Duration: 365 days
JESUS’ PRESENCE DOESN’T GUARANTEE OUR COMFORT
A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown? Mark 4:37-38
Many times storms can make it seem like Jesus doesn’t care. In this story Jesus’ humanity is evident. He was so tired he was sleeping through a storm which caused the disciples—some even professional fishermen—to fear for their lives.
Without warning, Muslim background believers, Gulshan and Latifa, found themselves caught in a dangerous storm of opposition from local police—all because they had accepted an invitation to a Christian woman’s home to meet with several women who were not believers.
While they were drinking tea and chatting, the police arrived and searched the house. When they could find no incriminating materials, the officers left. But a short time later, other policemen started filming all the ladies. Accusing the two Christian ladies of holding a religious meeting, the police took them into custody. They escorted them to a police station where they were pressured to admit involvement in “illegal missionary activities.”
When they refused to sign, police detained and abused them for six hours. Gulshan was beaten so badly that she suffered a concussion. Only after their pastor intervened did the police let them receive treatment for their injuries.
| Gulshan and Latifa left their hometown and sought refuge in one of Open Doors’ “Safe Houses” in another region of their country. For a month they were able to escape the brunt of the storm, staying in the “Safe House” until the pressures abated. Meanwhile, the judge hearing the women’s case fined them in absentia seven times the minimum monthly wage—more than a half year’s salary.
“We were very happy to spend time away from all the tumult,” the two believers said as they later left the “Safe House” to return home. “We were able to learn more about spending time with God and being quiet before Him. To meet with other believers was a blessing and really encouraged us. And thank you so much for assisting us in paying these huge fines. You are a blessing!” the two women concluded.
Though it seemed at first that Jesus did not care for or about them, those who were the hands and feet for Jesus came to the rescue and the storm was weathered with encouragement resulting in more boldness.
RESPONSE: Today I will live in the awareness and peace that Jesus is in the storm with me. His presence doesn’t guarantee comfort, but it builds faith that He will ultimately calm the storm.
PRAYER: Pray that all those feeling that Jesus doesn’t care about their storm will realize the power and comfort His presence can bring.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.