Three weeks ago, an Iranian court was prepared to execute Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani for his faith, and almost no one would have known about this brutal atrocity. Today, three weeks after his execution could have been carried out, Pastor Youcef is still alive, and his case has been sent to Iran’s Supreme Leader. Since the Christian world's prayers have gone up to the Lord, and because of the public exposure of this case to the world, Pastor Youcef's life has been spared to this point. Continue to prayer for his life, and for his peace in the Lord through this atrocity.
Many things in our world have changed over the past few decades, but many things have remained the same. During the German occupation of Norway in World War II, Bishop Berggrav experienced the truth of the peace found in our verse for today. He was at his home with a friend when he heard a knock at his door. He opened it to find a German officer and a guard. They informed him that he was under arrest. He quietly put on his overcoat and followed the soldiers to their waiting car. Just before it sped away to a future unknown to him, his friend called out to him, "Remember 1 Peter 3:13!" Recalling that experience, the bishop said he immediately reached into his pocket, pulled out a small Bible, and read the passage. Bishop Berggrav later testified that in that moment, the reality of Christ's presence and peace came alive in him through this one verse.
When we ponder these two situations, and also realize that there are many in Pastor Youcef's position right now with families secretly being put to death; our financial situation, or a relationship with someone at work, seem small. But to us they are not small, and maybe you are facing a greater tragety right now that has shattered your peace. Consider these two stories, and look to Jesus who is the only one that can bring the peace we need in these times.
"Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good." 1 Peter 3:12
Have a wonderful Thursday, let the Lord bless you today, and never forget that you are loved!!!