Lion Hearted - by Lester Zimmerman

I just finished reading the book “When Faith is Forbidden”.  A collection of stories by Voice of the Martyrs of persecuted Christians. I was deeply challenged by the accounts of present day believers who are being persecuted for simply believing in Jesus or for having a bible. Some are beaten, kicked out of their homes, put in prison, or even killed.  When asked how we should pray for them, the one thing in common was that they would have the courage needed to continue in their faith and witness for Jesus.

They remind me of Peter and John. After they had been threatened and thrown in jail for preaching about Jesus, their prayer was for more boldness to keep preaching.
Acts 4:29-31 “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”
The thing that intimidated and angered the persecutors was the courage of the Christians. The threats and persecution seemed to have no effect on them. In fact, their numbers only increased all the more.

Acts 4:13 “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished, and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”

Many of our international brothers and sisters are experiencing persecution and it is increasing in the United States, as well. Biblical truth is called hate speech and our culture is trying to cancel our voice and intimidate us into silence so we surrender to their agenda. God is using these pressures to wake up his church and to teach us how to stand strong in this hour. Christians are once again finding their voice and becoming salt and light in their homes, communities, schools, and workplaces. This is not the time to compromise our values to make people like us. We need to join the ranks of the faithful who faced the lions and dared to stand for truth.  

Another thing that impacted me deeply as I read the stories of those undergoing intense persecution was their joy in suffering for Jesus. Again and again, they said how much of an honor it was to suffer for Jesus and join in his sufferings. Here in the west, we so often try to avoid suffering and ridicule which has caused us to lose our voice and has made the church weak.
We are coming into a time here in America, where we will be increasingly persecuted for our Christian faith. We need to make a choice in our hearts now. Will we stand for Jesus and for truth or will we compromise and remain silent to avoid persecution?  

It is time! Time to stand unashamedly for Jesus. Time to speak up concerning the faith issues of our day. It is time for Holy Spirit boldness! Time for the church to wake up and take up our voice and mantle once again. (Let’s just make sure we are focused on the right things such as biblical truth and values and not conspiracy theories that distract and discredit.) I am reminded of the verse in Proverbs 28:1  The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.

This is a time for lion hearted boldness and courage. Like the lion in the Wizard of Oz we need to find our courage. This is not a time for fear. We have been intimidated and silent long enough. God will help us with supernatural courage if we are willing to stand for truth.
Ezekiel 3:9  “I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.”

Deuteronomy 31:6  “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Luke 12:32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.”

Hopewell Network Believers – The Father is pleased to give us the Kingdom. The gift of his rule and reign, the gift of Kingdom power to drive out demons and heal the sick, the power to see miracles as God tears down strongholds and sets the captives free and opens the eyes of the blind to his truth.

This is the hour of God’s increased presence and power being released upon churches and ministries that are hungry for more of him and willing to be courageous in their witness.
Let’s be those people. Lion-hearted like our leader, the Lion of Judah.




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