Standing Strong Through the Storm - Friday, August 23, 2013
SINGING IN THE STORM
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me. Psalm 13:5-6
The Psalmist expresses his praise in the context of asking God for deliverance from his enemies. His trust results in rejoicing which then results in singing God’s praises.
A simple peasant girl from the countryside in China has used her musical creativity to encourage the house church movement all across China and touch the lives of millions of believers.
Xiao Min was born in a village in Henan Province in central China and has experienced much persecution. Though only receiving a junior high level education, she has been able to compose over 1,270 different hymns—both music and lyrics—that are sung by the Chinese churches in China and now throughout the world. They are known as the Canaan Hymns. Amazing creativity for a young lady with no musical training!
Xiao Min shares that twenty years ago many believers were arrested by the Chinese government. At that time, she prayed to the Lord asking if she could also be arrested and suffer together with these fellow believers. Soon after, she was indeed arrested and sent to prison. She says that she wasn’t scared at all.
One summer day in prison when it was extremely hot she requested the guard to let everyone wash their hair. But she received a rude response telling her to ask the Lord Jesus to wash their hair for them. She used this discouraging response as an inspiration to write hymn number 56, “Lord, We Know Deeply” in the Canaan Hymns series.
In this hymn, Xiao Min sings:
Lord we know deeply that in every moment Your love never, never diminishes.
Lord we know deeply that in every moment, our only friend is You.
Our hearts long for You, our hearts long for You,
Because You’re the first in millions, no one can be compared with You,
No one can be compared with you.”
Not only was Xiao Min arrested because of her faith, she was also persecuted by her family members. But she still testified to them that God healed her sinusitis and that He is her Savior. She concludes, “Even though we experience suffering, the Lord Jesus gives us strength.” Her strength enables her to sing to the Lord in the face of all difficulties.
RESPONSE: Today I will sing praises to the Lord no matter how difficult the journey.
PRAYER: I ask, Lord, for the grace to be able to vocalize my trust and joy and praise of You!
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.
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