Converting Christians into Hindus

On December 25th, the day when Christians convert people to their religion, this year, we will do the reverse – by converting them back to Hinduism. In two-three years, the rural hinterland of India will be free of Christians.”

Are Shuddi and Other Radical Hindu Nationalist Groups India’s Version of ISIS?

By: ICC’s India Correspondent

9/5/2014 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – As the world is shaken by news of atrocities being committed against Christians by ISIS in Iraq and Syria, overlooked Christian communities in India continue to suffer at the hands of radical Hindu nationalists seeking to transform India from a secular nation to a “Hindu nation.” Christians in Uttar Pradesh (UP), one of India’s northern states, are under increasing pressure as Sangh Parivar, an umbrella Hindu nationalist group, and its associate organizations make anti-minority hate speeches and lead attacks on pastors and churches, pushing UP’s Christian community to the brink. Eerily similar to the anti-Christian events in Iraq, Christians across India fear the proliferation of radical Hindu nationalism and the escalation in persecution that follows.

A Church Transformed into Hindu Temple

In UP, Hindu radicals belonging to a group called Shuddi are targeting Christians with violence to make “Christian free” villages. The forceful conversion of Christians and other minorities to Hinduism under the Shuddi (re-conversion) movement has become a cornerstone of the group’s activities.

As reported by the Times of India on the 28th of August, a church in UP with a cross in it that belonged to the 7th Day Adventists, was converted overnight into a Hindu temple. It was adorned with a portrait of Shiva, a Hindu god, after what some Hindu groups in Aligarh termed the “successful ghar wapasi” (reconversion) of 72 Valmikis who had become Christians in 1995.

According to that report, there was an elaborate shuddhi karan (purification) ceremony on the 26th of August, inside the church in Asroi, 18 miles from Aligarh. Children from the village took over the premises and were seen playing in the church by Wednesday afternoon. The church’s cross was allegedly removed and placed outside the gate as a portrait of Shiva installed.

Khem Chandra, Sangh pracharak and pramukh of Dharam Jagran Vivad in Aligarh, said, “This is called ghar wapasi, not conversion. They left by choice and today they have realized their mistake and want to come back. We welcome them. We can’t let our samaj (community) scatter; we have to hold it tight. I have told them that honor comes from within the community and not from outside.” Chandra added that, “In the years that followed their adoption of Christianity, he met heads of the eight Valmiki families numerous times to convince them to reconsider their decision.”

Purging Christians from India’s Villages

Dr. John Dayal, a member of the Indian government’s National Integration Council, said that, “There has been a sharp rise in hate campaigns against Christians by political organizations. This threat of purging Christians from villages extends from Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh to now Uttar Pradesh, and to the borders of the national capital of New Delhi.”

In another incident that shocked the Christian community of UP, a church in Sahakarinagar village was rampaged by a mob belonging to the Bajrangdal group, another radical Hindu nationalist group. The attack took place while members of the church were participating in a Bible study around 2:30 in the afternoon on the 16th of July. A group of twenty five Hindu radicals led by Hemanth Singh, a leader in the local Bajrangdal group, stormed into the church and started beating Rev. R. C. Paul and other Christians who had gathered for the Bible study.

Rev. R. C. Paul, who has been the church since 1991, said, “We were shaken and are very scared of the situation in the area. We are concerned of our safety, even going alone outside looks very dangerous at the moment”.

Rajeshwar Singh, the coordinator for the western UP region of a radical Hindu nationalist organization called ‘Religious Awakening’, told The Hindu newspaper that, “From August 23 to September 15, there would be rallies in all districts against conversions”. Mr. Singh said, “The real test of strength would be in December, when our organization plans to convert Muslims and Christians to Hinduism in two separate programs.”

On December 23rd, the martyrdom day of Swami Shraddhanand (the leader of the 19th century Shuddhi [re-conversion] movement) we will convert Muslims to Hinduism in at least 50 locations in west UP.” Singh continued. On December 25th, the day when Christians convert people to their religion, this year, we will do the reverse – by converting them back to Hinduism. In two-three years, the rural hinterland will be free of Christians.”

