Sunday, June 24, 2012
One believer stood at the window, watching the midnight streets for movement that could signal the police closing in on the worshippers. The Christians were meeting secretly in the southern part of Iran. The foreign visitor added to the danger, for Iranian police would be furious to know Christians were sharing fellowship with an outsider.
One believer had recently been released from police custody, and the bruises on his body told about the treatment he had received. Although the police watched him closely and knew of his Christian work, he continued, ministering as much as he could when he wasn’t under arrest.
He spoke with passion and urged the gathered believers to grow more like Christ, regardless of the cost. All of them knew that the cost would be high, for all of them knew Christians who had been arrested, beaten, or murdered. Others had simply disappeared.
The wonderful service was long and worshipful. Afterward, the amazed foreign guest asked the speaker about his prison experiences and the suffering he had endured. “How can you,” he asked, “keep such a spirit of hope and cheerfulness in the midst of these troubles?”
“These trials are just ‘tools’ in God’s hands,” said the Iranian believer. “Who am I to criticize the tools that God uses to make me more holy?”
Humans have a fascination with the future. For centuries we have consulted astrologers and others claiming to know the future. We’ve written books and made movies based on the concept of time travel. We want to know what lies ahead of us on our journeys through life. Just as the clay cannot ask the potter what it will be, however, so we cannot ask our Maker what we will be. But we can trust that God will create something beautiful and holy with our lives. We know by faith that we are the products of God’s hands. In what ways do you need to trust that God, the Master Potter, is making you into a work of art?
Excerpted from Extreme Devotion, a book of 365 true accounts of men and women who totally sold out for Jesus. You can order a copy of this book from our online catalogue or by contacting our office.