A few weeks ago, I heard the story of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and I was awe struck by the strength of his faith in the face of certain death. Pastor Youcef was sentenced to death in Iran for being a Christian, you can read more about him by clicking here. When presented with the opportunity to save his life by “simply” claiming that Jesus is a prophet and not the son of God, Pastor Youcef replied “I cannot…” and went on to explain that by making that declaration, he would be denying the very essence of his faith and would offend God.
Pastor Youcef has become the face of the many saints who are being persecuted for professing their belief in Christ as their Lord and savior. These are people for whom carrying the Bible is not an option, they have to have His word hidden in their hearts and the only way to do that is to know and study the Bible. I think about them and other “last days saints” and I realize how much of my life I take for granted.
Unlike many people, I have the freedom to worship whenever, wherever and whomever I choose. And I believe that God has provided me with this platform to share, to encourage and, yes, to grow. In order to do that I need to not only study the Bible but I need to learn the Bible. When I hear about saints who’re being martyred, my faith is increased and I draw power and strength from their sacrifice. And I wonder, if in their place, would I have the courage to stand? Would I have His words deep in my heart to bring me comfort? I want to be sure and the only way for me to be sure is to study, learn and share.