5 Reasons We're Thankful in 2015 ~ The Gospel of Peace
Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!
~ Luke 2:14
Christmas is a time when we speak of peace on earth. The reality is that we are not living in a peaceful time. How easy it is to look at the evil in our world and forget that this evil will not ultimately win. Easier still to forget that those who practice evil can have their hearts transformed by Christ.
Because of the birth, death, and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus, we are able to experience this peace on earth, even when the world is in chaos.
Through our brothers and sisters in South Asia, we’re reminded that the only way for there to be peace on earth, is to bring the Gospel of Peace to people's hearts. This year, Harvest Bridge has seen thousands of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Animists find complete freedom in Christ. That is a miracle, and something to be thankful for! Many of those individuals were actively opposed to the Gospel, and to the missionaries who preached the Good News.
As one church planter in Northern India puts it,
Our enemies have become our brothers.
Again and again we hear testimonies of men and women who used to be persecutors, and are now followers of Christ. Testimonies like Than's*:
Last year on Christmas night, some non-Christians stoned us during our service. We spent that night in our homes, and could not continue our service. By the grace of God, no one was seriously harmed. But how wonderful it was to see two of those who stoned us turn to faith in Christ this year. Praise God!
That's not a story from the first century church; that's a story from 2015 in Myanmar. This kind of heart change came through fervent prayer and dedication to sharing the Gospel of Peace, no matter the cost. How thankful we are that God can change the hardest of hearts!
This Christmas and into the New Year, will you pray a radical prayer with us? Pray that the hearts of persecutors will be transformed by the Gospel, whether it's ISIS, a radical Hindu or Buddhist group, a vindictive local government, or an angry individual. Pray that national missionaries will be given their measure of faith each day, in order to continue seeing enemies become brothers.
*Name changed for security