I’m always blessed by reading about Corrie ten Boom. The most recent was a Facebook post about her time in prison. There was another teen there who asked her each day: “Aunty, what is your message today?”
The examples given were simple. “Jesus is Victor," - "Underneath are the everlasting arms," - or "Fear not, only believe.” These messages were passed on.
How often do we pass along uplifting messages? Exhorting others to get through the days? That reminds me of:
Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. (Acts 14:22 KJV)
Corrie’s messages, even after the War, spoke of strength, love and forgiveness – the gospel. We differ on at least one doctrinal item, though. Corrie did not accept a pre-tribulation Rapture, writing:
She believed that such a doctrine left the Christian Church ill-prepared in times of great persecutionWhile I believe the Bible does speak of the rapture, it is not my job to convince anyone one way or the other. My difference does not negate her faith, nor mine. We both believe the gospel message, the need to share that message and the fact that there are many reading to receive it.
In fact, I agree that we must not focus on Christ’s return as a solution to the persecutions Christians are facing now. Jesus spoke of persecution long before Luke wrote of tribulations in Acts:
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. (Matthew 5:11 KJV)
We learn of Christian martyrs early in the New Testament, through the following centuries and still today. Do we really believe Christ will return before such display of faith will be required of us?
I believe Corrie’s family was very instrumental in preparing her for the hardships endured under Hitler’s Nazi regime. How well are we preparing our families? Do we study:
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. (2 Timothy 3:12 KJV)
Can we prepare ourselves and our loved ones to withstand suffering – and give our reasons for our hope:
But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (1 Peter 3:14-15 KJV)
Could we do as Corrie did, long after the War:
In her book Tramp for the Lord (1974), she tells the story of an encounter while she was teaching in Germany in 1947. She was approached by a former Ravensbrück camp guard who had been known as one of the cruelest. Reluctant to forgive him, she prayed that she would be able to. She wrote: "For a long moment we grasped each other's hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God's love so intensely as I did then." In the same passage, she wrote that in her post-war experience with other victims of Nazi brutality, those who were able to forgive were best able to rebuild their lives.We celebrate God’s forgiveness in our own lives as we worship Him in services and in His service. I know I need to build forgiveness. Do you?