I’ve been reading a lot about the persecuted church. Right now I am reading a book called,
“Tortured for Christ.” It is about a man who became a follower of Christ in Communist Romania. I remember always hearing about how difficult it was to be a Christian under Commuinism, but this first hand account is quite eye-opening.
Pastor Richard Wurmbrand said that there are no theologians in a communist prison. The believers were so badly beaten, starved, and drugged that there was nothing left for them to think about but suffering. Their prayers were simple, he said. “Jesus, I love you. Jesus, help me.” In those darkest moments, he felt Jesus nearer to him than ever on the outside of prison.
I know many believers during our time will be (and are) persecuted for their faith. Many pastors and teachers Rob and I know of personally in India have been beaten and jailed for preaching about Jesus. This is modern-day. This is a reality for them.
Fortunately, beatings, starvation, and torture are not a part of our Western Christianity. However, I do think there are dark times that we need to prepare ourselves for. I remember a Psalms professor I had at Moody Bible Instiute. The first day of class he talked about how everyone has such a sentimental view of the Psalms. They read them to feel good. He spent the whole semester trying to teach past the sentimentality-Teach deep truths about God and his Soverignty-Deep truths we could hang on to during those dark times. There is a time for learning, and a time for feeling.
In dark times we have nothing to hang on to except what we already know to the core of our being to be true. This is one reason why I spend every day, even if it’s just a few minutes reading the Bible and praying, so when dark times come, I am ready for anything.