Sermon by Kenny Foster, Senior Pastor, Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37 & I Thessalonians 2:9-13.
This Sunday is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. We are joining our brothers and sisters around the world in prayer as they cry out to the Lord, placing before him the things that they are suffering.
Persecution leaves a person feeling unprotected, without security, impoverished, and hopeless. A city is a place where protection, security, and opportunity to flourish exists. So the image of a city for dwelling is an apt picture of hope and deliverance for those who are being persecuted. In the message of Psalm 107 we find the Lord’s redeemed had lost their city, then are led by the Lord until they reach a city, then by his grace, they are established in a city. The persecuted children of God can take courage in this: that, in the past, just as the Lord led his people out of the hand of their oppressors, the insecurities of distress, and the poverty of desert wandering, he will lead them to the ultimate city, whose builder and maker is God, the New Jerusalem where they will dwell with him, and he will establish them forever. This is the foundation of the encouragement that Paul gives to the Thessalonians who were suffering persecution. It is the hope that the gospel of God holds out to those who believe. This hope is guaranteed through Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.