Richard Wurmbrand, leader of the “Underground Church” in 20th Century Communist Europe, is well known, and not just to his own Romanian people. His life of Christian faith is an encouragement to all who are persecuted, to all who go through trials and tribulations of every kind. We can learn from his book, Tortured For Christ, 1967, Hayfield Publishing company.
Part #4 Three survival techniques when someone really hurts you.
Rev. D. Johns Jan. 30//12
Thankfully I have not had to face persecution or physical pain like so many less fortunate than me. Current struggles around the world, and similar stories from history, reveal so much brutality – some of it beyond comprehension. Inhumanity numbs me, scares me. I am afraid of pain. Sure I have had people betray me, undercut my leadership, spread lies about me (yes, this is a reality even in churches) – but I have not faced war or torture. Richard Wurmbrand spent 14 years in a communist prison. During that time he says the guards often wondered how the Christians could be happy in such terrible circumstances. Hunger and torture were daily realities. And the prisoners, likely emulating the Philippian prison posture of Paul and Silas (Acts 16), would often sing – only to be beaten even more fiercely. Here are three of Wurmbrand’s personal survival solutions.
- He meditated on Job. He says “I knew the end of the story!” God would restore, replenish, rebuild and reward. More than what was lost would eventually be replaced. In the middle of the trial I know it is difficult to believe this, but that is where faith comes into play. We will be stronger when it is all over.
- He envisioned the final destination of a Christian believer. A picture of a splendidly crowned saint in the holy and glorious presence of a raised and glorified Jesus was his motivation to never lose hope.
- “In the jailers who whipped us we saw the possibilities of the jailer of Philippi, who though first whipping Paul, eventually became a Christian convert. We dreamed that our brutal guards would ask the same question posed to Paul and Silas: what shall I do to be saved? It was in being tortured by them that we learned to love them”