“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”(I John 4: 4)
The Indian Christian community was shocked by the death of a vibrant and committed church pastor by the name Sultan Masih from Punjab. He was talking on the phone outside the church in Salem Tabri when two assailants on motorcycles shot him dead on July 14. Christian communities are always threatened and persecuted, not only in Punjab, but it occurs throughout India. I was present in India when this tragic incident took place. While attending the Sunday service on July 16 at Mission India Theological Seminary, my heart was deeply saddened by the death of pastor Sultan Masih. In contrast to my discouragement, I found myself amazed by the enigmatic providence of God. My spirit was uplifted as I heard the testimony of Mrs. Sunita Jassal in the Sunday service. She also comes from Punjab.
In the year 2003, Sunita’s Father fell sick and was taken to several places for treatment. But, their efforts ended with despair and made the situation more critical. Amidst helplessness and fear, they were visited by a local pastor who shared the good news and asked them to repent. God in His mercy helped them to experience the everlasting peace and the needed healing for her father. At that moment of gratefulness, the family decided to commit their lives in the precious hands of our Lord Jesus Christ, all except for Sunita. She remained stubborn and strictly denied attending church with her parents. She was struggling within herself to justify her faith that she kept in the gurus until she was healed by the simple prayer of her mother. In order to explore more about Jesus, on a fine Sunday she showed her willingness to attend the church. Without being aware of anything that happens inside the church, she found herself sobbing deeply and confessing her sins before the Lord. From that day forward, her remarkable journey of faith started with the Lord. She decided to serve God by preparing herself through theological training. Now, she is married to Mr. Salim Tapan Pani and they are serving the Lord with Mission India.
Our God is always at work of “raising the right people, in His right time.” God’s work never stops or gets threatened by any situation. In His Word it is written, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (I John 4:4). No matter, how big the challenge and persecution, our God is great enough to give us strength to face anything. In the moments of despair, discomfort and discouragement, let us look to Jesus, who has already won victory for all of us. May the Lord continue to grant His courage and presence to all of us.
Quote of the Day: “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.”
Prayer of the Day: Let us continue to pray for those who are threatened and persecuted for the sake of the Gospel, so that they will be courageous to stand firm against all unfavorable circumstances.