From Heartbreak to Joy

Sorrow to Joy          Dr. Mike Evans, a Jew who converted to Christ at an early age, sends me his online newsletters regularly on behalf of his Jewish Prayer Team which he founded in 2002. The purpose of JPT is, “to unite people in intercessory prayer for Israel and to develop a platform from which to speak out to world leaders at UN conferences, peace summits, etc., on behalf of Israel.”
(For more information about Mike Evans and his background, go to the following link: http://jerusalemprayerteam.org/AboutDrMikeEvans.asp)

          In one of his recent newsletters, he shares this heartbreaking story:

Dear Michael,      
          This past weekend a Jewish man leaving his synagogue in Kiev was beaten by three men and then stabbed repeatedly. He stumbled back to the synagogue and collapsed. He was rushed to the hospital and is expected to survive. This story broke my heart because it is so personal to me. My great-grandfather was burned to death inside his synagogue during one of the Russia pogroms, and today that same evil hatred of the Jewish people is sadly alive and well in the countries of the former Soviet Union…and in so much of the rest of the world.
          The truth is that simply being Jewish today can get you attacked—or killed—anywhere in the world. The enemies of Israel and God’s Chosen People are becoming bolder, and they believe that their ultimate victory, the destruction of the Jewish people, is within their grasp. But God is greater than the power of evil, and He will work in answer to our faithful prayers.

            The brutal attack on the Jewish man as reported by Dr. Evans is sad and appalling and all-too-often common toward the Jews. But it was even more upsetting for Dr. Evans since it became personal to him recounting his own great-grandfather’s experience.

          The evil of hatred toward the Jews is nothing new, of course. From Bible times to modern times, they have been targeted by those who despise them so much that many have tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to eliminate the Jews from existence. In the process, violence toward the Jews continues to cause anguish and heartache around the world.

          In spite of this, Dr. Evans declares, “God is greater than the power of evil and he will work in answer to our faithful prayers.” He could not say this if it weren’t so true. Indeed, it IS true in accordance with what the Bible says regarding the Jewish people.

          The fact is that God himself claims Israel as his Chosen People (Isaiah 44:1-5). And although the Jews have suffered on account of their own disobedience toward God, he will reconcile them to him once again (Jeremiah 31:31-34). When this happens (and it surely will) then heartbreak will indeed turn into joy for the Jewish people.

          When God intervenes and saves his people from their enemies, the whole world will find rest. A time will come when Israel will be exalted and all nations will be blessed with peace (For example, see Isaiah 60:1-3.). We look forward to this momentous day for Jesus the Messiah (a.k.a., Christ, or “the anointed of God”) will return to earth to forge peace as he reigns to establish God’s kingdom (Isaiah 2:1-4). For we must keep in mind that Israel’s enemies are really God’s enemies. And, through Christ, his enemies will be defeated and Israel will be given special prominence in the world scene (Zechariah 8:23).

          This is Good News not only for the world but especially for followers of Christ. Our hope is found in the promise that all heartbreak will turn to joy, not only for the Jews but for all those who are God’s people (Jeremiah 31:10-14). This makes it personal to us since we, too, are among God’s chosen through salvation in Christ. God will wipe away every tear; eliminate every pain; and there will even be no more death when God’s promises are all fulfilled (Revelation 21:4).

          So, when Dr. Evans speaks of his hope for the Jewish people, we are encouraged, as well. We, likewise, continue to be faithful, to watch, and to pray.

Good News to you!
Pastor Michael

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