“Your decrees are the theme of my song wherever I lodge.” -Psalm 119:54
There have been times in history when being a Christian or owning a Bible was a crime. Sadly this is still true in parts of the world today dominated by Communism, Islam, Hinduism or another false worldview. When Christianity is under attack how do God’s people persevere? Christians possess a treasure no enemy of God can ever steal. We carry His words of Truth with us wherever we go. Those who love God cherish His decrees and familiarize themselves with passages of Scripture, memorizing portions to draw upon in times of need or thanksgiving. The believer’s quiver should have arrows full of hymns, psalms, spiritual songs and Scripture embedded in their hearts. This is the only way to battle spiritual warfare within and endure persecution of any kind. It is also how we mutually encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ.
In the film Tortured for Christ, Richard Wurmbrand, a Romanian Lutheran minister during World War II was imprisoned and tortured for fourteen years. He publicly declared Communism and Christianity to be incompatible with one another. Wurmbrand continued preaching although Romania had a policy of state atheism. He also rescued Jews. The result was his imprisonment. How did his spirit remain unbroken by the Communist regime? He prayed for his enemies; he had a verse about fear for every day of the year to recite. Wurmbrand carried the song of the Lord in his heart even to prison.
He and other fellow believers huddled together in their cells singing praise songs to God while using their chains as musical instruments to keep a beat. Often a guard would barge in, take one of them away to be beaten and then dispense the saint back into his cell. It did not deter these Christians. The songs in their hearts could not be stamped out. God had so captivated their love they considered Him worthy of such persecution.
The psalmist also knew what it was like to endure injustice and lies, watching wickedness triumph for a time, yet he too carried the song of the Lord in his heart wherever he went. Later in history another innocent man would suffer at the hands of others. This time it would change the world. Jesus the Son of God bore our sins on the cross so that we might truly live. The persecution our Savior experienced has given eternal life to many. This is our blessing, our joy and peace as God’s people.
Grace upon grace,
Grow deeper: Isaiah 53; Matthew 10:24-28; Colossians 3:15-17; 1 Peter 2:19-25