Overcoming Fear, Anger, and Indifference!

As I reflect on what the Holy Spirit has done this past year, the Spirit’s empowerment is so evident! Heart transformation must take place in the follower of Jesus before it can happen in the heart of the Muslim. During 2018, the Global Initiative team had the privilege of literally traveling the globe! We trekked from Argentina to Africa, from Belgium to Bulgaria, from Romania to Indonesia, as well many places in between. However, we find a common thread in the church’s response to Muslims—fear, anger, or indifference! Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit is working powerfully to change hearts and perspectives. It requires the supernatural work of the Spirit to change something that doesn’t come naturally for any of us. We certainly empathize with our brothers and sisters who live in Muslim majority countries, but I think we often forget what they face in their daily lives.

Fear is a common and natural response when people face radical Muslims. Many of our brothers and sisters in Christ have suffered persecution under Muslim governments and lived under constant restrictions for practicing their faith in Christ. Islamic governments often do not allow Christians to have a formal meeting place. In a context of distrust and isolation, establishing true fellowship within the body of Christ can be difficult. Christians in Muslims countries often suffer economically. Many Muslim nations require their citizens to state their religious identity. Even though they may freely indicate Christian as their religion, this identification can prevent them from finding good  employment or any employment at all. Even if they find a job, Muslims doing business normally prefer to work with other Muslims. In some nations, Christians have suffered horrible physical, mental, and emotional persecution at the hands of Muslims. Some Christians have even been martyred for their faith in Christ.

Those of us who live in a context of religious freedom can only begin to image how these types of sufferings could produce anger in the heart of Christians. Anger is a natural response! When

suppressed or slighted by other people, the natural instinct is to fight back. Anger can dive a person to seek revenge, whether it is acted upon or not. Who really wants to “turn the other cheek,” as Jesus taught? On the other hand, Christians in Muslim nations who are not gripped with fear or anger can easily become apathetic and indifferent. Believers in the West can easily slip into this category of apathy and indifference by taking the position that as long as you don’t bother us, we won’t bother you. Ultimately, this can lead to an indifference regarding the eternal destiny of Muslims.

Despite these challenges, the Holy Spirit is constantly changing hearts and perspectives. This past year many men and women attended the Global Initiative training sessions and the Holy Spirit has instilled in them a desire to become witnesses for Jesus to Muslims. The Spirit is transforming the heart of believers by instilling God’s heart for people who are lost and dying without Christ.
They have moved from fear to faith, from anger to unconditional love, and from indifference to compassion for the spiritual blindness of Muslims. Because believers around the world are responding to the Holy Spirit’s call, the same Spirit is transforming the lives of Muslims!

Thank you again for partnering with Global Initiative in 2018 to see the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus extended to Muslims in many lands. Your year-end gift will enable us to continue making a difference in 2019. As we go to the nations to equip the church for ministry to Muslims, you are standing with us through your generosity and prayers, so that every Muslim can know the truth about Jesus. We pray that the Lord will bless you and your family in His continued call upon your life in 2019!

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