7576 - Encouragement for Nigeria

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This message is directed to all of SONlight’s listeners in Nigeria

These 5 Minutes SONspot messages are played in many different states in the United States, and in several foreign countries. Five of our broadcasting stations are in Nigeria, Africa. Even in the city where recent riots and attacks have been happening.

This message is for each of our brothers and sisters in Christ living in Nigeria.

On our way to church recently, my wife and I happened to be listening to the news on the radio. There we first heard of the terrible tragedy that came to our Christian brothers and sisters in Nigeria.

We listened to the reporter tell of the nearly 500 hundred men, women, and children that were attacked and killed for their Christian beliefs. Our hearts mourned to learn of the senseless violence and inhuman treatment of our Christian brothers and sisters. We grieve with you in your losses, and our hearts and voices join with you in prayer.

Here at SONlight we have had the privilege of broadcasting in Nigeria for 14 years, and over those years many letters have blessed us from our dear listeners in Nigeria. Thank you for the encouragement you have given us over the years. And today, I want to do my best to bring you a word of encouragement.

Our Lord and savior Jesus Christ gave us a beautiful sermon from a mountainside.

This teaching describes how so many things in life are more than we see, and are in reverse of what our normal way of thinking is.

From Mathew 5:3-12:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things about you falsely on account of me. Rejoice and be glad because your reward is great in heaven, for they persecuted the prophets before you in the same way.

Most of these blessings are given to those that have something that we would not normally associate with the blessing.

For instance, verse 5 says that the meek will inherit the earth. Meek means quiet, gentle, or humble. This is hardly the type of person we would expect to obtain the whole earth. But Jesus tells us that the meek will be given the earth.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness” This statement makes no sense to us in a worldly manner, because it is hard to see blessings when our enemies are trying to do us harm. But you don’t have to take my word. Jesus himself assures us that those that are persecuted will be blessed.

Now, I don’t know what form this blessing will take. Jesus does tell us that the reward in heaven will be great, but I don’t know how or if these blessings will be present on earth for those that are persecuted.

What I do know is that those of you listening to this message in Nigeria are not alone. You are not by yourself. The Lord is with you; the Holy Spirit is inside you, and Christian brothers and sisters like myself are around the world praying for you. We may not be able to do much to show our presence physically, but our prayers for you are heard by a mighty and powerful God who is rich in love, strength, and peace.

He will hear your prayers. He will hear our prayers.

To everyone that is listening, join me and pray right now for those persecuted in Nigeria for their faith.

“Lord, almighty loving God, make your presence known to our brothers and sisters in Nigeria. Bless and protect them. Strengthen them. Encourage them. Grant them peace that is beyond understanding. Be with them in love and joy. In the precious name of your son, Jesus, amen.”