In yet another incident in UP, the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) reported that, on the 7th of July, a church in the village of Saraiya was attacked by members of local Hindu nationalist groups. The local BJP leader, Harendra Pratap Singh, and the leader of the local Shiv Sena, Acche Lal Tiwari, were witnessed leading this attack.

Following the attack, instead of protecting the victimized Christians and registering a complaint against their assailants, the local police took the pastor and eleven other Christians into custody.

On the 30th of August, a pastor in the village of Noida, UP was attacked by a mob of Hindu radicals. According to local Christian leader Rev. Victor Das, a mob of radicals stormed into the house of Pastor Wilson Joseph and beat him and other members of his family. The attackers alleged the pastor and his family created disturbing noise in the residential area when leading church services.

Rev. Victor Das told ICC that, “This attack took place in the wake of several attacks and hate speeches carried out by Sangh Parivar across the state in recent days and weeks. The mob wants to create terror in the minds of Christian and other minorities.

Following the attack on the pastor, local police were informed of the incident and took the pastor and other believers into custody. Fortunately, all of the Christians were released from custody later that evening.

The Right to Religious Freedom under Threat

In a press statement, Archbishop Anil J. Couto expressed concern over the attacks on Christians and churches. He said, “It is very disturbing, and we request local authorities to take adequate measures to bring to book the miscreants threatening to weaken the social fabric of this great nation.

The Sangh Parivar plan [is] to carry out shuddhikaran – attempts to re-convert Christians to Hinduism,” the Archbishop continued. “This move by fundamentalist groups is a grave assault on the fundamental rights of individuals and people and groups.”

Although, news of Christians being persecuted in Iraq by ISIS will likely continue to dominate headlines, the international community must take notice of the issues of Christian persecution globally. Like Christians facing ISIS in Iraq, millions of Christians across India are facing persecution at the hands of radical Hindu nationalist groups. Without drastic change, this difficult situation will likely only get worse, as radical Hindu nationalist groups popping up across India have been given almost complete impunity under the new Hindu nationalist government led by BJP and Narendra Modi.

9 thoughts on “Converting Christians into Hindus

  1. WHY are Christians CONVERTING people? Does Jesus is SO MEAN to help someone ONLY IF he/she CONVERTS? Is Christian religion SO WEAK to LURE people into it?

    Indian civilization and Hinduism EXIST SINCE times immemorial. BOTH have managed to survive since AGES in spite of the fact that first, the cruel Muslims invaded and carried numerous atrocities, and then, the greedy Christians cunningly captured it and plundered it’s rich resources.

    Mind you all, that this religion IS SO TRUE that even the savage Muslim invaders and the cunning Christian rulers of the land DIDN’T MANAGE TO cause it much harm! That PROVES the sanctity of the Hindu God – that He IS THERE TO SAVE US. Yes, He HAS THE RIGHT TO PUNISH as well, like He did when he brought upon us – the atrocities and slavery for some time.

  2. I took great pride that I come from a great country, India, which is a democratic & secular country. Unfortunately, that is now changing since we have given power into the hands of some very narrow minded people, who instead of focusing on issues of poverty, infrasctructure, employment for all, corruption and other such truly pressing issues are focusing on religion. That is a very sorry state for a country with so much potential.
    Honestly, God is far bigger than religion and it does not matter how you approach God, the truth at the end of it is that all religions, in their very essence teach the same things, Love, compassion, do the right thing, respect elders, stay away from vices, forgiveness, etc.
    But, some really small, uninformed and mostly illiterate people make religion and God an issue to create divide and unrest.
    God, in no religion, has ever said to kill and oppress. This is actually the devil working through people using God’s name.
    I am sure that the almighty God is really sad and must be very disappointed at the choices we humans are making & turning the beautiful world he has created into a battle field (worst part is, by using his name).
    But, I am very hopeful that He will answer the prayers of people like me, who just want peace, harmony, freedom and love in the world, between people from all religions & races & nationalities.

    1. I shame on you , You tell being India. Why christian community converting Hindu to Christ . He want help then why doesnt help without converting hindu to christ. You were pet of America .. We are not. We are capable and If US are trying to do that then like you people leave our country.. We are proud on our PM. You were narrow minded … You are the sick of the AMerica… Dont see behind on you.. Our country is My country.. go and shift US dont come iNdia… shame yourself… Ghar ke log hi gandagi failati ho.. tum jaise logon ko chullu var pani men dub mar jana chahiye….

