“Faith is not believing in spite of the evidence; it is obeying in spite of the consequences”.

· Just a Thought

These words were spoken by Gilbert Hovsepian when he spoke at the November PPSC meeting via a video link. Gilbert is no stranger to the consequences. His father was murdered by the Iranian regime when Gilbert was only 17 years old, and he and his family have continued to minister and preach the gospel.


broken image

Many people seem to have the idea that we who are committed to Jesus “have a faith”, as if it were some strange characteristic or gift given to us outside of logic and the real world. Some say that they wish that they could have one too, as if we have an easier life because of this phenomenon.


Others go so far as to say that it is all right to be a Christian if we don’t talk about it and keep our opinions to ourselves. If we don’t conform to this, there will be consequences.


When thinking about the war and persecution in the world, and the increasing unpopularity of thinking Biblically, I read Mark 13. Verse 7 in the Complete Jewish Bible reads:

“When you hear the noise of wars nearby and the news of wars far off, don’t become frightened. Such things must happen, but the end is yet to come.”


My initial reaction to this instruction was to feel that it was asking the impossible. How can I not become frightened when I read of the appalling things done in Israel on October 7th? When I see and hear of our brothers and sisters all over the world being murdered or imprisoned because they proclaim Jesus as Lord? When people are prosecuted for quoting the Bible?


When I looked more closely at the verse, I found that the word used here” is throeomai, one that occurs only three times in Scripture. One is the parallel passage in Matthew, and the other is 2 Thessalonians 2 v 2 where the CJB reads “we ask you, brothers, 2 not to be easily shaken in your thinking or anxious”, or in the NIV, “we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed.”


We could perhaps think of the instruction as “don’t panic”. Not many of us can think about these things and not feel frightened, but we need to remain close to the Lord and seek his peace, to remind each other of his promises and not be blown off course. Whatever happens, the Lord is in control.