When Faith is Forbidden: 40 Days on the Frontlines with Persecuted Christians

by Todd Nettleton

In one of the latest books to drop by The Voice of the Martyrs, Todd Nettleton takes us along as he travels to the frontlines of persecuted nations. He shares some incredible stories, gives his thoughts as he journals after long days, and guides us in prayers for those that are sharing their faith under such difficult circumstances. The most amazing part about this book is just reading of the joy our brothers and sisters have as they face prison time, beatings, harassment, and all sorts of unimaginable things. They count it as a blessing to share the Gospel in this way. They recognize that Jesus was willing to do the same for us, so why shouldn’t we be just as happy to face persecution?

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” –Hebrews 12:1,2

If you are not familiar with The Voice of the Martyrs ministry, I highly encourage you to check out their website. A free magazine is available too! Todd Nettleton also hosts a weekly podcast that is always available at the bottom of my page.

This is a book that I highly, highly recommend. It’s such an encouragement for us to read their stories and see how God always gives us what we need to handle situations when we want to bring Him glory. Also, the proceeds of these books go to helping spread the Gospel in countries where it is prohibited. So, it’s basically a win for everyone!

No Fear in Perfect Love

As I scroll through my social media accounts, I start feeling anxiety, frustration, and total disgust. In fact, a simple search of anxiety and social media brings up article after article describing the different types of anxiety and mental health problems that come from looking at our accounts over and over. Why is that? I mean, social media is not a nice place. It started out as a way to connect with far away loved ones, old high-school friends, and to see what your ex is up to and if you are still cooler than the person he is with now….Well, maybe that’s not what it was intended for. Who knows 🤷

The point is, it’s really none of those things now. It has become a source of shouting opinions the loudest, making others feel stupid for their opinions, and a breeding ground of fear over the things happening in this world. Is this at all healthy? I think that we can all agree that it is not. Probably each of us has been viciously assaulted by a post we thought as simple and witty while others couldn’t wait to make us feel shamed for our “insensitivity” or “lack of social awareness”.

“We need a new president!” “We need social justice!” “We need equality!” “We need freedom to make choices for ourselves!” “I need! I need! I need!” So many posts about equality and fairness for each person, yet there is no love behind it? There is judgement if we disagree on any point? There is cruelty and no compassion for those that make a mistake in your eyes?

What happened to giving others room to grow? Time to change? Freedom to have their own opinions? Love hopes all things. Love is patient. Love does not easily take offense. What about those things?

While social media is a breeding ground of fear and shame, many are disoriented and completely disillusioned in life. Everything looks bleak and hopeless. So, where does that leave us? Those of us that claim to have a God that protects us. We claim to have a God that brings us joy? We have a God that says to be anxious for NOTHING. Is that what others are seeing? How can we achieve that in our relationship with Him?

In fact, God goes as far as to say that there is no fear in love. It says that fear involves punishment and that if we fear, we are not perfected in love. What is He trying to tell us?

As always, it’s a matter of our hearts. Are we actually trusting Him? Do we trust that He created us and wants the very best for us? Of course, His best for us and what we think is best, may very well be different! God deserves glory in everything. So, do our lives of comfort and having every need met make us feel as if we need Him? Not usually. It’s all about the lens we are looking through as we live our lives.

Do I wish to bring Him glory in every, single thing that happens in my life? When I’m in pain, how do I bring Him glory? When my car breaks down, how do I bring Him glory? Is my first thought, “Poor me! I can’t deal with this right now!” Or, is my first thought, “God, what do you wish me to do in this situation? Wisdom, please.”

You know, I read the most amazing book a few years back and it’s completely stuck with me. Muslim women are very difficult to talk to because, often times, they are only allowed to speak with those whom their husbands have given them permission to speak to. Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh put their lives on the line to live in Iran and witness to these women. It proved to be almost impossible due to having no access. After some time, they were put in the worst of prisons. Raw sewage, rodents, bad food (if any). Their response? “Thank you, Lord! You have given us unprecedented and total access to share You with these women!” Because they didn’t think of themselves and ask God why He would have done such a thing to them when they were so faithful, the ministry they had was unfounded! They looked at it as the biggest opportunity to speak to these women, completely undeterred! They had a captive audience instead of seeing themselves as captives.

Can you even imagine how much glory they brought to God? Can you imagine their welcome when they get to Heaven and see Him and how proud He is of them? What a beautiful moment! What blessings!!!

