TURKEY: Extreme Question

When Ercan Sengul committed his life to Christ in the Muslim nation of Turkey, some saw it as turning his back on his heritage and nation. When he said that he would do anything for God, he had meant it then. But what about now?

Ercan sat in a dark, dank prison cell surrounded by cell mates. He had been arrested by local police who said that he’d “insulted Islam” by distributing
books for a Christian publisher.

Ercan cried out to God, begging to be rescued. He knew that he’d done nothing wrong and didn’t deserve to be there. “You said you’d do anything for me,” God whispered to Ercan’s heart. “Did you mean it?”

Broken before God, Ercan wept and worshipped. He told God in his heart, “I really meant it.” Ercan began to preach three hours each day in prison. He learned that God allowed him to be imprisoned to give him a new mission field! Ercan was in prison for thirty days until witnesses admitted that police had pressured them to sign statements, and the judge found no evidence of any crime.

The arrest has furthered Ercan’s witness. Since his release, many who shared his cell have visited his church, asking about the God who gave him peace while locked in prison. Ercan still joyfully gives out Christian books, knowing he could be arrested.

Most Christians would admit that suffering is not exactly what we have in mind when we say we want to be used by God. Sure, we want to live out our faith—but not to the point of persecution. We resent being overlooked for promotions at work or excluded from social events. We feel slighted. Cheated. Ripped off. However, we must be willing to prayerfully seek God in the midst of our desperation. The moment we do, we find prayer changes our perspective. We begin to see opportunities for growth. We receive hope. We find promise amid pain. Eventually we begin to discover our current situation, however unfair and undeserved, may be part of God’s plan after all. When we pray for God’s perspective on persecution, we find the courage to be obedient at all costs.

Taken from Voice of the Martyrs book Extreme Devotion:

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2 Responses to TURKEY: Extreme Question

  1. Michael Albrecht 1 February 2017 at 1:43 pm #

    Most of us would resent a path like Ercan’s. We are to used to the Lord’s blessings in the western world. Peace around us and wealth. No persecution and hardship, no real recession or crisis in decades. However God has called us to be faithful like in a marriage, in rich and in poor, in health and in sickness and in peace or persecution. For He gives us the spirit to bear with our outward circumstances without Him we would break easily but with Him all things are possible.

    • Voice of the Martyrs 2 February 2017 at 9:01 am #

      With God all things really are possible. The persecuted church is a constant reminder of this for us all. Thanks Michael. God bless.

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