“All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12
“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness…” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Grace That Is Greater Than Persecution
In the home of friends in Southern California over 25 years ago, I sat with Romanian Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who wrote Tortured for Christ and many other books. As we spoke together of the unbelievable endurance and courage of persecuted Christians, I asked him how he endured 14 years of Communist imprisonment and torture. I confessed my doubt that I could have maintained the courage of my convictions under such extreme torture. For me, I told him, emotional pain probably would exceed even bodily harm if my persecutors would harm my child or grandchild. That kind of persecution would most certainly get to me. He assured me that I would have all I need, but that special grace is not given until you need it. We spoke of Corrie Ten Boom’s illustration of that special grace. Corrie told the story about her father, who would never hand her the train ticket until she was getting on the train because she didn’t need it yet. Pastor Wurmbrand said that God gives a special kind of grace sufficient for the moment, but not before it is required.
I am reminded of one of my favorite Scriptures, “God is able to make all grace abound to you so that in all things and at all times, HAVING ALL THAT YOU NEED, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV).
I love the “having all that you need” part. I already have all that I need. He has already provided all the equipment needed for all things at all times, and His grace is more than sufficient.
Pastor Wurmbrand wrote Tortured for Christ only three days after his release from prison in 1964. He said it was written with pen and tears, but God has chosen to bless this writing and use it for His purpose to strengthen His Body. His message had always been, “Hate evil, but love your persecutors. Love their souls and try to win them for Christ.”
It’s easy to move through life disconnected from what happens to believers in other parts of the world. Persecution in America pales in comparison to around the world, where Christians face extreme torture unto death.
I wish I could say that since 1964, and the foundation of Voice of the Martyrs, that persecution has ended worldwide, but the persecution of Christians has risen to the top of the persecution list. Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world.
A quote from Brother Andrew says, “Our prayers can go where we cannot…. There are no borders, no prison walls, and no doors that are closed to us when we pray.”
“Lord, please remind us to pray for those dedicated believers who are suffering extreme persecution worldwide. Amen.”