An Apparent Defeat May Result in Victory
|The Golden Lampstand Church, pre-demolition.|
In today's entry in Streams in the Desert, I was reminded of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who were thrown into an enormous fiery furnace when they refused to abandon their allegiance to the living God. Here was an apparent victory for the enemy. It looked as if God's people were going to suffer a terrible vanquishment, but God saved them in and through the fire. We can imagine what a complete defeat the destruction of the Golden Lampstand Church in Linfen, China must appear to be to many, but as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego emerged from the fire unsinged, so let us pray that this apparent defeat will result in a marvelous victory for Christians.
Defeat may serve as well as victory too shake the soul and let the glory out.
When the great oak is straining in the wind, the boughs drink in new beauty, and the trunk sends down a deeper root on the windward side.
Only the soul that knows the mighty grief can know the mighty rapture. Sorrows come to stretch out spaces in the heart for joy.
Praying the Church in China will grow ever stronger as Christians come under this increasing persecution.