2012 Blog Archive

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Faith Moment
July 16, 2012
Trusting in Jesus

In 2005, a Vietnamese pastor known as Silas was told by local authorities that he could expect to see trouble if his church continued to operate without a permit. "Be careful," one official told him. "Watch out."

This was a threat as much as a warning. In Vietnam, as in many other Communist (and some Islamic) countries, governments commonly deny or delay church permits, then jail Christians for meeting without a permit.

Silas shot back: "I don't have to watch out or be careful; God will care for us." He went on to thank the official for the harassment and opposition that Vietnamese authorities had meted out, as he felt it had unified the country's Christians.

"Your persecution has made us stronger," he told the officer.

Moreover, the pastor told him that he loved him. "You can shut down our churches, jail us, and torture us. It doesn't matter, because we'll still love you," he said. "We'll love you, because God loves you and wants to see you come to know Christ's salvation." Then he delivered the final, loving blow—asking the official if he didn't feel badly about mistreating Christians. Silas told him he suspected it was tearing him up inside.

The official stalked away. Late one night, he came back. When the pastor heard him knock on the door, he assumed he was going to be hauled off to jail. But the official's manner was more like that of Nicodemus visiting Jesus, the pastor said. He needed to talk. He was depressed.

Silas invited him in, and in tears the officer told him how he did, indeed, feel badly about forcibly restraining Christians from worship. Most upsetting, though, was that he feared for his job if he did not beat and otherwise harm Christians.

Silas told him that God had a sterling plan for his life, and that he would care for him and guide him if he would only follow his son, Jesus. Before the night was over, the official prayed to receive Jesus. The next miracle was that the official advanced to a high position and was able to know when church raids were about to take place, so he could warn Silas.  The congregation was able to change their worship time on those days, and thus avoid arrest.

Just as Silas and his congregation are protected in Vietnam, so, too, will God protect you during difficult and dangerous times.  Trust Him and He will see you through.

With Love,
Mike
 

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