Life – eternal and joyful and glorious! “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)

Don’t stop with reading these words – decide what step you will take today to prepare yourself for an unknown tomorrow. For example, a few months ago, I decided to concentrate on memorizing more Scripture. I paired up my photography with the verses I want to put into my mind and heart, since seeing pictures with the words helps me remember the verses. You can find my “photo verses” here: – I encourage you to check them out and use them to dwell in the Word.

Let me finish the post where we began ...

Knowing that you don’t know what tomorrow will bring, what will you do differently today?

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