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Friday, July 12, 1996

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Hosea 14:2-10
Psalm 51
Matthew 10:16-23

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strength training

"Whoever holds out till the end will escape death." —Matthew 10:22

The Lord's words to us today are: "You will be persecuted" (see Mt 10:16ff) and "You will collapse" (see Hos 14:2). We naturally believe these words apply to people of the past or, if they apply to the present, to someone other than ourselves. However, what if the Lord is speaking to you personally? If you brush off His words, you will collapse under the weight of persecution, for you will not be prepared.

To become strong enough to resist collapsing under pressure is not usually something we can do immediately. If someone told you to get strong in five minutes, you couldn't do it. It takes time to become strong. Although spiritual strength is different than physical strength, usually, we still need time to become strong. We often must prepare for months and years to have the strength to withstand temptation and be faithful to the Lord under any persecution. But we will not begin to prepare unless we take God's word personally and seriously.

Take seriously God's "hard words" today so that you will be strong in the hard times of the future.

Prayer:  Father, may I not deny You at the time of the mass apostasy (see 2 Thes 2:3).

Promise:  "Return, O Israel, to the Lord, your God; you have collapsed through your guilt. Take with you words, and return to the Lord." —Hos 14:2-3

Praise:  Jesus made the Gospel reading come alive in Frances' heart during Mass. She received a new appreciation of Scripture.

Reference:  (To grow in strength through prayer and God's word, order our booklet, Life-Changing Prayers From the Bible.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 29, 1995

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 4, 1995