VOM Founder Rev. Richard Wurmbrand reminds us why we can rejoice even when God gives us the “gift of nothing” through our enemies.
In the last week, the Chinese government has destroyed a church without provocation. Also Christian meetings have been banned in Pakistan, and Bolivian Christians’ freedoms have been threatened. Many Christians around the world have responded with outrage and concern.
But as VOM Founder, the Rev. Richard Wurmbrand, reminds us, while it is easy for us only to see the violent and unjust nature of these actions, the church must also see God’s gift in the destruction, and the continual advance of God’s plan.
Rev. Wurmbrand was imprisoned and tortured for his faith in Christ for 14 years under Romanian communists. He said, “[Our captors] took everything from us—even our names. We had nothing, we wore nothing. [Our captors] did with us what they liked.”
But Rev. Wurmbrand emphasized that even when governments leave Christians with nothing (as they have done once again this week in China, Pakistan, and Bolivia), Christians can give praise for the God who always brings something out of nothing for his children. Said Wurmbrand,
“[Christian prisoners] all loved this world with its beautiful, multi-colored butterflies and chirping birds and scented flowers and pretty children. But then we remembered, ‘Wait a little bit, out of what did God make this beautiful world? He made it out of nothing! So nothing is a very valuable material! You can make a universe out of nothing! If anyone would try to make all of these things out of gold and diamond, he would not succeed! But out of nothing, God created this world.”
When we hear about the destruction of churches and the denial of religious rights this week, we must say to China, Pakistan, and Bolivia, with the voice of Rev. Wurmbrand and the voice of Joseph in the Old Testament, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.” We Christians are to hold governments accountable for more than human rights. We are to hold them accountable to the truth that the plan of God, not the plan of governments, will withstand all attempts to destroy it.