Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous. Psalm 25:3
Paul writes: We were afflicted in every way—disputes without and fears within. But God, who consoles the downcast, consoled us. 2 Corinthians 7:5-6
I heard this morning of an Egyptian police officer being killed when a bomb exploded as he was trying to disarm it. The bomb was discovered in a suitcase on the roof of a Coptic church in a town in a residential Cairo district. According to an AP report:
The blast came just two days before the Orthodox Coptic Church, the dominant denomination among Egypt’s estimated 10 million Christians, celebrates Christmas. It also came a little more than a week after a roadside bomb hit a tourist bus near the Giza Pyramids, killing three Vietnamese tourists and their Egyptian driver.
Fearing for her life because she had renounced Islam a woman fled Saudi Arabia and gained temporary asylum in Thailand. Churches in China have been raided, closed, and destroyed because they refuse to be formally authorized (controlled) by the Chinese government. A boy in Uganda refused to deny Jesus although he was beaten repeatedly. Christians around the world repeatedly are targeted, tortured, and persecuted because of the wanton hatred and treachery of the godless.
I face nothing of the like here in Harris County Texas. The challenges, treachery, and discrimination is far more subtle. But it is no less real. It is simply more hidden. Whether it is the sly lure of ungodly values by way of advertisers, Hollywood, or Madison Avenue, or the powerful peer pressure to keep up with the Joneses at all costs, we are constantly being tempted to abandon the path of faithful obedience and godliness.
In the meantime we wait. And as we wait God comforts, consoles, encourages, and sustains us. He does that through a friend’s presence in our times of loneliness. He does that through a daily email devotion. he does that through a Christian podcast. He does that by means of his Holy Spirit’s influence in the lives of others who serve as an example, and a reminded that it can be done. We can stand up against temptation.
Each one of us face a unique inner battle against the world, the devil, and our sinful flesh. Each one of us must deal with temptation peculiar to us at this time. Each one of us will deal with disappointment, anger, distress, attacks – subtle or direct – as we carry the baggage of our childhood, misspent youth, abandoned dreams, or hard knocks of life in this fallen world. Shall we abandon all hope? Shall we harden our hearts? Shall we live in denial? Shall we embrace endless depression? Or shall we look to God, wait for him, and seek his consolation?
Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame, O God!