Preparing for Victory

Be Encouraged!

By Bert Winters - May 15, 2009

When all seems lost and hope is gone, don't you believe it! That's the time our Lord shows us some of His greatest work! And when we're close to despair --  throwing up our hands at the magnitude of the freedom-quenching changes here in America -- let's remember what God is doing in Iran and the Sudan!
After the Shah of Iran was deposed, Ayatollah Khomeini took over and freedom eroded. Terror and persecution intensified. Yet, in the midst of life-threatening dangers, revival has come to Iran.
Before 1979, few Iranians showed any interest in the Word of God or Christianity. But now, within the last twenty years, more Iranians have come to faith than in the last 14 centuries. Before '79 there were only about 500 Muslim converts to Yeshua in Iran; by 2000 there were 220,000 who followed Yeshua - of which 4,000 to 20,000 were converts from Islam. Between 2000 and 2008, it is believed the number has shot up dramatically. 

What caused the revival? Muslims began to see Islam for what it is: a religion of heartless cruelty. Many watched in horror as Muslims danced in celebration after 9/11. They realized that if one is to be a true follower of Mohammad and Islam, they would be part of a deadly war against the world's "infidels," and they wanted no part of such an ideology. They have grown weary of the killing. Even their own family members are being destroyed in the name of Allah.

As they despaired, our sovereign Lord visited them and showed them His way. Thousands have had dreams and visions that opened their hearts to the reality of Yeshua, and they have run to the churches to find out more abut this Man called Jesus.
In the Sudan, a spiritual awakening of almost unimaginable proportions is taking place! Amidst rampant Islamic persecution, raging genocide, child slavery, and a seemingly endless civil war, the true Church is growing. The estimated number of believers in the country is now more than 5.5 million!

Other statistics sound dismal. Some 300,000 Sudanese have been killed in Darfur alone. More than 2.5 million have been displaced by the fighting. So its not surprising that  the non-Islamic masses seek a shelter: "They want Jesus." For "when people are under threat, they look for a strong power to help them - a refuge."*

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea. Though its waters roar and foam. Though the mountains quake at it swelling pride.... The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold." Psalm 46:1-3,7

The words of Matthew are coming to pass:

"I will build my church, Yeshua said, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it." Matthew16:18

What Yeshua is doing in Iran and the Sudan is extraordinary. While many pastors and lay people have been arrested, beaten and killed for their faith, His church continues to grow. In the Sudan, there are not enough pastors to keep up with the demand. Young men who feel called to the ministry are being taught in caves.
During the last few months we in America have seen a dramatic change from what was to what is about to be. We stood in horror as we watch our "rights" snatched away in the name of equality and tolerance -- frustrated that the freedoms we have taken for granted for so many years is slipping from our grasp. 

But why should we be surprised?
We have sat and soaked, swallowed and followed. We have tolerated the intolerable, accepted the unacceptable and have the audacity to blame the government for all our problems.
[See God's Warnings for our Times]
But when we look at the world through the filter of God's Word, we find a more lasting reality. For the government, my friend, is NOT the problem! 
Will Americans experience persecution?

Will America seek and find it's answers in the Word? Will Yeshua begin to touch the hearts of the lost within our borders as He did in Iran and the Sudan? 

Will we hear His voice calling us to repent? Will we set our hearts and minds to follow Him - regardless the cost? Will we be willing to pay the price? Are we willing to suffer for and with Him -- for the lasting joy of an eternity with Him?
Oh Lord, I pray that it is so! 

The source of the statistics is a new book by Joel Rosenberg, Inside the Revolution. Thanks Joel!

* A quote from Joel's book by an anonymous source.


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