Daily Archives: January 17, 2019

January 17 Conquering Faith

Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 17:38–51

Key Verse: 1 Samuel 17:45

David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”

David’s faith may seem to be of an almost superhuman kind—one beyond reach—if you focus on the feats he accomplished. Killing a giant with only some stones and a slingshot seems unbelievable.

But that is exactly the point. It was impossible and unbelievable. David’s simple, childlike faith in a great God produced the decisive victory for the Israelites that brought much glory to their Lord’s name.

The faith David had—conquering faith—is yours when you understand the true nature of his trust in God. Conquering faith is a faith that rejects the discouraging words of others.

What if David had listened to the taunts and questions of his brothers, or what if he had let Saul’s doubts coerce him to wear cumbersome, oversize armor? David knew that if he let God do the job that God had called him to do, success was the only possible outcome.

Conquering faith also recognizes the true nature of the battle. When Goliath in arrogance came against the army of God, the issue became spiritual, and David understood this principle immediately.

Are you facing a spiritual “Goliath” right now? God does not expect you to manage the situation on your own. Ask Him to handle the conflict. Conquering faith knows the One for the job.

Heavenly Father, give me conquering faith—a faith that rejects discouraging words from others and recognizes the true nature of the battle. Handle my conflicts. Defeat my spiritual Goliaths.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 18). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Poll: 41% of millennials want Roe reversed

(Washington Examiner) A new poll released on the eve of the annual March for Life protest finds that millennials, the largest group of American voters, are not in lock step with Democrats on abortion and their support for the landmark Roe vs. Wade case legalizing abortion.

Long considered one of the top issues for the younger generation, the Students for Life poll found that millennials are equally divided, 39 percent to 39 percent, in their support and opposition to abortion.

What’s more, 41 percent said they want the 1971 case overturned and 7-in-10 said they support limits, such as parental notification, blocking abortions at five months of pregnancy, and ending government funding.

Source: Poll: 41% of millennials want Roe reversed

Worst 50 places for Christians ranked in 2019 World Watch List: India in top 10 for first time

(REUTERS/Jayanta Dey)People light candles on the grave of their relatives before praying at a cemetery during the observance of All Souls Day in Agartala, India November 2, 2016.

Open Doors USA has published its 2019 World Watch List of the top 50 countries in the world where Christians face the most extreme persecution for their faith.

While many of the top 10 countries listed this year were also on 2018’s list, a significant addition was India, due to the rise in Hindu radical attacks on Christians.

“The world’s two most highly populated countries rise on the World Watch List. For the first time since the start of the World Watch List, India has entered the top 10. Additionally, China jumped 16 spots, from 43 to 27,” the persecution watchdog group observed.

“Each of these countries is home to more than a billion people, so these trends are distressing. Hindu nationalists in India continue to attack Christians with what seems like no consequences, and in China, the increased power of the government and the rule of Xi Jinping continue to make open worship difficult in some parts of the country,” it added.

Looking at the numbers, 245 million Christians in the top 50 countries in the World Watch List are expected to face high levels of persecution in the coming year, which is an increase from the 215 million projected last year.

As many as 4,136 Christians were murdered last year because of their faith, while 1,266 churches or Christian buildings were attacked.

North Korea was listed at the very top of the World Watch List for the 17th-consecutive year, with Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Sudan, Eritrea, Yemen, Iran, and India rounding up the top 10.

Among some of the main trends, Open Doors observed what it called the “shocking reality of persecution against women.”

“In many places, they experience a ‘double persecution’ — one for being a Christian and one for being a woman. Even in the most restricted circumstances, gender-specific persecution is a key means of destroying the minority Christian community. This kind of persecution is difficult to assess because it is complex, violent and hidden — in many cultures where women are specifically targeted, it is difficult if not impossible to report accurate numbers,” the watchdog group writes.

It also noted that seven out of the top 10 World Watch List countries suffer from Islamic oppression, which is the main cause of persecution. It explained that this poses great challenges for millions of Christians who were born into Muslim families but converted and face heavy discrimination for deciding to follow Jesus Christ.

Continue reading about Christians facing persecution on The Christian Post.

Source: Worst 50 places for Christians ranked in 2019 World Watch List: India in top 10 for first time

245 million Christians suffering high levels of persecution

opendoorsuk.org

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Open Doors CEO Henrietta Blyth at the World Watch List’s parliamentary launch.
A new report by Open Doors has revealed the extent of Christian persecution around the world.

The 2019 report reveals the number of Christians experiencing high levels of persecution reached 245 million.

Its annual World Watch List details the 50 countries where persecution is at its worst.

Nigeria

Open Doors estimates over 4,300 Christians were killed because of their faith over the last year, though the true figure is thought to be much higher, with friends and relatives said to be afraid to report killings.

Most of these deaths occurred in North and Central Nigeria, where 3,700 Christians were killed for their faith, including 1,885 in ‘genocidal’ acts in Plateau state.

“almost a quarter of a billion people are suffering persecution today because of their Christian faith”

Levels of persecution in Nigeria are categorised as ‘very high’, but despite the violence, the country is only twelfth on the World Watch List.

Persecution is thought to be ‘extreme’ in eleven countries, including India, which overtakes Syria to make the top ten for the first time.

Asia

In Asia an estimated 140 million Christians – one in three – are persecuted.

In the previous year’s report, around 215 million Christians were said to have experienced persecution across 58 countries, but they now experience high levels of persecution in 73 countries worldwide.

Persecution in China was said to be receding in 2017, but it is on the rise once again, with the country jumping from 43 in last year’s list to 27 in 2019.

President Xi Jinping has considerably tightened control of religious affairs in the last year, with new rules dubbed “the most restrictive in 13 years”.

‘Shocking increase’

CEO of Open Doors UK and Ireland Henrietta Blyth said: “Our research uncovers a shocking increase in the persecution of Christians globally.

“In China our figures indicate persecution is the worst it’s been in more than a decade – alarmingly, some church leaders are saying it’s the worst since the Cultural Revolution ended in 1976.

“Worldwide, our data reveals that 13.9 per cent more Christians are experiencing high levels of persecution than last year. That’s 30 million more people.”

‘Extraordinary’

The report was presented to MPs at the World Watch List’s parliamentary launch yesterday.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “I think it is an extraordinary figure that almost a quarter of a billion people are suffering persecution today because of their Christian faith.

“It is also extraordinary to think that 80 per cent of people suffering persecution because of their faith are Christian.”

He said it should always be high on the list of priorities for Foreign Office ministers to raise the issue of persecution in countries where it is happening.

Source: 245 million Christians suffering high levels of persecution