(Names changed to protect persecuted Christians.)
Farshid and his wife have been persecuted for several years for being strong in their faith. Farshid used to spend evenings with his friends and neighbors witnessing and praying, but in 2009 he began to be harassed, and he was beaten 7 times. Then the police arrested him and beat him for an additional 13 days. Because he refused to return to Islam, he was imprisoned for robbery. His wife was able to post bail, but that evening everything they had, including their home and livestock, was confiscated, and they were told they had to leave the village. Farshid and his wife left with $2.00 in their pockets. Recently, he and his wife were visited by a Christian supporter, and Farshid still prayed, "O God, we thank you because you have not left us. ... But [now] we have seen and experienced that you never leaves us. ... Lord, we are ready to obey you." *
Shortly after that, I read this verse in Proverbs. There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.
I also thought of Job 1:21, Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return theither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. And then Job 13:15, Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:
Through all of Job's sufferings, he trusted the Lord; he questioned Him, but he did not lose faith, and in the end, even the questions ceased because Job knew that He could trust the Lord. I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Job 42:1-3.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Matthew 5:10-12.
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. John 15:18-19.
Through this wonderful couple's witness over the thousands of miles, I have been blessed. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Words are so inadequate for His Goodness and Mercy (I have cold chills and tears!)
"I love You Lord, and I lift my voice to worship You, O my soul, rejoice. Take joy, my King, in what You hear. May it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your Ear."
*Quoted and paraphrased from a persecution letter I receive.