  3. radical Hindu nationalism what you people say is the real people of nationalism who work hard and help in every sector and field in india and outer side to help human kind ……they came fast when ever they are needed any part of india or in any accident or natural disaster…Hinduism never attack any nation to spread its religion but islam and christian do the opposite rape,kill,force conversation in india when they were in rule……..
    and yoo people say radical Hindu nationalism…….shame one you { giveing glass of water to lost men in desert in a name of religion }

  4. My Dear,
    The conversion are predominant in Christianity and Islam,There is popular saying which goes on the edge of sword Islam rulers converted people to Islam and through persuasion perks and carrots people embarrassed Christianity,
    But Hinduism is very old and never spread its religion or no one of any Hindu rulers entertained conversions,Hinduism was born in India,and will be part of India .

  5. Muslims islam is ruling India see wikipedia you can find Hinduism then Muslims islam , Christianity at last
    ..Muslim are growing day by day by marrying 10 wife’s of Hindu and giving birth to 100 childrens to be muslims islam in the name of love jihad means will fill and make the entire world full of Islam Muslims everywhere.. Shame on you Hindu people first stop love jihad ..

  6. HEBREWS 12-26-27

    He has promised, saying, yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also the heaven. Now this. Yet once more, indicate the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
    Jesus was seated with His twelve apostles giving thanks and serving communion, when He made a startling statement: Behold, the hand of my betrayer is with me on the table. And truly the son of man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed? (Luke 22:21-22)
    What announcement? Although Jesus knew from the beginning that He would betrayed it was for the first time His disciplines had heard of it. He said that one of them who had been with Him from the start a close associate was going to betray Him.
    In response they beginning to question themselves, which of them it was who would do this thing? They were overwhelmed with shock that one of them would be capable of such a horrifying thing.
    But their motive for this investigation was not pure.
    Luke 22-24
    Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be
    Considered the greatest. Picture this Jesus told them He was about to be turn over to be the chief priests to be condemned to death and delivered to the Roman to be mocked ,scourge curse, and killed. The one who would do this was sitting with Him at the table, the disciples ended up in an argument about which of them would be the greatest. This was the concern for Jesus, but a jockeying for power and position. We see from this incident an example of how the Master walked in love and patient.
    When our Lord Jesus Christ was to about to be crucified, Peter denied Jesus Christ two more time.
    Many times the leaders were offended on many occasions by Jesus. They send Him to cross because they hate him but Jesus loves them enough to speak the truth. HYPOCRITES. Well did Isaiah prophesy about you saying these people draw near to me with their mouth, and honour me with their lips but their heart is far from Me. and in vain they worship me. This statement offended them.
    Notice what Jesus disciples came and said to him.
    Mathew 15-12
    Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?
    Look what the Lord Jesus said: Every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted (pull up). Let them alone, they blind leaders of the bling. And if the blind lead the blind both they will fall into a ditch(drain) .Jesus showed that offenses will actually purge removal) who not truly planted by His father,
    Jesus would not be controlled by others. He would speak truth even if it meant confrontation (conflict) and (final) ultimately (finally) offense. If we desire the approval of men. God anointing will not fail on us.
    3. Jesus offended those of His own hometown:
    Jesus has come to his home town to minister. But He was unable to bring them to libety and healing He had brought to so many others .Look at what they said:
