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Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble…? Romans 8:35a

The question asked is a personal one. Not “what” can separate us but “who”? The inference is our enemy, Satan, who tries every tactic he can garner to make us think we can be separated from Christ’s love. Today we look at his tactic of “trouble.”

Chinese Brother Mak spent years in prison and tells of the trouble he experienced from his captors and what he learned from it:

At first they would punch and kick me. There was a certain guard who slapped my face over a hundred times, until his hand hurt. Then I said to him, “Praise the Lord! I will pray for your hand.”

The most painful experience was when they raised me with my hands turned backwards, and using handcuffs, attached my hands to two bars on an iron gate. Then they moved the iron gate back and forth from left to right, pulling my whole torso. It felt as if my entire body would rip apart. The area where my hands were cuffed especially hurt. The iron from the handcuffs seemed to enter my very joints, preventing the blood in my palms from circulating normally.

During this time, I experienced just how much the Lord loves me. Because He does love me, He calls me to suffer, and to experience more of His love. He also makes me realize how minute and temporal peoples’ suffering is, compared to a future eternity with the Lord. This is God’s teaching. He is teaching me how to walk the way of the cross.

If I don’t suffer, how can I learn to serve? My suffering is for my benefit. Suffering leads me to face death. Only in this way can I die with Christ, and then be buried and resurrected with Him. Living is a struggle. This is the only way to reach heaven and experience victory. Thanks be to God! Jesus Christ has already triumphed over everything.

RESPONSE: I will live this day in the awareness that troubles can never separate me from Christ’s love.

PRAYER: Lord, may all Christian prisoners today gain the insights of Your love like Brother Mak.

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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