Sunday Encouragement-The Righteous Grow Stonger

Sunday Encouragement-The Righteous Grow StongerI have tried to wrap my head around the shootings in Oregon this week and honestly I’m still in shock. I CAN NOT  imagine what the families are going through. I’m praying for them but can’t even muster up the words I would want to say. It’s still too raw.

First, I can’t understand why anyone would want to hurt other people the way this young man did. He was obviously a very disturbed person. But why target Christians?

Reporters say, the gunman intentionally targeted Christians, lining victims up, asking their religion, and shooting them in the head if they said “Christian.”

Second, I believe we are seeing the beginnings of persecution in the United States. It has been easy for a long, long time to claim Christ. But it is getting harder now, and I believe it will get harder still.

Just a few months ago there was a shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. Christians were targeted there too.

So what does the scripture say about persecution and what we can expect?

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” John 15:8

“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” 2 Timothy 3:12

“Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.” 1 John 3:13

“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man!” Luke 6:22

Christians will face tragedy or unspeakable persecution. I like this quote from John Piper, “When tragedy strikes, the righteous grow stronger because God never intended for tragedy to become about our agendas. He always intended for tragedy to point to the reality of our hope in him, and him alone.”

My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
all other ground is sinking sand,
all other ground is sinking sand.

Have a blessed Sunday!

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25 Comments

  1. Cyndi that is one of my favorite songs I know all the words to thanks to my moma”s unceasing devotion to God. We were taught young no excuses we attended church and as I grow older today and see the turmoil we see all around us I am so glad that I accepted Jesus in my heart as a teenager. I pray daily for a better world for all and I too cry and try to understand this senseless crime. If I can do one thing daily its to encourage everyone that there is better place we will go home to one day. You are far more beautiful in your heart than you will ever know. Thank you for your encouragement.

  2. Our words can’t take away the grief and heartbreak that these families are enduring, but we can lift them up in prayer.

  3. I live in Oregon just outside of Portland. My son played South Umpqua, the area where the shooting took place, in high school baseball play-offs this last Spring. The community is very tight knit and kind hearted. We had driven 3 hours to play the game and it was rained out and was rescheduled for the next day. The families offered to have us all stay with them in their homes and then took both teams out for pizza. My heart is so heavy knowing those precious people more than likely have lost someone or know someone who has. My son’s friend found out last night that one of the victims was a boy he went to grade school with. My son said, ” Doesn’t the bible say that martyrs receive a crown in heaven?” It’s times like this I understand more fully “death where is your sting?” I know with all my heart that God is good and His mercies endure FOREVER.

  4. First, I really enjoy your blog. I am over 60 and I have never seen times like these in the U.S. I am active in Bible Study Fellowship and we are studying Revelation. We must be prepared but we have nothing but hope. We win! Love the fashion–

  5. Hi Cyndi:
    I love everything you write and all the outfits that you model everyday.
    Thank you for helping me to dress better.

    One a side note about the tragedy in Oregon. I have to differ with you and maybe a large group of people, this event is not related to Christians or persecution of people.
    I believe it’s about Mental Illness and Guns Laws.
    Until people are not educated on Mental Illness, how people with mental illness get treated ,Gun Laws get changed, sadly this will continue happening.
    Hope God will give us the strength and the wisdom to continue doing in through any way we
    can.
    I have being doing it by being a volunteer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness North San Diego County.

    1. Dear Susan:
      Respectfully, I never said “Outlaw guns”. It would be unrealistic and impossible to accomplish. I believe in the Second Amendment of The Bill of Rights. The problem today is that arms are being sold or trafficked illegally in the internet, gun shows, and unimaginable places without any control. In consequence they fall into the wrong hands. Very complicated subject…

  6. Thank you, Cyndi, for your wonderful scriptures! It is hard to understand why there is so much evil in this world, but Satan is alive and well and taking our joy, etc. . . We just have to trust in our Lord and Savior and know that he is always good and mighty!! Continued prayers for our world!

    Blessings,
    Paula

  7. The righteous do grow stronger because of God. Satan has his followers doing his evil work but we follow the God of love, mercy and hope who has the final victory – Amen! This has nothing to do with particular laws or lack of laws in our country, Christians are being persecuted all around the globe solely because they are Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a very real spiritual battle between good and evil going on and it’s intensity is growing stronger every day. I pray for the families and victims of this horrendous evil. Praying also for the protection and courage of every Believer and for the lost to come to the saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ while there’s still opportunity.

  8. I am sure, as many of us at this age, I have a college age son. I am so very sorry for the families of the victims. It is long past time for a discussion as a country about mental health issues. I am lifting the families in prayer. I love the scriptures and song. All other ground is sinking sand.

  9. Thank you, Cyndi for your words and scripture. The video and song is just what I needed today. Blessings

  10. Beautiful post Cyndi! My heart is heavy too for these families that have suffered such great loss and tragedy. I can only imagine how this must grieve our Lord. The spiritual warfare that is going on is far greater than we all can imagine. Hopefully, God will somehow be glorified through this adversity. Blessings to you and your family …

  11. I respectfully disagree with the claim that this was a massacre targeting Christians. The media and bloggers regurgitating the news have turned this into something it is not. This was a sick man looking for an excuse to kill people. Here are quotes from victims and family members.

    McGowan told family members that the gunman didn’t specifically target Christians but asked them about faith. The shooter, apparently planning to die during the massacre, told students: “I’ll see you soon” or “I’ll meet you soon.”

    “The shooter would call a person: ‘You, stand up,’” Salas said, recalling what her son told her. “And then he would ask them if they were a Christian, knew God, or had religion. And it wasn’t like it was stated on TV. It wasn’t about that he was just trying to pinpoint Christians, no.”

  12. Thank you for your post. It helps me to know that I have sisters in Christ like you out there. It is getting worse, but I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

  13. As someone else stated here, I also don’t think this is an issue of Christians being persecuted. I listened to our President speak from his heart and I share his sadness and anger! We do need tougher gun laws. I live in Connecticut and have been to Newtown more than a few times. I will never, ever forget those 20 little innocent children and 6 brave teachers who were gunned down by a deranged human being. A man who lived in a home with his mother…a home filled with guns. God bless us. We can’t keep going like this.

  14. Always love the “sinking sand” verse, as I call it and the hymn that rings in my mind always…grew up with that verse and it has always been my favorite.

  15. I believe the question is, “Why target anyone?” All people, regardless of religious affiliation, suffer when a mentally ill person takes innocent lives. We all bleed, cry, and suffer in situations like this one — not just Christians.

  16. Some in my brother’s church are studying a book called Prepare by J. Paul Nyquist. I got a copy from him yesterday. It’s really good – about the increasingly hostile culture we can expect as Christians in this country and how to prepare. We should be encouraged, as Christians, though. We grow best thru suffering.

  17. I agree with your thoughts on the persecution of Christians in America. I am also noticing a tolerance of the mainstream for it. Thanks for those words.

  18. Your comments are sooooo on target, Susan. Gun control laws are not the answer.
    The constitution is what our country was founded on. The further we get from it or try to
    move away from it, the more messed up this country becomes. I appreciate your comments
    and agree wholeheartedly. May God bless

  19. Hey sweet ladies!! This was never intended to be a post on gun control. Just some of my thoughts on the persecution of Christians.

    I certainly don’t think everyone has to agree with me but gun control is a whole different topic. One that I don’t want to discuss on my blog.

    Thank you all for being kind and for respecting each other!!
    Blessings,
    Cyndi