When I opened Facebook this morning, I came across a message from a UK family whose parents have been missionaries in Afghanistan for the last ten years and are presently hiding for their lives. The family wrote: “They have led countless people to Jesus. Most of whom will meet him in the coming days.”
“Just Facetimed with my parents” wrote one of the family members. “They are hiding, surrounded by gunfire and bombs. Everyone is hiding in their homes. The Taliban are taking women, and slaughtering anyone who resists them. They will kill all foreigners and anyone who has worked with foreigners over the past 20 years. Yet my mum and dad are full of peace and joy.”
What? Full of peace and joy while surrounded by bombs and bullets? Full of peace and joy, knowing that they are about to be killed?
How were they suffering for Christ without fear? How can I suffer for Christ without fear? Philippians 1:28-30 explains how. It starts with not frightened in anything by your opponents (29). How’s that possible? Paul reframes suffering to remove fear.