STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM


FAITHFUL TO THE
END
===================
This calls for patient endurance on the part of
the people of God who keep his
commands and remain faithful to Jesus.
Revelation 14:12

Patient endurance is an oft repeated theme throughout
the New Testament. But
it seems to be one theme we don’t talk about or preach
about much. Yet it is a
constant challenge for members of the persecuted
church.

Since 1975, Bengali pastors in Bangladesh have faced increasing
persecution
for preaching the gospel. Some are beaten, imprisoned or even
killed. As a
result, their wives and children often face isolation. They are
verbally and
physically abused, and they face extraordinary challenge to
remain free from
bitterness.

Pastor Mir wanted to take the gospel to a
place in Bangladesh that had not
heard about Jesus. So he brought his wife
Anjali and their children to a
Muslim community that had never seen a
Christian before. The community thought
that Christians must look different
somehow. Christians seemed so foreign to
them. So they came to see what
Christians looked like and introduced
themselves.

Over the next
several years, people began opening their hearts to the message
of Jesus.
But, not everyone responded so positively. Some in the village
pressured the
Mirs to leave. Nonetheless, they stood strong in their faith.
Then one night,
Anjali heard a loud noise. Someone was shot. Her husband had
been walking to
the market when two men caught him, shot him in the mouth and
he fell on the
ground. Then they took a dagger and stabbed him in the critical
points of his
body.

After a long while, Mrs. Mir heard that the man who had been shot
was her
husband. Though she longed to go to him, she knew her two small
children
required her care. So she could not leave her home. She was
thinking, He’s
going to die, and I have two boys. What am I going to do? How
am I going to
raise my two boys?

When Pastor Mir told onlookers he was
dying, some fellow believers defied the
threat of his attackers, and took him
to a hospital. Miraculously, he
survived. After years of extensive medical
treatment, he is preaching again,
but his injuries continue to plague him.
His wife still worries over her
children’s safety—and faces the challenge of
helping them understand why their
father was attacked.

Despite
persecution, Pastor and Mrs. Mir are committed to staying in their
village
for the sake of their new Christian brothers and sisters. Anjali says,
“If we
leave, then there will be no church and the people who have just put
their
faith in Jesus, may fall away.”

The real cry of their heart is wanting to
be faithful to Jesus to the end.

RESPONSE: Today I will keep Jesus’
commands and practice patient endurance.

PRAYER: Ask God to enable
workers in areas of persecution to endure patiently
the challenges they face
for the sake of Jesus and His church.

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