While we here in this country are torn apart by politics and demanding our “rights,” God is up to something huge in other countries, where having “rights” is not even a consideration. Getting through the day and surviving until tomorrow is the foremost concern in many parts of the world. Most of us here in our prosperous nation can’t even relate to the experiences of others in third world nations.
I became so weary of the battle in the political realms this past year and now with the ongoing battles, women’s marches, and divisions that I had to simply turn off the media and the social media so that I could give my mind and my soul a rest from the cacophony, fear, panic, and general hysteria I see all around me.
Jesus promises a peace that passes understanding to those who fix their mind, will, and emotions on Him. He promises a peace that passes understanding to those who refuse to be anxious about anything, but instead bring all of their needs to Him and truly trust Him to take those needs. I’m not sure if anyone reading this feels as worn down and weary of the turmoil in our nation right now as I am, but there are times that I wish I could run away to some deserted island and learn how to really live in peace again.
Here’s the thing—a mystery with a wonderful promise: Jesus Christ is my island. Some who don’t believe might say to me, “Well, this God thing is just a crutch!” No, it is a stretcher, and I’m flat laid out on it. He is my peace. He is my island. He is my sustainer.
One of the things I have consistently done through the years is to find any materials I can that tell of the lives of other Christians who have undergone much more suffering than I can even imagine, and to hear their stories of peace and victory that Jesus Christ brings in the midst of their suffering. I gain strength from the testimonies of those who have suffered much, and who have learned through that suffering that Jesus Christ is enough—He is all they need.
There is a ministry called the Jesus Film Project® which distributes the JESUS® Film to every nation in the world in their own language. It is an amazing ministry and many miraculous stories continue to be told.
With all of the bad news and negative events we are bombarded with in our nation right now, I’d like to begin a little series of just the retelling of some of the stories from these kinds of ministries. Here is one:
Najaf lives in Southern Iraq, in a “holy city,” similar to Mecca. Najaf is from a fanatical family and his own wife teaches Sharia law. He began watching Christian satellite programs and became deeply conflicted. He began seeking and praying, “God help me, God help me! Where can I find the truth?”
The same day he prayed, he went to his office, where he worked at a used car dealership. It was a windy day. As Najaf unlocked the office door, he spotted a piece of paper flying about. It was tattered and dirty. He picked it up. The paper said, “Are you still looking for me? Are you searching for me? I am the one who died on the cross for you.” It was signed, Jesus Christ. He was further amazed to find that the paper was from a calendar page that was 17 years old. It had been blowing around since!
Convinced that God was answering his prayer, he visited a friend who showed him a DVD of “JESUS®.” Najaf was so happy and believed. A staff leader who works with Najaf now reports: “Najaf isn’t selling used cars anymore. He’s in full-time ministry working with refugees from Iraq and Syria, giving out humanitarian aid, and helping to show them “JESUS®.”
God is still moving, changing lives, bringing His “peace that passes understanding” to the deep needs of hurting people. Would you be one of those?