“’Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land. . . They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the Lord.” ~Jeremiah 1:18-19
The staff and families of the Rehab Centre at the Mango Tree in the Kingdom of Tonga celebrated the end of the year picnic at the Kings Beach. Sitting on the white sand, I watched the waves rage from afar, but their fury never really reached the beach. The coral reef surrounded the beach like a protective arm. The thundering waves moved toward the island but could do no harm because the reef acted as a shield, breaking the waves. God promised His protective shield to Jeremiah, reminding him that no matter who comes against him they would never overpower him. But Jeremiah was not fortified by his own hands; only the Lord was his protection. As the coral reef reminded me, so God promises to all of us that He will equip us to stand against whatever the waves attempt to throw at us. We can stand secure despite opposition or even persecution knowing that our Good Father is always on our side!
-- Hephy Karibule, Tonga; Neville Bartle, New Zealand; Lisa Lehman, Thailand
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we praise Your great and almighty name! You are always with us, even when we cannot see Your protection, we are secure in Your arms. As we remember those who suffer for Christ’s name to be known to the ends of the earth, we are strengthened by the Holy Spirit whose Presence and power is that holy fire that keeps burning and spreading Christ’s gospel. Truly no persecution can quench the fire of the Holy Spirit. Persecution simply fans the flame, deepens our passion for Christ, and emboldens the next generation to stand firm. We ask for Your protection for those You have called out of darkness and into Your light in this next generation, but when they do face persecution we ask that Your Holy Spirit fire in them will simply burn ever brighter until the ends of the earth hears of the glory and power of Your kingdom, O God. We pray this in Jesus’ name, both now and forever, Amen.