    Is this a carpenter’s son? Is not His Mother Call Marry? And His brothers calls James, Simon Joes and Judas? And His Sister, are they are not all with us? Where then did this Man get this thing? So they were offended at Him.
    A Prophet is not without honor except his own country and his own house.
    Can you hear these women and men of Nazareth saying? Who does he think He is? Teaching us with authority? We know who is. He grew up here. We are his elders. He is but a carpenter’s son. He had had no formal training. Again Jesus did not compromise (cooperate) the truth in order to keep them from being offended. The town people were so angry that they tried to kill Him off a cliff Luke 4-28-30. even when His life was on danger
    Jesus offended His own family
    Even those of His own house were offended by him. They were not pleased with the pressure that was being put on them by what He was doing. They found it hard to believe He was behaving the way He was:
    But when his own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of him, for they said, He is out of his mind—His brothers and his mother came, and standing outside they sent to him, calling Him, and a multitude was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, Look, Your mother and your brothers are outside seeking you. But he answered them saying who is my mother or my brothers? For whoever does the will of God is my brother and my sister and my mother.
    His own family thought that He was out of his mind. Notice that the scripture say Jesus family went out to take Him into custody. Mark identifies those relative as Jesus own mother and brothers who later found Him preaching in someone’s house. Even John’s Gospel says, His brothers did not believe Him John 7:5
    Jesus was reject by those who was close to Him
    Jesus offended his own staff John 6:60,-61,66
    Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said this is the hard saying. Who can understand it? When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this. He said to them, does this offend you? From that time many of his disciples went back and walked with Him no more.
    Things were already tough as it was. The religious people were plotting His death. His hometown rejected Him. His family thought He was out of His mind. To add more pressure, many of his staff members left offended But Jesus still did not compromise (cooperation. He just told those who were left that they were also free to go if they wanted to. The only thing for Jesus
    Jesus was to fulfilling His Father’s plan
    Jesus offended his closes friends
    Now a certain man was sick. Lazarus of Bethany the town of Mary and her sister Martha it was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragment oil and wiped His feet with her hair whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore the sister sent to Him saying Lord behold he whom you love is sick.
    Jesus love Martha Mary and Lazarus. They were close. He spent time with them. Notice His response when He the news arrived that Lazarus was sick
    So then He heard that he was sick He stayed two days in the place where he was.
    Jesus knew by revelation that Lazarus sickness would lead to death. It was a very serious matter. But He stayed where He was for two additional days. When He came to Bethany Lazarus was already dead. Matha and Mary each said to him Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died John11.21, 32 in other words why didn’t you come immediately? You could have saved him. Most likely both sisters were a little offended. They send a message to tell Him and He delayed for two days. Jesus did not respond as they expected. He didn’t drop everything instead He followed the leading of the Holy Spirit. However at the time it looks as if Jesus stayed was apathetic (unconcerned), as if He doesn’t care.
    Jesus offended John the Baptist
    Then the disciples of John reported to him concerning all these things. AND John calling two of his disciples to Him. Sent them to Jesus saying Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another? When the men had come to him they said, John the Baptist has sent us to you. Saying is you the Coming or do we look for other.

