GOD HAS EVERYTHING UNDER CONTROL
When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.
—Proverbs 10:25 (NIV)
Throughout the Bible, God reveals that He is always in control over His vast universe and even our seemingly insignificant lives. Here is a true-life story from a member of the persecuted church:
“I was the only convert of a man who died thinking he was useless to God. Both our crimes were for violent robbery, and we actually shared a prison cell together.
“He told me about how—by mistake—he had been placed into a cell with a group of Christians. They were singing hymns at night and praising God together. He saw them as a soft touch and robbed them of their food parcels. He even beat them to show who was boss. For the first time in years, he felt powerful again. But somehow they were not afraid of him and repeatedly shared their faith in Christ.
“One day, in a fit of anger, he took his knife to kill one of them. But something—or Someone—blocked him from bringing down the knife. For the first time, he was up against a force more powerful than himself, and one he could not understand. At that moment, he put his trust in Christ. The prison authorities realized he had been allocated to the wrong cell, and they moved him to solitary confinement. There he pleaded with God, ‘Lord, let me witness to Your power and love before I die.’
“One night the prison was overcrowded, and I was put into his cell. I could see he was far-gone, barely conscious. He beckoned me close to his lips told me all about Jesus and how He loved me and wanted to save me. “When I woke up in the morning, he was cold and dead. I was to be moved to a hard labor camp that day, but the truck that was to take me there broke down. So I ended up in another cell—the one full of Christians.
“My truck was delayed a week. At that time the Christians told me the whole story about this man. They were delighted to learn he had witnessed to me before he died. The night before I was moved, I too trusted Christ.
“That’s the strength of suffering for Christ. It kept a dying man going because he wanted to witness. It kept those Christian prisoners buoyant all through their captivity. It gave me hope when I looked ahead at eight years of hard labor camp. I would have died if not for Christ.”
RESPONSE: Today I will live in the awareness and peace that God has everything under control—no matter what storms I face.
PRAYER: Pray that all those living in conditions as described above, will also understand God’s purposes for their lives and realize the strength and meaningfulness in suffering for Christ.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.