What do you suppose would happen in America if the lights went out?
What would happen in other countries?
My family is currently engrossed in a fictional book series about an EMP attack and its catastrophic effects on everyday life. Real-life friends who were Hurricane Katrina victims have similar stories to tell.
If our technologically advanced (dependent) country was suddenly reduced to survival mode, what would happen to the faith of our countrymen?
Would it fail, or flourish? What is there to believe in when everything you have is taken away and you are left with nothing?
Richard Wurmbrand had to answer that question too. Not in a nonchalant, rhetorical manner from the easy chair of plenty, but from the bare, rock-bottom place of pain, despair, and want. Prior to becoming the founder of Voice of the Martyrs, he spent 14 years in solitary confinement and underwent extensive torture for his faith under the Communist regime. His biography tells the story of how alone in the dark, cold and hungry, with nothing to look forward to except the next torture session, he asked himself if he even still believed in God.
Did he still believe, when all God was bringing was pain and suffering?
He found that he did. He knew, deep inside: God still loved him, and he still loved God.
When all the hype, dazzle, pomp and circumstance have dissolved like so much vapor, truth is distilled down to its purest, most resilient form. Like diamond, harder than rock.
- Truth: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”
- Truth: Jesus suffered for us, and told us that we would also suffer.
- Truth: Jesus also told us that if we overcome, a crown of life awaits us. He overcame, and will give us the grace to overcome as well.
Later, Richard said:
“I HAVE FOUND TRULY JUBILANT CHRISTIANS ONLY IN THE BIBLE, IN THE UNDERGROUND CHURCH, AND IN PRISON.”
Let that sink in for a moment – “jubilant”. The man saying this often survived on one piece of stale bread a WEEK and underwent unimaginable torture.
I live in America with every possible blessing imaginable, but I’m not sure anyone would refer to me as “jubilant”. Yet Richard’s experience shows that people with the Spirit of the Living Christ inside them who have had everything stripped away can not only survive, but still live fully – abundantly.
When there is nothing left but our faith to sustain us, it will - if it is correctly placed.
Richard Wurmbrand also discovered he was not forgotten in his prison experience. God let him see purpose in his suffering while he was still going through it by allowing him to time and again lead others to Christ…even when tapping out Morse code on the wall of his cell was his only method of communication.
My answer to the question of will faith survive if the lights go out in American is a resounding “YES”…if our faith rests on God alone. If our faith is placed in the economy, in the government’s ability to protect or respond, or an agency’s ability to bring relief, then we will surely flounder.
IF OUR FAITH IS IN GOD, BUT WE HAVE WRITTEN THE SUFFERING PASSAGES OUT OF OUR BIBLES AND DEMAND HE KEEP US SAFE FROM ANYTHING WORSE THAN A HANGNAIL, OUR FAITH NEEDS A BIBLICAL ADJUSTMENT.
Do you want your faith to be strong and vibrant before hard trials overtake us, should that day ever come? I know I want mine to be.
Read Hebrews chapter 11. And 12. Often. And the rest of the Bible, while you’re at it. Regularly.
Read about Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsie and their choice, by the grace and Spirit of God, to not just endure the Nazi concentration camp, but to live fully in the midst of it and bless those around them.
Yes, our faith can and will prevail when it is correctly placed in a loving, Sovereign God, who can and will give us grace for anything He allows to come our way.
AMERICA, EMBRACE THAT KIND OF FAITH AGAIN.
Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near (Isaiah 55:6, NIV). He IS “the Author and finisher of our faith”.
What do YOU think? Leave a comment and let me know – I’d love to hear your thoughts!With faith, hope, and love,
With faith, hope, and love,