‘Lord Jesus, I do not care what happens to me because everything is within your hands. I will rejoice the day I see you face to face. You will put the crown of glory on my head.’
Hana’s* family are no longer speaking to her, except when they tell her she’s going to hell for leaving Islam. Although her situation makes her tired and weary, she’s becoming more like Jesus as she puts her life in her Father’s hands.
Musa* is looking for work. He currently lives in a makeshift home on the roof of a building. He was rejected by his family, imprisoned by the authorities, then shot upon escape. He’s made a good recovery and continues to grow in faith.
Elsewhere in the Middle East, Zeke* is living on the streets, jobless, disowned by his family and being sought by extremists. He says, ‘No matter what happens, I will not go back to Islam’.
At the Mount of Olives, Jesus prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done’ (Luke 22:42 ESV). Like him, these three individuals did not ask for their troubles, but, through obedience, they have found strength to endure. What wonderful faith they have!
Our generous God
As Easter approaches and we come to reflect more fully on the price Jesus paid for our freedom, let’s be thankful that God is giving believers from a Muslim background the strength and joy they need to continue following him.
It’s wonderful to be reminded that our God is so generous and loving. He does not give as the world gives, but with eternal promises that do not fail. James writes, ‘Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him’ (James 1:12 ESV). Let’s pray for our brothers and sisters in the Arab world to keep their eyes fixed on God’s promises, remembering the crown that awaits them.
*Names have been changed.