STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM


STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM

DOUBT AND FEAR
==============
But
as for me, I keep watch for the Lord, I wait in hope for God my Savior;
my
God will hear me. Do not gloat over me my enemy! Though I have fallen, I
will
rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light. Because I
have
sinned against him, I will bear the Lord’s wrath, until he pleads my
case and
establishes my right. He will bring me out into the light; I will
see his
justice. Micah 7:7-9

Chinese Pastor Wang Ming-dao was under
tremendous pressure after his first
arrest in the mid-1950’s. He was promised
release from prison and return to
his pulpit if he would just “preach for the
government.” In his mind this
would be lying and he was certain he could not
live a hypocritical life.

Pastor Wang was firm in his resolve, until he
heard that his beloved wife,
Debra, had also been arrested and was in grave
danger. He heard that she was
not eating properly and was growing critically
weak because of the poor food
she was receiving in prison. She would not
survive if something were not done.
This news so disturbed him that he broke
and agreed with his persecutors that
he would preach “a lie” and join the
government-controlled church.

His plan was to get his wife to safety with
her mother and then he would
commit suicide. He reportedly wandered the
streets murmuring “I am Peter…I
am Peter…” and his heart sickness began
to affect his body.

When the authorities realized that he would not
compromise himself by
preaching in the government-controlled church, Pastor
Wang and wife, Debra,
were re-arrested. She received a fifteen-year sentence
and he life
imprisonment.

Early in this second imprisonment, God
brought these verses from Micah 7:7-9
to his mind, which he had memorized at
the age of twenty-one.

Wang Ming-dao was no longer afraid—for himself or
his wife. He was finally
released in 1980 at eighty years of age—very frail,
nearly blind and
all-but-deaf. He had served over twenty-three years in
prison. His wife Debra
had been released three years earlier for health
reasons. For the remaining
eleven years of his life he was a great
encouragement to the church in China
as well as the many foreign visitors he
and Debra entertained.

RESPONSE: Today I will not give in to Satan’s
tactics of doubt and fear. I
will concentrate on the greater cost to Jesus of
my redemption.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for the reminder that persecuted
Christians are not
super-heroes but they show us how our failure must turn
into repentance and
renewal with deeper dependence on You and not into
self-condemnation.

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