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Experts say 510 major violent conflicts are raging in the world today. In some countries, these conflicts include God’s people. Why so much violence? The Bible teaches that our inner-cravings drive us to pursue power, pleasure, and possessions. When these drives are not controlled, they lead to conflict and exploitation of others. The Bible not only warns us of the dangers of uncontrolled urges, it gives us the best antidote to control them. The Apostle Paul wrote that if we live by the Spirit—under His control—we will not fulfill the cravings of the flesh. And when we become targets of exploitation, Christ tells His people to be ready when others misuse and abuse us. Of course God wants us to work to eliminate injustice in our world. But knowing that the world is imperfect, He counsels His followers who face discrimination and persecution. In Revelation Chapter 3, the exalted Christ told John to write a letter to believers in ancient Philadelphia. In it, Christ said He was well aware of the persecution pretenders had inflicted on His faithful followers. Yet because these true believers had obeyed His command to persevere, He would protect them from the coming great testing awaiting the unrighteous. So while God’s people work for justice here, we know that the day will come when God will punish the pretenders and reward the righteous.

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