Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Courageous Confession

But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect,

so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written

in the Law and in the Prophets (Acts 24:14, NKJV).

I just read a story about a 14-year-old evangelist in Vietnam. Though threatened several times by the police, she continued to teach and preach and worship the one true God every chance she got. Then one day the police followed through on their threat and arrested her. Though held in prison for more than a month, during which she was beaten and tortured beyond her worst fears, she now praises God for allowing that time to test her and allow her faith to go stronger.

“Don’t be afraid,” she tells others. “Believe in the Lord, then you will receive peace.”

This courageous young evangelist was not only able to trust God to bring her through such an ordeal, but she was also able—much like the Apostle Paul—to deny all false accusations against her while never denying her faith. Paul openly confessed his faith and declared that if he stood accused of worshipping God “according to the Way,” then he was guilty as charged. He didn’t look for a way to couch his confession in subtle words that might ease his punishment; the Vietnamese girl didn’t either. Though unable to stand under extreme suffering in their own strength, they relied on the One who had already suffered unimaginable horrors and yet risen in triumph from the grave. With that glorious reminder as our focus, may we all give a courageous and uncompromising confession of our faith, regardless of the circumstances or possible repercussions.

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