    Wait Upon The Lord
    By Daniel Yoder
    Forgive him? Are you kidding? After what he has done to me? I can never forgive him!” Does that sound familiar? There is a great tragedy when we cannot forgive one another or even our own selves. People who do not forgive are in a bondage that stifles their ability to love and accept those who deserve their love most. It cripples marriages and is passed on from generation to generation, (family feuds), and finally it chokes out the abundant life Jesus promised.
    Just what is forgiveness? It is the act of setting someone free from an obligation to you that is the result of a wrong done against you. For instance, a debt is forgiven when you free your debtor of his/her obligation to pay back what is owed you. Forgiveness involves injury, a debt resulting from that injury and it is a cancellation of that debt.
    Most people with an unforgiving spirit do not know that UNFORGIVENESS is the root of most of their problems. They can’t stand to be around certain people, they want to strike out when certain things are discussed, they feel uncomfortable around certain personality types and they lose their temper over little things. There is a constant struggle with guilt over past sins and they can’t get over hating people they ought to love.
    We don’t like it when we read or see where organizations or countries take hostages, we are outraged, yet when one refuses to forgive another, a hostage is taken by the one unforgiving. Usually those holding hostage will want something in return for the hostage, a condition, like a ransom. When a person refuses to forgive he/she is saying the same thing. Instead of holding a person hostage, they withhold love, acceptance, respect, service, kindness, patience, etc. and say, “until I feel you have repaid me for the wrong done to me, you will never have my acceptance or cooperation.” People who refuse to forgive, refuse to allow that debt to be paid and cancelled.
    1. The person who refuses to forgive is always the real loser more so than whom the grudge is held against. (In one Southern major city a racial group rioted but burned and looted their own neighborhoods a few years ago.)
    – To refuse to forgive is disobedience to the Lord and is walking by the flesh rather than by the Spirit and no Christian can be unforgiving and live the abundant life.
    2. If you have been really hurt or wronged, what did you feel like doing?
    – Was it wanting to do something kind for that person who hurt you?
    – Was it to retaliate? Was it letting loose some well chosen words?
    — Was it giving in and accepting the situation or did you want to fight for your “rights?”
    3. Paul tells us how a Christian is to live in Galatians 5:22-25. All the things Paul lists are the very ones that an unforgiving spirit holds hostage.
    “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:22-25
    – Do you want to love the one who hurt you? Is there joy and peace? Is there patience and kindness?
    – Paul then lists what the flesh is like in Galatians 5:19-21. An unforgiving person cannot walk in the Spirit and therefore must walk in the flesh.
    “Now the works of the flesh are evident which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries and the like; of which I tell you beforehand just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21
    – Paul lists the consequences of walking in the flesh in Galatians 6:7-8. Corruption is the consequence during the earthly life and decisions are made in the flesh which ruins and wrecks that person’s life.
    “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” Galatians 6:7-8
    3. Those who do not forgive are losers every time. By withholding patience, kindness, gentleness, self control and the rest, that person is help hostage by his/her own forgiveness.
    1. Forgiveness spills over into many other areas.
    – The ability to get along with others.
    – Unable to work out differences.
    – They excuse their problem as part of their personality and expect people to “work” around them.
    – They have a “take me or leave me, but don’t try to change me” attitude.
    – All the while hurting everyone around them, even those they do really love.
    1. Whenever that person is wronged in some way, rejection occurs. “I’ll never trust again.”
    2. One always feels “put down” when hurt by others and resentment turns into feelings of being rejected, unwanted or needed.
    3. Almost without exception, one with an unforgiving spirit, any hurt is interpreted as rejection and not being wanted.
    – That rejection feeling turns into unforgiveness and then into bitterness and a sense of emptiness which often drives a person into lifestyles not of the Christian life.
    1. The unforgiving spirit almost always WAITS for the other person to make restitution in which a great deal of time can go by during which non-Christian patterns of behaviour and incorrect attitudes develop.
    2. By refusing to forgive and choosing to wait for restitution, one’s lifestyle is changed to hinge on the decision of those who hurt them in the first place.
    – This attitude causes the unforgiver to become a hostage to him/her.
    – Release comes only when that other person apologizes and makes the first move.
    – The unforgiver’s life and the lives of his/her loved ones are affected.
    3. Sadly and unfortunately much of the waiting has been useless. The one who has done the hurt doesn’t even know that he/she has hurt anyone.
    – Often when one doesn’t take the steps to reconcile a hurt, that person just doesn’t know what he/she has hurt anyone. They are simply unknowing.
    1. It’s a FACT! The person who refuses to forgive always loses. No matter how wrong the other person may have been. REFUSING TO FORGIVE means living a flesh-controlled life and the abundant life of Christ is impossible.
    2. Refusing to forgive is like reaching down and grabbing a rattlesnake by it’s tail . . . you are going to be bitten and the poison of unforgiveness will work it’s way all through your life.
    3. All of us have been hurt by others at one time or other and it will happen again many more times in our lifetime. We harbor the hurt, we can keep on resenting the hurt. We can let the bitterness keep growing. We can think of ways to “get back” and be hurt as badly as we were, can’t we?
    4. If we do not forgive then we are losers! Whose life is unhappy? The one who did the hurting? Whose life have we made unhappy by our unforgiving attitude?
    5. To not forgive is to be disobedient to the Lord, out of fellowship with others, miserable around certain people with hate and bitterness welling up inside. Why does one want to stay that way? Jesus tells us to forgive, to go on as if it had never happened. Do not dwell on that hurt, AFTER ALL, ALL OF US HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN OF MUCH MORE.
    By Daniel Yoder
    Wait Upon The Lord
    Harvest Warriors Publishing
    If there’s anything in this life that we need more of, it’s patience. I don’t think there is a single person on the earth today that would say that they have “plenty of patience.” If you’re standing in line at the convenience store, you can at least see how many people are ahead of you, how far you have to go, and then determine what measure of patience you need to muster up. In this situation, we can clearly see that there will be an end to the need for our patience. We can find ourselves stretching our patience just a little bit more when we see that we’re “next.” Or maybe as we’re anticipating a trip or a family gathering that we’re anxious about . . . we can find patience as we’re able to mark off the days, seeing that each day brings us closer to the anticipated event.

