May 8, 2017
- By Ed Powell
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"You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance." Psalm 32:7
When devastating circumstances confront you, what is your refuge, what secures your hope, what is your strength, what is your hiding place? In his book "1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching," Michael Green tells of the undaunted faith of Eric Barker, who was a missionary in Portugal for 50 years, preaching the gospel under very adverse conditions. During World War II, the situation became so critical that on the advice of friends, he sent his wife, his eight children, his sister, and her three children back to England. The Sunday after they left, he stood before his congregation and said, "I've just received word that all my family arrived home safely." He then proceeded with the service as usual. Later in the message, his people knew the full meaning of his words. He had been handed a wire just before the service informing him that a German submarine had torpedoed the ship his family was on and there were no survivors. Knowing that his family and his sister's family were Christians and that they were now "home with the Lord," he found a refuge in God that enabled him to live above the tragedy in spite of the overwhelming grief.
I thought of the young girl at Columbine High School who faced certain death as she knelt before a deranged student holding a gun to her head. He asked her, "Do you still believe in Jesus?" She replied, "Yes, I'm a Christian and He is my Savior." With her testimony, she sealed her fate as he pulled the trigger.
Corrie ten Boom, in her book, "The Hiding Place," tells of her astounding encounter in a small German church in Munich. She had come to tell the people of defeated Germany that God forgives. She spoke of the inhumane conditions and treatment, the bitterness and hate, the cruelty and beatings she experienced in the German concentration camps. Yet she maintained her unreserved faith in God.
Standing at the back of the small church, shaking hands with those who were leaving, she was greeted by the last person in line. The man was one of the cruel guards from her former prison. He thrust out his hand and said, "A fine message, Fraulein! How good it is to know that, as you say, all our sins are at the bottom of the sea. You mentioned Ravensbruck in your talk. I was a guard there. But since that time I have become a Christian. I know that God has forgiven me for the cruel things I did there, but I would like to hear it from your lips as well, Fraulein." He reached out to her as he asked, "Will you forgive me?"
It was a moment of truth! How real was her faith? How deep had God's love penetrated her heart? This verse instantly came to her: "If you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses." With those words burning within her heart, with tears in her eyes, and by the grace of God, she answered, "Yes, I forgive you, my brother, with all my heart." She later said, "For a long moment we grasped each other, the former guard and the former prisoner, and I have never known God's love so intensely as I did at that moment."
Do you have such a blessed refuge in Christ? You can, if you will trust Him with all your heart!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2017-05-08
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