STORMS CAN COME FROM OBEDIENCE
That day when evening came, he [Jesus] said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.
— Mark 4: 35-37 (NIV)
(Read Mark 4:35-41)
From the disciples' experience we see that storms can arise just by following the path of obedience. We know that when Jesus says, “Let’s go to the other side,” we will reach the other side in spite of any storms.
Ahmad was a respected Muslim leader and a brilliant scholar. While studying for his doctorate in comparative religions he began reading the New Testament and ultimately gave his life to Jesus. When Sharia, the law of Islam, became the law of the land, Ahmad was called in for questioning. When he admitted to being a Christian, he was arrested, put in chains, and thrown into solitary confinement.
The first night in prison, the authorities tried to kill him. Unexplainably, however, they could find no gasoline for their car to drive him to the place of execution. The next day, he was to be arraigned before the Islamic High Court. A lawyer friend urged him to renounce his faith publicly and just keep it secretly in his heart. Ahmad refused. “Jesus is my only defense,” he said. “I cannot deny Him.”
Ahmad was sentenced to six months in prison, stripped of his military rank, and fired from his teaching position. His wife had already divorced him. He also lost his four children, his car, house, and bank account.
If at the end of his sentence he still refused to return to Islam, the judges said, he would spend six more months behind bars. Ahmad organized small Bible studies and prayer groups throughout the prison. “By the end of three months,” he said, “there were more than three hundred known Christians in our prison, at least seven from a Muslim background.”
One night, the guards threw Ahmad into a truck with orders to drown him in the river. But as the truck neared the river, it stopped mysteriously. Terrified, the guards and driver refused the officer’s orders to kill Ahmad. Soon after, he was released.
RESPONSE: Today I will live in the awareness that storms are a normal part of life in this world and the wise disciple prepares for them.
PRAYER: Pray that you will be cognizant of the storms you face which simply result from your obedience to Jesus.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.