My heart is breaking. I do not know whether to be sad or angry. 21 of my brothers have been beheaded in Egypt because of ISIS. To be completely honest, I do not know a ton about ISIS, because I chose not to read about it. I am someone who does not watch the news because it is always negative. Although it is good not to worry about the news, I also need to be informed of it. ISIS is a HUGE problem in the middle east. I have a friend that went to Turkey this past summer and she explained how there were a lot of Muslims there, but the majority are not radical. Unfortunately, the radical ones are making the news and doing horrific things to the Christians overseas. I am appalled to hear of the martyrs. I had a friend once say that he hoped to be a martyr one day. I thought that was the dumbest thing that I had ever heard! What a prideful and ridiculous statement. We read the scriptures and none of those that gave their lives for the sake of Jesus were excited to go be hung on a cross, stoned, or beheaded. They were brokenhearted and scared, yet they were filled with the Holy Spirit and knew that “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) They knew that even though they were losing their life on earth, that they had a hope for their future in heaven.
When I saw this picture earlier, I debated whether or not I should share this. I do not want to glorify the work of the enemy, but on the other hand I want to honor the saints that gave their lives because of Jesus this weekend. I do not believe that God was looking down from Heaven smiling on this killing, but I am sure that He was smiling at His sons giving their last breathes on earth and waiting to give them each a warm embrace for the first time. If we did not have hope, this image would be ten times worse. I am thankful to know that these men, my brothers in Christ, did not die in vain. They stood for the Creator of the universe, the Savior of the human race, and they were brave! I zoomed in to look at the eyes of those that were holding the swords. Most of them were looking down. As much evil can be contained in a person, I cannot help but believe that their must be at least a small part of them that feels guilty or that is fighting the thoughts that Jesus is real and this faith is true. I pray that the murderers will come to know Jesus through this. Saul (Paul) was a murderer of Christians, but he became one of the most impactful figures of the faith in scriptures! One of these men could be the next Paul! I am asking Jesus that He transforms the hearts and save the killers.
I think about what must have been going through the martyrs minds during this. My mind would be saying, “get out of here, run!” Or… “God will forgive me if I flee, I am too young to die!” What a spiritual obedience to be able to tell your mind no and your spirit yes! The Holy Spirit provided the strength that they needed during this time. These men are heroes of the faith! Their sacrifices carried a purpose! We will NOT back down. ISIS will NOT have the victory, demons will NOT have the victory, JESUS will have the victory! If they read the Bible, they will clearly see that our God, Yahweh, will win in the end of times! The God of all creation formed man out of dust, so He can surely mend a head back onto a body in the life to come! The 21 brothers are whole and standing in the presence of the Lord. They do not want us to feel defeated, but to keep pressing on and loving the world like Jesus. We will battle with our compassion and grace, not with our hate. We will seek justice in Biblical ways. We will stand for Jesus no matter what.
2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
With a heavy but hopeful heart,