How can I be prepared to resist torture if I am persecuted for my faith in Jesus? Will I be strong enough to “stand for Christ” if I have to suffer? I’ve been asked these questions in one form or another at conferences, churches and on social media.
So, how can I be prepared to resist torture? Breathe.
That’s right, breathe. Be assured – I’m not advocating a “new-age” technique to help you get in tune with your spiritual side. It’s a simple lesson that Rev. Richard Wurmbrand taught from the Scriptures. He said,
What is your manner of breathing? Do you exhale anger, lust? Or do you have the quiet, majestic, serene breathing of a man who has no attachment or repulsion toward the world, and who is undisturbed by it? Such breathing must be practiced. (100 Prison Meditations, 32).
The Apostle Paul exhorts us to “do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).” Paul mentions eating and drinking . . . even the most unremarkable of daily activities need to be done to the glory of God.
If we preach for the glory of God or evangelize for the glory of God but a simple act such as breathing fulfills our own fleshly desires, how can we expect to resist torture when the time comes? Both the Apostle Paul and Rev. Wurmbrand persuade us to not focus on the big things like staying strong during horrendous torture, but rather to give glory to God as we are walking, talking, shopping, eating, drinking . . . and yes, even breathing!
Rev. Wurmbrand continued,
When others shout at you or torment you physically, when you are in danger, or are attracted toward sin, proceed slowly and begin to breathe in the holy manner. Do everything to the glory of God: even the manner in which you breathe is known by the Almighty (32-33).
So what does “breathing to the glory of God” have to do with persecution?
It has to do with being faithful with the small things! Whoever is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much (Luke 16:10).