It sounds scary to us to think of being in a situation like that. However, the truth is that we don’t have what we need to handle it because God hasn’t put us in that position. He gives us what we need to handle in our lives only when it is time. I might feel overwhelmed by a big day coming up. Does it help me to stay up all night worried? No. I don’t have what I need to get through it yet because it’s not here yet.

We can rest in the fact that we have a loving God that delights in us! He says, “indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” He is always with us through all things.

Yes, the world is a mess. Yes, we could be headed to persecution. Yes, we are turning away from God in our country. Yes, yes, yes. Does this cause me concern? I certainly don’t like it! Does it cause me anxiety? No. Not anymore. I know that God is truly in control. He has proved to me over and over again that He will provide for me what I need when I need it. He has showed me numerous times how He holds me through the difficulties. My only question?

How can I bring Him glory in all of it?

Against the Flow – The inspiration of Daniel in an Age of Relativism

by John C. Lennox

Want to know what life was really like for Daniel as he was drug into captivity along with thousands of other Jewish citizens? Do you want to see what ancient Babylon looked like? This book has everything from how the palace was laid out, which gods were worshiped, the thickness of the wall surrounding the city, to the experiences Daniel and his countrymen would have had to face. Unbelievable! I can’t even imagine the hours spend researching such a book!!!

This is something that I will read and re-read. It really gives you an understanding of what was happening. Inside the book are BEAUTIFUL, glossy pictures depicting the different things found from ancient Babylon to depictions made from the stories in the book of Daniel.

Please pick up a copy! This is one of the best Biblical research books you’ll ever find! It’s certainly the most thorough work I’ve read!!!! Link is in the pic above. it will also make a great gift for any pastor, student, or friend interested in learning more about the Bible.

Thank you, Litfuse, for this wonderful book!! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!!

Prepare

by J. Paul Nyquist

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Link to buy in pic ^

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials…” James 1:2

“The verb used means we are to make a deliberate, conscious and careful decision to experience joy even in the midst of suffering. We are not to complain, shrink back, or express despair. Instead, we are to greet suffering with joy!” — J. Paul Nyquist

Having already seen and felt the persecution that is now upon us, this book was both convicting and like a soothing balm. How quickly our country has fallen from the basic, Biblical principles it was founded on. We are like the blind slowly being led to our deaths. Social changes come and embed in our thinking until we find that we are questioning the very idea that God must have meant something different when He blatantly opposes sins. We warp Him to be a God that we can understand and agree with. By doing this, the church is inviting persecution. It will be time to stand up for Him or flee. We think that won’t ever happen in America, but let me tell you, friends, it is here. It is now.

“When we suffer unjustly, we expect others to defend us. As we prepare for persecution from a hostile culture, we expect to be lovingly supported by family members and ably defended by our government, but the third counterintuitive biblical principle is that believers can expect to be exposed, not protected. This may not be true in every case, but as a general principle we shouldn’t rely on family or government to defend us when persecution comes. Often they won’t.” — J. Paul Nyquist (Bold is added by me)

Unfortunately, I know this too well. Standing firm in the beliefs of the Bible is not a popular thing to do. In fact, it is considered hateful. It will divide families, friends and neighbors. This book shows you how to prepare, how to pray and how to rejoice in it. Wonderful read. Please pick up a copy!!! Just head over here

Thank you, netgalley, for this wonderful read. As always, I have given my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!

Killing Christians – Living the Faith Where It’s Not Safe to Believe

by Tom Doyle (with Greg Webster)

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Everyone should read this book. Period.

As news channels broadcast everything going on in the middle east, we see millions of images and hear millions of stories: ISIS, Hamas, Muslim Radicals, Islamic Radicals, innocent civilians being killed and people all over the world persecuted for their faith. People are sick of religion and looking for something different. Religion causes war, suffering and fear.

This book takes you inside some of the lives of people that are currently living in those situations. People that are currently suffering and being persecuted, tortured and killed for their love of Jesus. As you read story after story of how God is moving in the midst of persecution, it will inspire you and your own faith.

Tom Doyle asks us the two big questions: “Are you willing to suffer for Jesus?” and “Are you willing to die for Jesus?”. The answer to these questions will show you where you are at in your life and relationship with Him. After reading this book, you will have made up your mind!

Pre-orders start on December 17th for Killing Christians. Get those orders in and gift the pre-ordered book this Christmas!!!! Here’s the link!!

You can join in prayer with the 8thirty8 program. Check it out here!!

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