    But patience with God is a whole different story; more often than not, we’re not able to see where we’re going when we’re relying on God to lead and guide us through the details of our lives. It’s called walking by faith and not by sight. In our “faith walk,” we’re taking steps; we’re trusting and relying on God’s supernatural power; we’re trusting in things not seen. If we’re not keeping our hearts and minds focused on His promises for our lives, our patience is only momentary. When we’re faced with uncertainties in life, our human nature finds it virtually impossible to be patient when we’re forced to trust in the supernatural over the natural . . . it’s much easier to trust in those things we can see, rather than those we cannot.
    More often than not, we will have to “wait on God.” His ways are higher; the fullness of His works are much too difficult for us to even begin to understand. Waiting on God brings us to a place of having to completely rely in and trust in Him, even when we cannot see the very next step in front of us.
    There is probably no greater virtue in your walk of faith, than to learn how to wait on God. And to learn how to wait in a way that is pleasing to Him. That means without doubting, without complaining, without questioning, without second guessing. Patience is learned, it isn’t given and you can’t buy it. You don’t just pray for God to give you patience and then magically you’re filled with patience. As with anything else in your faith walk, God is going to grow you by giving you opportunities to “walk out your faith.”
    So, as you struggle to have more patience with God; know that God has greater purposes: it is the testing of your faith that will bring you forth as gold. One vital thing we have to learn about God is that God does the impossible and He usually does it at the last minute . . . at least that’s what we think. Our faith should always believe that our lives are lived best in the timing of God, not our own. We must trust that His ways are always best. Trying to figure out God and His plan will only bring about more doubt and despair because it is impossible to fully understand Him. He has given us glimpses of His ways through His Word, but His Divine plan goes beyond all human comprehension. If God revealed everything to us, we would have no need for Him, we wouldn’t need to trust Him, and we would have no desire to have a relationship with Him. God wants us to know Him. And He wants us to know that at any given moment, He can move suddenly . . . and more likely than not, He’s going to move in a way that you weren’t expecting. Quite honestly, I think He likes to surprise us and often shock us by just how awesome He is.
    In the meantime, while we’re waiting on God to act in our circumstances, we’re going to have to learn how to be patient. We’re going to have to learn to enter into the rest of God, trusting in His Promises, being assured of His goodness and His greatness. When your back is against the wall, when there seems to be no hope, simply Trust God. Seek out those Promises in His Word that will encourage you in your faith as you wait on Him. Allow this waiting time to be a preparation for the blessing that God is arranging for you. Trust that He is diligently at work behind the scenes of your life. Trust that He can take whatever failures and disappointments you have in your life and bring beauty from your ashes.
    Whatever failures and disappointments you’ve had in your life, trust in God’s promise of Psalm 37:4, that He will give you the desires of your heart. He may not even give you a glimpse of what He’s doing, but don’t lose hope. Continue to seek Him, continue to develop your relationship with Him, ask Him for the grace you need to wait on Him; there is great purpose behind your season of waiting. Your greatest disappointment, your deepest valley, can develop the greatest faith and an abundance of patience that will carry you through to the victory God is preparing in your life.
    * * * * * * * *
    Like everything else in the Christian life, patience is learned. When we’re waiting on God our patience will only come with a complete trust in His Promises for our lives. Patience is: the will or ability to wait. But what we must clearly understand is that it’s not just about waiting to get what we want, it’s ultimately about waiting for God to accomplish His purposes in our lives. We’re not waiting on our will to be done, but His. C.S. Lewis said that there are two kinds of people, “Those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, ‘Alright then, have it your way.'” We’ve got to get this straight in our faith – real faith trusts God and HIS ways, not our own. Patience is about how much we trust God. If we’re doubting, frustrated, discontented, and angry about the situations in our lives, we’re declaring that God is NOT in control. We must rest assured through His Word that what He is preparing for us, what He’s working on behind the scenes of our lives, is worth waiting for. We must walk out our faith.
