“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us...” – John 1:14
I have since been asked, “Which Bible verse helped and strengthen you in those circumstances?” My answer is, “No Bible verse was of any help.” It is sheer cant and religious hypocrisy to say, “This Bible verse strengthens me, or that Bible verse helps me.” Bible verses alone are not meant to help. We knew Psalm 23: “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want ... though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death....”
When you pass through suffering you realize that it was never meant by God that Psalm 23 should strengthen you. It is the Lord who can strengthen you, not the psalm that speaks of Him doing so. It is not enough to have the psalm. You must have the One about whom the psalm speaks. We also knew the verse, “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Cor. 12:9). But the verse is not sufficient. It is the grace that is sufficient.
Pastors and zealous witnesses who are handling the Word as a calling from God are in danger of giving holy words more value than they really have. Holy words are only the means to arrive at the reality expressed by them. If you are united with the Reality, the Lord Almighty, evil loses its power over you; it cannot break the Lord Almighty. If you have only the words of the Lord Almighty, you can be very easily broken.
Excerpted from The Triumphant Church, a three-part study guide on suffering and persecution from the writings of Richard Wurmbrand, John Piper and Milton Martin. You can order a copy of this book from our online resource catalogue.
The Voice of the Martyrs was founded in the mid-1960s by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who was imprisoned and tortured by Communist authorities in his native Romania for 14 years. While still in prison, Pastor Wurmbrand envisioned a ministry that would focus on the plight of the persecuted Church, raise a voice on their behalf, and provide encouragement and assistance to them.