…discouraged the people of Judah and made them afraid to build and bribed counselors against them to frustrate their purpose… –Ezra 4:4-5

Tim Stanley writes: The religious persecution in Iraq has seen one of the most vibrant Middle East Christian communities almost wiped out – forced to covert, driven from their homes or murdered. Conditions deteriorated after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, improved a little with the US-led surge in 2007 and now, with the advance of Isis, has descended to what might be described as genocide.

There are those who are out to frustrate the purposes of God’s people and they will use fear and discouragement to accomplish their desires. As stated in the paragraph above, those who against God’s people not only use fear and discouragement to hinder the work of God’s people, but when they are in power they will even kill the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In the context of the verse above, the people of God were rebuilding the temple as they had been given permission to do. There were those in the land that did not want that to happen and they approached the government to order a “stop work” edict.

Today, in the U.S., we still have the freedom to worship and serve the Lord God Almighty, but those freedoms are under attack. There are those in government positions who would seek to, and at times do, try to discourage, make fearful and frustrate the work of the followers of Jesus.

Let us not be surprise or shocked when these things happen. We are in spiritual warfare. Our adversary, the devil, seeks to destroy (I Peter 5:8). Let us be wise in our walk, bold as we go, being and doing what the Lord desires. May this be so!

Dear Father, regardless of where we live and whatever government we live under, please help us to boldly serve You according to Your desires. May our desire be to serve You above all in the Name of Jesus our Lord!

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