    But waiting also includes expecting. If you’re waiting in line, you’re expecting that at some point, you’re going to be in front. You’re waiting your turn, AND you’re ready to receive. If you’ve ever been in this situation, and I know you have, you know that your attitude while you’re in the line can have an effect on the rest of your day, if not the rest of your week! It’s not always about getting to the destination . . . it’s about the journey. It has been said that “getting to the Red Seas is just as important as crossing it!” God wants to teach you some things along the way. In your times of waiting, God has the ability to capture your full attention. While He’s at work in our circumstances, He’s also trying to do a work in you. He’s bringing it all together. So, you should be expecting Him.
    But for most of us, not very often are we expecting God . . . and even if we are, we usually have expectations as to how, when and where He should show up. Even if we’re waiting patiently for a period of time, we suddenly find ourselves losing our patience because “God is taking too long” OR He came through . . . just not how we thought He would. But what we must decide is . . . how long is too long to wait on God??? . . . we must trust that whatever He’s got planned, whatever He’s doing, He’s working for our good, and it is WORTH waiting for! Psalm 22:5 tells us, “You heard their cries for help and saved them. They put their trust in You and were never disappointed.” Trusting God doesn’t mean trusting Him to do things according to YOUR will . . . it’s trusting that WHATEVER He does, He does out of love, and although it may be beyond our understanding, He promises that if we will continue to trust Him, we will NEVER be disappointed.
    * * * * * * * *
    We can find ourselves disappointed in many ways along our journey, yet God instructs us NOT to allow it in our lives. John 14:27 SAYS, “Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.” God has given us a spirit of self-control. If Jesus is truly living within us, then we are able to keep ourselves from being discontent. Contentment comes from fully trusting God. It comes from understanding that when you pray, God may answer “yes,” and He may answer “no,” but either way, God is never wrong. You can ask God for what you want, but you must trust that “if it is right” He will bring it to pass “AT THE RIGHT TIME,” and if it isn’t right, God will work His plans for what is the very best for you. We must learn to trust God completely if we ever want to experience peace in this life. As we learn to fully trust Him, we find ourselves living with greater patience than we ever thought imaginable. Listen, God wants you to not only trust Him in some things, but to trust Him in EVERYTHING. Your greatest trial or tragedy can grow your faith beyond all your comprehension . . . if you will continue to keep your eyes on God through it all.
    “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” 2 Chronicles 20:12 (NIV)
    Whatever it is you’re going through, whatever it is you’re struggling with, know that God is with you. In Matthew 28:20 Jesus said, “I am with you always.” God has not forgotten you, nor has He abandoned you. God is good, Jesus is real, and He gave you life on purpose. You were approved by Him and all of your circumstances are sifted through Him before they ever reach you. Whatever it is you’re going through, you can know that God has found purpose and significance in it. Draw near to Him during this time of uncertainty . . . continue to wait, to trust, to hope and to lean on God.
    * * * * * * * *
    So, while we’re in God’s “waiting room,” so to speak . . . what are we supposed to do? If we’re not to get agitated or disturbed, God must want us to do something! And He does. In our times of waiting, along our journey, He wants us to trust that He has a purpose for His delay. Believing God is not just believing Him for the things that you want, in the way that you want them. It’s believing that God knows what He’s doing and that He’ll do what’s best in your life . . . in His perfect timing. God wants you to pour out your heart and soul to Him. He wants you to confess your frustration, anger, discouragement, and bitterness. If you refuse to honestly express yourself before God, you cannot fully embrace His love and comfort. Let it out . . . God can take it. Nothing that you’re feeling or saying will shock or surprise Him. If you read Psalm 62:8
    (AMP), you’ll get clear direction as to what God wants you to do in your times of despair, in your times of impatience, it says: “Trust in, lean on, rely on, and have confidence in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us (a fortress and a high tower). [pause and calmly think of that!]”
    So, God wants you to get honest with Him . . . lay it all out, and then He wants you to serve Him. If you’re hurting, find someone you can comfort; if you’re lonely, go visit someone who is alone; if you’re in need, find someone who needs your help. Give and it will be given unto you. God has promised to provide your every need. Listen, don’t wait for God to fulfill your desire to answer your prayers before you serve Him. When you step out to meet the needs of others, you are allowing the love, mercy, and grace of God to flow in and through you and God will bless you for it.
    While you wait on God, He wants you to prepare yourself for His answer, by seeking Him and finding contentment in your current circumstances. If you are enjoying your life “as is,” then you’re demonstrating your faith in Him regardless of what you see. You’re showing Him you are ready to receive what He has for you; you’re showing Him you know how to walk by faith.
