Persecution, Perseverance, and Payday (Revelation 2:10)
Revelation 2:10, Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
In 1995, Damare was captured by Islamic soldiers when his Sudanese village was attacked. Only 7 years old at the time, he was sold as a slave to a Muslim family. He became a camel boy even though he knew nothing about caring for them. His master enforced his learning with beatings. One day a camel got away. The master threatened to kill Damare for this mistake, but something restrained him. The next day when he found out that Damare had sneaked away to attend a Christian church in the village he became determined to punish this boy. The master found a large board, several rusty spikes and a hammer and dragged Damare out to the edge of his compound. He forced Damare's legs over the board and drove the long nails through his knees and feet. Then he turned and walked away, leaving the boy laying in the field screaming from pain.
A man passing that way heard Damare's screams and sneaked into the compound and carried this boy to the local hospital where the nails and board were removed. A year-and-a-half later, Damare and the man who saved him were in a village that came under attack, and they were separated. After the defense forces managed to drive away the Islamic soldiers, Damare was left standing alone. When the commander heard him speak, he realized that he was from the Dinka Tribe and took him back to their camp. After hearing his tragic story he tried to locate some of Damare's relatives. When none could be found, the commander adopted the former camel boy and took him to his home.
At age 16 years old, Damare began life again in Mario Kong, Sudan. He cannot run fast like the other boys, but he said he has forgiven the man who nailed his legs to the board. He knows that Jesus was nailed to a cross so all our sins could be forgiven. He has asked the Christian children in America to remember to pray for the children of Sudan.
We are living in an age of drop outs, and many professing Christians have lost their enthusiasm and stopped serving Christ. Persecution, indifference, and other temptations caused this breakdown, and ultimately John was commissioned to send messages to the churches in Asia. It was significant that at the conclusion of each of the seven letters, Christ urged His readers to persevere to the end, to resist becoming a drop out! That message is relevant today. Christ predicted the suffering that was ahead for believers. However, we are not to fear because we are partakers of Christ. Peter understood and wrote about such suffering. The believer is to rejoice for the privilege of being counted worthy to suffer for Christ's sake (I Peter 4:13). The sufferings of this present time cannot be compared with the glory about to be revealed to us. It will be a wonderful day for those who have overcome fear and faithfully served the Lord Jesus Christ. There are five crowns mentioned as rewards to the believer for faithful service. These crowns will be given at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Points to Ponder:
Questions to Consider:
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, I pray for the strength of all believers who are facing some form of persecution to remain firm in the faith that they may endure the sufferings for Your sake. May Your peace and love reign in their hearts and the seed of Your Word be planted in the hearts of those persecutors. I know Jesus is coming soon for His Church, help me to remain faithful and fruitful until He comes. In Jesus name Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship with Christ.