Standing Strong Through the Storm - Thursday, September 26, 2013
FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE BODY
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.1 Corinthians 12:26
It is a beautiful picture when the church of Jesus Christ operates as the Bible teaches for the benefit of the body.
On January 21st 2007, Dimitri from Uzbekistan was arrested and subsequently sentenced to four years in a labor camp because of his “illegal religious activities.” The labor camp in which he is being held is 850 kilometers from where his wife Marina and their three daughters live. They are allowed to visit him just a few times a year.
Marina is grateful for all the prayers for them and for all the encouragement which they have received through letters and cards.
“We’ve really experienced God’s faithfulness. He’s protected and blessed us, and He’s always been close when we’ve needed Him. We want to thank God, because He doesn’t leave us on our own. He helps us through tough times.
“I’ve visited Dimitri a few times and also taken the children with me a few times. His health is good and he’s even trying to encourage others. They have to get up early in the morning to start work. Often he doesn’t have the strength to pray, but then he senses that others are praying for him. He finds his strength in the Lord Jesus, tries not to become oppressed by the circumstances, and he thinks a lot about us. This helps him to survive.
“His Bible was confiscated by the guards and now he is writing out Bible texts from memory in a little notebook. In this way he has his own handwritten Word of God. He’d like to have his Bible back, but permission is still being refused.
“We’re thankful for the many friends who are supporting us and writing to us at this difficult time. I’d also like to thank everyone for their many prayers. Now I’m coming to understand what the Bible means when it says, ‘we are one body,’ because ‘if one part suffers, every part suffers with it.’”
RESPONSE: Today I will not just think about myself, but function as a vital member of the body of Jesus.
PRAYER: Lord, bless prisoners like Dimitri who today may be feeling lonely. May they experience the blessing of realizing they are part of Your body.