    When you walk by faith, you’re showing God gratitude and thanks, declaring your faith in Him, living out your belief that He is sovereign. You know, there is no such thing as God being “almost” sovereign. So if we’re truly trusting God, if we’re believing that He is who He says He is, if we believe He is sovereign . . . then our Spirit and soul should be content. In Philippians 4:11-12, the Apostle Paul said, “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.” Here’s the secret, it’s trusting God . . . it’s relying on Him for your every need. It’s walking by faith and not by sight. It is contentment that is firmly grounded in Christ.
    * * * * * * * *
    Listen, waiting on God is never wasted time . . . it doesn’t mean doing nothing. God can use the “waiting times” in our lives for greater purposes than we can possibly imagine. Use your “waiting” times to draw nearer to Him and use them to gain strength for what lies ahead. While we wait upon God, He’s getting us in step with Him, He’s working behind the scenes, and He’s preparing us for His answers to our prayers. Trust God, He won’t let you down.
    Although it can often times seem like time is being wasted, like nothing is happening, and possibly God has forgotten about us . . . We must get the facts straight, so that we do not live a lie. We must clearly understand that if we’re declaring our faith in God, He never lets go. You see it’s not that God has abandoned us; it’s that many times, too often, we abandon Him.
    There is nothing more important in your life than living a life of Truth . . . living a life that is grounded in God’s Promises for your life; if you do not, you are sure to travel the road of destruction. If you’re being patient with God, then you’re fully trusting in Him, you’re walking by faith and NOT by sight.
    * * * * * * * *
    While you’re waiting on God to work His plans in your life, you can increase your faith by trusting in Romans 8:28. I says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” He didn’t say that “some things” are useful to God and others are wasted. He’s saying He will use it ALL. The good and the bad, the pain and the joy, the fullness and the emptiness . . . He will use it all. It’s not just that God is working His good purposes, it’s that He’s working thing for YOUR good too.
    Now, some might be tempted to believe that God can’t be such a loving God when He allows tragedy and heartache, but the Truth is that we live in a fallen world, filled with sin; God’s desire is to reconcile that world to Himself. As He works to open the hearts of His people, there are hearts that shut Him out, and there is darkness in the world in which we live. But if we are calling upon God, He promises that He is with us . . . and whatever we must go through . . . He is with us always. He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. God is watching over your life.
    * * * * * * * *
    ” . . . For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
    Here’s a little story, I think you’ll enjoy . . . and hopefully you’ll take its message with you in your life.
    Some years ago, on a hot summer day in Florida, a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore. His mother in the house was looking out the window and saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, she ran toward the water yelling to her son as loudly as she could. Hearing her voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a U-turn to swim to his mother. It was too late. Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him. From the dock, the mother grabbed her little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two. The alligator was much stronger than the mother, but the mother was much too passionate to let go.
    A farmer happened to drive by, heard her screams, raced from his truck, took aim and shot the alligator. Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived . . . His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal, and on his arms, were deep scratches where his mother’s fingernails dug into his flash in her effort to hang on to the son she loved.
    The newspaper reporter who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked if he could show him his scars. The boy lifted his pant legs. And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, “But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms too. I have them because my Mom wouldn’t let go.”
    We can relate in our lives as we reflect upon God’s love for us. The enemy has been pulling on us, tugging on us, and we have scars. We have scars of a painful past, of sins that have left their mark. But what we must never forget is that some of those wounds are because God refused to let go. In the midst of all that you’ve been through, God has been holding on to you.
    While you’re “waiting” on God in your life, as you’re struggling with the difficult circumstances in your life, God wants to increase your faith and draw you near to Him. He wants to better reveal Himself to you and bring you to a place of contentment and peace, knowing that He is holding on to you. He is in control, and He is overseeing and working in and through every detail of your life. You may not be able to understand His ways, you may not even get a glimpse of what He’s up to, but if you’re trusting in His Word, you can know with confident assurance that He is working all things for your good, He is with you always, and He will never leave you nor forsake you.

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