Have Faith in God!

I went to a house group meeting last night and a lovely man from Macedonia – now living, church planting and spreading the gospel in the Balkans gave us an idea of the kind of persecution he faces over there (eg he has frequent death threats) but has persevered in faith for 20 years and finally established a church of 80 (which is great achievement as its such a hard hearted area and they keep trying to throw him out and he refuses to leave!).

His told us how his father killed himself in front of him and his family and his family later disowned him when he became Christian, but after 20 years they are now believers! Obviously I cried but hid it very well.

Also this morning I was listening to a sermon relating to what he was talking about – they quoted a verse about enemies of Israel surrounding it (the man last night was talking about this saying it is almost done). So I opened my Bible today while I was listening and it fell open at the exact page and my eyes were on the exact verse?! There are 1500 pages in Bible:)

This man also told us that where he is, God is doing big miracles (I read in the Bible yesterday that at times god actually stopped doing miracles because of the hardened hearts, and looks for obedience but also, God choses his timing to do miracles and signs very carefully as they are aften to help people like this man who need great faith in his situation).

He told us that twice – he prayed simple prayers (not expecting them to live) for two terminally ill women were completely healed of cancer that covered their body!

He also said – without being alarmist, that looking at those surrounding Israel, the Balkans, The Middle East, Turkey and prophecy in The Bible it would appear that we really are approaching the end-times. Something that I bleieve we are all sensing in various ways. But as the bible says – don’t be fearful – these things must happen. God bless you all.

The Narrow Way

Today, this was brought to my attention regarding the words used in Matthew 7:14;

‘Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it (or ‘small is the gate and narrow is the the road that leads to life’ in other translations). Either way the word I want to highlight is ‘narrow’.

The word ‘narrow’ is #2346 in Strong’s (Thlibo) in the Greek. Thlibo is translated tribulation. So the verse could be read; tribulation is the way that leads to life. Look this up yourself – interesting to say the least. Perhaps few find the road that leads to life because few want tribulation. I will admit this is certainly my natural disposition but my gut feeling is that tribulation is related to purification and ‘proveing’ or trying of the saints which many have endured to varying degrees. If I make it to heaven I would certainly not have a problem with God handing a crown or crowns of life to any that suffered and gave their lives for their faith as they gave all.

My thoughts on this; I think that just because ‘narrow’ can be translated ‘tribulation’ does not mean we should change the words in the BIble as we are told not to add or take away from the words. However, we can all agree, regardless of translation of these words that tribulation would indeed be a narrow road and sought by few. I belive this is worth considering carefully.

In the end, wether we experience tribulation or not, we must not fear persecution or tribulation but belive that god will give us all that is necessary to withstand it if and when it comes, but pray that he delivers us from it.