Monday, December 17, 2012

Words from our founder: Which is God’s highest blessing?

“I will bless you...and you shall be a blessing. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:2-3).

When we read in the Bible that blessings are promised to children of the faithful, some of us expect a good material position, a happy marriage, high degrees and positions of honour. But the Bible never deceives us about what is understood by “blessings.” The Lord Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake” (Matthew 5:10-11).

Christians know one sadness — not to be saints. They have one suffering — not to share enough of the sufferings of Christ and their fellow man. When sorrows are given to their children because they have the right attitude in life, Christians rejoice and count them as blessings. I write these things as a parent and grandparent, having searched my heart thoroughly to determine what I wish for my children and grandchild. I desire for them “the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings,” that they might be “conformed to His death” so “that they might attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11).

Obviously not everyone has to go to prison for his or her faith. That would be impossible in a free country. But free Christians can remember those who are in bonds “as bound with them” (Hebrews 13:3). They weep with those who weep. They pray for them. They fight for their liberty. They help in a practical manner. They call upon others in their church to do the same.

Excerpted and edited by VOM staff from the January 1975 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter. To sign up for the newsletter, click here.

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.

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