STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM


STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM

JESUS’ PRESENCE DOESN’T GUARANTEE OUR
COMFORT
=============================================
A furious squall
came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was
nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples
woke him and
said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown? Mark 4:37-38

Many
times storms can make it seem like Jesus doesn’t care. In this story
Jesus’
humanity is evident. He was so tired he was sleeping through a storm
which
caused the disciples—some even professional fishermen—to fear for
their
lives.

Without warning, Muslim background believers, Gulshan and
Latifa, found
themselves caught in a dangerous storm of opposition from local
police—all
because they had accepted an invitation to a Christian woman’s
home to meet
with several women who were not believers.

While they
were drinking tea and chatting, the police arrived and searched the
house.
When they could find no incriminating materials, the officers left. But
a
short time later, other policemen started filming all the ladies.
Accusing
the two Christian ladies of holding a religious meeting, the police
took them
into custody. They escorted them to a police station where they
were pressured
to admit involvement in “illegal missionary
activities.”

When they refused to sign, police detained and abused them
for six hours.
Gulshan was beaten so badly that she suffered a concussion.
Only after their
pastor intervened did the police let them receive treatment
for their
injuries.

| Gulshan and Latifa left their hometown and
sought refuge in one of Open
Doors’ “Safe Houses” in another region of their
country. For a month they were
able to escape the brunt of the storm, staying
in the “Safe House” until the
pressures abated. Meanwhile, the judge hearing
the women’s case fined them in
absentia seven times the minimum monthly
wage—more than a half year’s salary.

“We were very happy to spend time
away from all the tumult,” the two believers
said as they later left the
“Safe House” to return home. “We were able to
learn more about spending time
with God and being quiet before Him. To meet
with other believers was a
blessing and really encouraged us. And thank you so
much for assisting us in
paying these huge fines. You are a blessing!” the two
women
concluded.

Though it seemed at first that Jesus did not care for or about
them, those who
were the hands and feet for Jesus came to the rescue and the
storm was
weathered with encouragement resulting in more
boldness.

RESPONSE: Today I will live in the awareness and peace that
Jesus is in the
storm with me. His presence doesn’t guarantee comfort, but it
builds faith
that He will ultimately calm the storm.

PRAYER: Pray that
all those feeling that Jesus doesn’t care about their storm
will realize the
power and comfort His presence can bring.

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