But before all this they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourself. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.
— Luke 21:12-15 (NIV)
During her years of imprisonment in Eritrea’s wretched shipping containers, Helen Berhane was often interrogated and pressured to deny her faith. The Lord gave her supernatural answers each time as documents in her book Song of the Nightingale:
Yet another official visited and accused me of being anti-government. “Political agents are just using you,” he said. “Why do you let them do this? Why do you risk your life to please other people and support their cause? Why make yourself a sacrificial lamb? Perhaps you are a genuine believer, but the ones who have asked you to stick so rigidly to this rebellious religion are just taking advantage of you for their political agenda.”
I said, “If I may speak for myself: I have no other agenda but believing in the Bible. Since my childhood I have never had any other intention. This Bible is not new – my fathers and forefathers read it. I am reading the same Bible my grandfather read; the only difference is that he read it in Geez [old dialect] while I can read it in my language. He used to treat his Bible with special reverence and keep it in a sacred box, but I do not worry about handling mine. My grandfather went to church for fifty years but he didn’t understand the Bible; we know it better because it is in our language. If you are trying to take us back to the days of the older generation, then you cannot care about what is best for our country. Everything is changing and we have to adapt and move with the times. Each generation of inventors must bring new ideas, otherwise we will have nothing new and nothing will change or improve. In our generation, because we can understand the Bible, people are changing.”
RESPONSE: Today I will trust the Lord for wisdom and words to answer those who challenge my faith.
PRAYER: Lord, give me grace to answer all challenges against You and Your Word with Your love and wisdom.
1. Helen Berhane, Song of the Nightingale, (Colorado Springs: Authentic Media, 2009), p. 72-73.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.