Easter devotion: Deliverance through the cross
- by Lindsay Counsell
- March 28, 2023
Romans 8: 35, 37
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? …No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
As I’m writing, we have received news that Ian* has been abducted, and is being held in an unknown location. He became a Christian in a country which is hostile to Christians, and is now living in a country where Christians are a severely persecuted, tiny minority.
The Apostle Paul’s encouragement in this, and other desperate situations, is this:
For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. (2 Corinthians 1:8-11)
The Lord delivered, and will deliver … always. Paul suffered in many different ways – arrest, imprisonment, beatings – Yet the Lord delivered him from them all. The last and greatest deliverance was into the arms of his loving God, at his execution.
We can be sure that those suffering for their faith in Jesus will be delivered, because nothing can separate us from our great Deliverer, for He loved us and He is faithful.
Persecution should not surprise us – ‘If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you’. (John 15:20). But it should always drive us to our knees in prayer. We have many examples from Scripture of people being delivered in answer to people’s prayers, such as Peter walking out of the gates of prison, as ‘earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church’ (Acts 12:5).
The greatest deliverance is achieved through the Easter message – Jesus suffered and died on our behalf, and rose again in victory!
Of course we pray for people to be rescued, but if martyrdom occurs, we can rejoice alongside our grief because they are receiving the fullness of their new life in Jesus, the glories of God’s presence.
Please join us in praying for Christians who are persecuted.
You are our gracious and powerful Father.
Please give our brother who has been abducted, and all Christians in seemingly impossible situations, trust and hope in you. Many are very young Christians. May they know the truth of your word – You have delivered, and you will deliver them. As you delivered Peter from prison, when he was heavily guarded, and your people were praying, we earnestly pray that you would do a similar miracle for our dear brother. May he know your presence and the comfort of your Holy Spirit. Amen. Come soon Lord Jesus!
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