Living In Troubling Times

Yesterday I received a sad and disturbing email. One of the men of our church distributed an email from his relatives who serve as missionaries in Sudan. You may know that Sudan is a war torn nation at the horn of Africa. It is torn by war, famine, and religion.

Yesterday, the family relayed the sad news. Their school has been closed and they have been given 24 hours to leave the country. At this point the family is in another part of Africa, which means they will not be able to return to get their household supplies or even say goodbye to the people they have worked with and to whom they ministered.

This family has raised their own support to serve as missionaries and now will lose their possessions as well as rent and school tuition that has been paid. The persecution in this school and family and with many others is severe. The government is seizing the property of Christians and appropriating it for the government.

The loss of possessions is always painful; the loss of ministry is worse.

We live in a wonderful time for the spread of the Gospel. People all over the world are coming to faith in Christ. It has been estimated that more Muslims have come to Christ in the last 15 years than in the previous 15 centuries. Places such as South Korea now have large Christian populations.

At the same time, we see the severe persecution and grieve for those who are losing property and their lives.

How do we respond?

Pray for the Gospel to be preached in power and truth over the world. Pray for those who serve faithfully. Pray for this family and their great hurt and disappointment. Pray that Christians may be able to stand in the midst of persecution.

Understand the times and the seasons. Recognize that these latter days will be days of tribulation and hardship. We should not be surprised; we should be prepared.

Be ready and help others be ready. “Therefore, you also must be ready: for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:44). Help your children to be ready by being faithful to God.

Live faithfully. Take up your cross and follow after Christ in everything (Luke 14:27). Then, lift up your heads “for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28, KJV).

We serve a great God. He will supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). No matter what happens we can trust Him.

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  1. Ed Matthew
    Jan 03, 2013

    AMEN.. Know also it is up to us to work His Plan. Romans 12:5

  2. Ed Matthew
    Jan 03, 2013


  3. Rod Minor
    Jan 03, 2013

    Well said, Waylon. As I begin a new series from Acts, I’m praying for the church today – and specifically the church I serve – to have the urgency and passion of the first church to take the gospel everywhere they went, under all kinds of conditions and threats, to the ends of the earth. Both the need and the opportunities are great. I’m asking that God would break our hearts, ignite a vision, and send us in His power with His sufficiency.

    • Waylon
      Jan 03, 2013

      Sounds like a great series. May God bless you and His church. The early church thrived in this environment. May we do so as well.

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. — Psalm 27:14 (NIV)