What We Can Learn From Islamic Terrorists

SHARIA

SHARIA (Photo credit: AslanMedia)

A radio personality, I think, mentioned one day the steadfast patience and perseverance the Islamic terrorists have compared to the West. The Islamic terrorists planned many attacks, most notably the 9/11 attack. That one took years of planning beginning in the Clinton era. The radio personality compared the terrorists’ perseverance to the West’s impatience.

We can’t even wait to save for something we want and instead use a credit card to obtain it. One man expressed his anger over having to wait one second in a line. He says he leaves if he has to wait. What the Islamic terrorists have over us is perseverance, good planning, and strategy. Biblically speaking, the Old Testament has many stories of how long it took for God’s plan to come to fruition, like Jesus on the cross or Abraham’s first son.  While the extremists plan for years, generations even, we pray a request and expect God to answer like typing in a search term on Google—press enter and we expect results.

While obviously there are many negatives regarding Islamic terror groups, we have to give them credit for their patience, strategy, and perseverance. While violent mobs occupy the Middle East, we are encountering a different movement. A quieter Islamic movement using our own laws, political offices, political correctness, and the internet to creep into our country. In Dearborn, Michigan, Sharia Law unofficially reigns. In early 2012, a protesting group of Christians were allegedly stoned at an Arab Festival. There are honor killings or the threat of honor killings. While it’s peaceful here (except for the violent occupy crowd), the quiet is like a cat stalking its prey. It’s not the violent mobs that are running the Islamic groups, but the more intelligent, highly educated ones. They provide the kindling for the raging Middle East fire and the quiet stalk of the United States. But in life, we can always learn from our enemies and that lesson is perseverance and patience.

Hebrews 12:1 exhorts us to run a race. We must persevere to the very end. The trite term, “Our plans are not His plans,” come to mind. Like the terrorists, we should wait, but like a Christian, wait in holy anticipation of God’s purpose. So while results may not come quick enough to encourage us in our race, we can know that God’s timing will be perfect.

One of my favorite reminders of God’s purpose for my life is in Romans 8:28:

“In all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Can I pray for you?

Dear Heavenly Father, to my readers I pray for Your Purpose in their lives. I pray for the unbelievers who drop by and visit. I also pray that our difficulties may glorify Your name and in those difficulties we may be more aware of the joy surrounding us.

In Jesus Name, Amen

Why Bother?

There are so many things we do not know. We do not know if the economy will dip or if our team will win. We do not know what our spouse is thinking or how our kids will turn out. We don‘t even know “what we ought to pray” (Rom. 8:26). But according to the apostle Paul, we can be absolutely certain about one thing. We know …

“…that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Max Lucado’s Christmas Newsletter

If the ‘Why Bother’ attitude comes calling, remember the above words and focus on that. I tell this to myself when I feel it coming on like a dark cloud that promises death and destruction. God bothers, and that’s why I should bother because God, ‘works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’ Many times when I feel alone in something I have to re-focus upward instead of at my tired feet. God is doing something in my life and that’s why I bother.

So occasionally forgive me if I stop in my race, rest my hands on my knees, and breathe hard. I’m not quitting. I’m resting. I’m working on my endurance. I’ll be running again because God has planted something in me that just won’t quit.

When have you exhibited this attitude? And how do you recover?

In Climbing Mt. Humphreys…

A promising day of blue skies held a hint of rain. Some friends accompanied us to Snowbowl. We began a long trek up Mt. Humphrey’s. Our goal was to reach the summit, or at least the saddle. We had a time limit which pushed us faster than normal up this steep incline. On the way, we met someone who inspired us even as the strength in our legs nearly gave out.

This woman had lost her companions. They were jogging up the mountain ahead of us. It was too fast for the woman to follow. We discovered that she had asthma. The woman came up from Phoenix and she was not used to hiking at this elevation. She held two ski poles to assist her on the terrain. The woman was in good physical shape and stopped a lot on the trail. I usually like to call these stops, “admiring the view,” rather than admit that my chest is heaving and my legs hurt.

Mt. Humphrey’s is about 12,300 or so feet and the highest point in Arizona. We had ten minutes left and we were more than halfway up. We pushed our legs until we crested the saddle. We didn’t have time for the extra hour to the summit, but the saddle gave us an awe-inspiring view. It even began to sleet as we stood on the saddle far above the earth. On the way down, we came across that woman still working her way to the summit. I don’t know if she ever got the top, but I continue to remember her now weeks later. Her perseverance was amazing!

Perseverance is necessary for any Christian. If we continue to say we can’t do something, we never will try. Failure is not the road block, but fear; it keeps us from living. We question why American missionaries go across the sea to countries hostile to our beliefs, even as those hostile countries are putting to death other believers, and yet their perseverance and strong faith lead them to better things in their lives. Often, I have heard people say that God gives us what we need, because we don’t know what we want. No one growing up says, they want to go to the Middle East and get beheaded by an extreme Muslim. We don’t want to lose our home due to foreclosure or want to move to another town for a new job, but God knows better what we desire and He asks us to persevere in the faith and trust Him. That woman wanted to prove something. She never allowed her asthma to make her a victim. That woman continued to climb even as the air became thin.

I want that perseverance. I want the faith of a missionary facing formidable odds. I want to live following Christ’s plan because oddly enough I am happier when I am following Him, even when circumstances are miserable. It’s these treks up difficult terrain in thin air that drive my determination to do things I would have never thought possible. However, to get to this point, I lost weight, worked on gaining muscle and endurance; in the same way, for faith to remain strong it depends solely on what we feed our soul. Do we read our Bibles? Or do those Bibles collect dust on our bookshelves? Are they opened only on Sunday? Do we pick and choose what we want to believe of the Bible?

We were near those clouds!

FaithBarista_FreshJamBadgeG