What I’m Thankful for #16: Faith of the Martyrs and Divine Peace

This is one in a series of daily posts I conceived of writing many weeks ago while the election still raged on, as I looked for something to write about of more lasting value. The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving seemed perfectly appropriate for it. Just in case you wondered, the topics introduced are not necessarily in any particular order. I hope the series is of some small encouragement to you, even as my site traffic takes a dive.

We have no guarantee of domestic peace and harmony for all time. I am thankful for the freedom of worship, but recognize that it may not be a permanent condition for my own lifetime.

American Christians have been remarkably blessed. The level of persecution faced by the most faithful here is small compared to brothers and sisters in the faith worldwide, past and present. Then there are those who have paid the highest price – from St. Stephen and early believers fed to the lions in Roman coliseums to the Christian victims of state-sponsored persecution in the Sudan. Their faith is incomprehensible.

These martyrs would acknowledge that even this faith is not “of themselves” but a product of the peace of God guarding their hearts. Interestingly, the Apostle Paul tells us:

Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

A rock-solid promise. And one that really does surpass all comprehension. But it certainly does stir a deeper level of appreciation in my heart. I am thankful to God for the faith of the martyrs throughout church history, and ultimately for His matchless peace.

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