Last week I watched numerous TV documentaries and films on the 75th anniversary of the Jews being liberated from Nazi concentration camps. I have been moved and humbled by what I have seen. The Holocaust is one of the most disgraceful acts of evil known to man but watching some of the `moving` services of remembrance and also listening to the very `moving` testimonies of the survivors, the emotion and the pain of that horrific period in history, is still so evident today, even 75 years on.
The tears, the heartache, the anger and the sense of injustice made watching quite difficult but at the same time, inspiring. How these survivors, survived, I will never know. How they coped with the daily thought of dying and the stench of death always following them, I will never know. And how they managed to endure the pain of never seeing their loved ones again, I will never know. Yes, I was truly inspired by the survivors and how they endured such atrocity.
Furthermore, as I continued to listen to the many heart-breaking testimonies and stories from the Holocaust survivors, it was the word `RESILIENT` that kept coming to mind. To overcome such evil there had to be something special about these people and I believe it was their `spirit of toughness`a hardy characteristic that got them through. Listening to the stories, many of the Jews were determined to survive and did `whatever it took`.
Today, God is calling Christians to be resilient too but in in their faith. It`s getting harder to be a Christian but God is looking for `toughened up` believers who won`t crack under persecution, who won`t give in to hostility and discrimination, but with determination, will do `whatever it takes` Spiritually to continue to follow Christ. Yes, resilient Christians`, who are `tough in character and strong in mind and spirit`.
These incredible Holocaust survivors stayed strong for six years and they kept believing even though they were demoralised but freedom eventually came. And like them, I encourage you to do the same: to stay strong in Christ and keep believing in the power of God, because after all, we too have freedom, `freedom in Christ`.
Blessings Pastor Steve
REFLECTION In what ways could the survivors of the Holocaust inspire you to be more resilient in your faith? Where has resilience helped you in the past Spiritually speaking?
MEDITATION How could your resilience in life and your Christian life help and encourage others who are struggling to survive today?
ACTION Resilience takes guts. What gutsy things could you do for your God with a `toughened up` mindset?