Editor’s note: This year, China Partnership is praying for the church in China to hold fast. In the fall of 2022, we spoke with Chinese house church leaders and asked them how the global church can pray for and support them in 2023. They specifically asked that we pray that they would hold fast to Christ and to his promises in the midst of pressure, persecution, and uncertainty.
They also asked for encouragement. In 2023, we will be periodically publishing letters of encouragement to the church in China from the global church. We hope these letters will remind Chinese Christians that they are not alone or forgotten, but that around the world, their brothers and sisters in Christ care and pray for them regularly. We invite you to join us as we labor in love and prayer for the church in China.
To My Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Church of China:
Greetings in the name of our common Savior and Lord Jesus Christ!
I feel very inadequate to give you any word of encouragement, admonition, or exhortation. Those who suffer for Jesus and remain faithful have the glory of God around them.
God has raised up a mighty witness among you and through you as you have gone through trials and suffering, all the while remaining committed to your faith in Jesus and your determination to worship together in his name. Thank you for your testimony; thank you for your endurance. Your walk through the flames of persecution calls all of us higher. It encourages us to stay determined to finish our journey and climb this mountain of faith. We can only do so by being held and strengthened in the grace of God.
Your faithfulness is so important to the world. The world awaits the great missionary outpouring from the church in China. Your suffering is preparing you for the challenge of unbelief and resistance to the gospel in different lands and cultures. So many are waiting to hear the good news from the lips of those who have paid the price for their faith. Stand fast dear saints, and then rise up and go wherever Jesus might send you.
I imagine there are days when you feel like giving up. There must be days of anger and frustration as you endure separation from those you love. There must be days of isolation, and of loneliness. There must be temptation, at times, for hatred and revenge. So, I call you, and remind myself, that we must remember Jesus who endured such opposition of sinful men against himself and did not give up. He did not curse, but blessed. He did not hate, but forgave.
It is not our power, but Jesus in us, who can be beaten, mocked, ridiculed, and even crucified and still pray for those who bring the pain. Our Lord Jesus has already won the victory over death and will include us in that victory when he raises us up to be with him in triumph and glory.
Hold on saints! May King Jesus reign and all his enemies be scattered!
Would You Pray With Us Today?
Randy Nabors is the Missions Pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga, Tenn. Prior to that, he and his wife Joan served as senior coordinator of the New City Network, and as the coordinator of Urban and Mercy Ministries under Mission to North America. He is pastor emeritus at New City Fellowship Chattanooga, the church he planted and pastored from 1976 to 2012, and is a retired Army Reserve chaplain.
FOR PRAYER AND REFLECTION
Pray for Chinese Christians to hold fast through discouragement, and to look to Jesus when they are weary and angry.