I subscribe to an email newsletter and a print newsletter from Voice of the Martyrs. It helps me stay aware of what is going on in other parts of the world where people really know suffering for the cause of Christ.
(As an aside, I get a bit frustrated when people here in America talk about "suffering", because I think that we really know very little about what it means to suffer. Perhaps isolated cases do occur in our country, but by and large, we have it very easy here as Christians.)
At any rate, recently I received a card in the mail from VOM asking me to confirm that I still wanted to receive the printed newsletter and offering me a copy of a book written by the late Richard Wurmbrand, founder of VOM. The card included this quote by Wurmbrand. Read this and think about it. I'll resist the urge to comment too much on it.
"It was strictly forbidden to preach to other prisoners... It was understood that whoever was caught doing this received a severe beating. A number of us decided to pay the price for the privilege of preaching, so we accepted their terms. It was a deal: We preached, and they beat us. We were happy preaching. They were happy beating us, so everyone was happy."
This was obviously not a man who was self-focused in his suffering, moaning about how miserable it was. When I read this, it reminded me very much of the attitude of Peter and John, when they were painfully flogged for preaching the name of Christ:
"They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ." (Acts 5:40b-42 NIV)
Until next time,