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Friday, December 1, 2023

We do approach this subject with awe, serenity and tears, because we know that so many of our brothers and sisters will join the mighty army of martyrs of the cross before the end of this year. This is not a pessimistic calculation—Jesus predicted it would happen.

Christ warned us that we would be “handed over and persecuted and put to death” (Matthew 24:9). On another occasion He stated, “In fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God” (John 16:2).

Statistics tell us that on the average more than 20 Christians suffer martyrdom every hour of every day because of their faith in Christ. That is more than 175,000 each year! Also we are told that during the 20th century, more Christians died for their faith than in all the previous 19 centuries combined.

Prayer

O Sovereign Master, holy and true, I pray for my brothers and sisters who will be crowned as martyrs this year. May they sense the peace and comfort of your presence in all they have to endure. Gird them for the fight, O Lord. Help them to be victorious by the blood of the Lamb and by the message they proclaim, because they are not afraid of death, but are willing to give up their lives (Revelation 12:11).

While their earthly tent is being destroyed, may they have the assurance that they possess an eternal dwelling that God has provided in heaven. Give them a calm spirit and a joyful attitude. May they minister powerfully to those who will kill them. Convict those who take their lives—officials, police, judges and executioners—and bring them to the cross of Calvary.

Remember in your compassion the families and loved ones of those who will be martyred. Provide for them spiritually and materially.

Promise

Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life…Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed (Revelation 2:10; 6:11, NIV).