Thursday, August 28, 2008


I've been thinking about trials and suffering lately, and there are so many aspects to this topic. The thing that strikes me the most is reading about/knowing those who suffer or have suffered greatly, and yet continue to praise Jesus with such zeal. What an inspiration! I am always reminded of this whenever I get weekly persecution and prayer alerts from The Voice of the Martyrs. Though the sufferings are horrendous, the believers continue for Christ and rejoice in their suffering. I am constantly amazed by their testimonies. Today I was reading about two men in Ethiopia - Defa Guta (30) and Nuru Mulesa (45) - who were severely injured in an attack on their church. Both men lost their left hand when attacked by machetes. Defa is the sole provider for his 12 family members, and yet even in the face of this, he is encouraging others to put aside hatred and revenge and extend love and forgiveness... he says, "Jesus said we must still love those who attacked us. We are praying for them." Nuru must provide for his seven children, and yet in the midst of his sufferings he says he will continue spreading God's Word... "It is my prayer that the price we have paid will not be in vain but will be used by God to bring many to His kingdom."I greatly encourage you to pray for these men and their families; and also for all believers in Ethiopia who are under such persecution. Today's reading by Kay Arthur fit quite perfectly with all of these thoughts, so that is what I want to share:

Friend, have you discovered the vital importance of living daily with praise in your heart and on your lips?
Praise is the spark plug of faith. Praise gets faith airborne where it can soar above the gravitational forces of this world’s cares. The secret of faith is continual praise even when your inward parts tremble and your lips quiver. Faith frees you to rejoice in the midst of trouble as you declare, “The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise Him” (Exodus 15:2).
When Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsy were taken to a concentration camp, they were ordered to strip naked and pass before the watching eyes of German soldiers. To these two godly women, this was a horrifying experience. Not only were they enduring great humiliation, there was also the terror of the unknown. They knew they were considered enemies.
How did they endure? How did they keep from losing their inner peace as they stood naked before eyes filled with curiosity, anger, or blatant lust? Betsy reminded Corrie that Jesus, too, had been stripped naked and exposed to the eyes of men at Calvary. She told her sister that they were going to rejoice in the fellowship of His sufferings.And rejoice they did- time and time again. Oh, humanly there was nothing to rejoice about, but there was Someone in whom they could rejoice! Their fear and doubt were conquered by a faith that enabled them to rejoice- no matter what their circumstances or their future.

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