God’s grace is continually, fully, sufficient for us.
Few understand this better than Naghmeh Abedini. Her husband, Pastor Saeed Abedini, is sitting in a prison in Iran serving an 8-year prison sentence for his faith. Naghmeh and the American Center for Law and Justice have been working tirelessly to free Saeed, an American citizen, but so far he remains in his cell.
He suffers regular abuse at the hands of the prison guards, fellow prisoners, and the Iranian government. He has internal bleeding, bruises, and heart issues from being tasered. He’s sharing a cell designed for 20 people but is currently holding 80. He hasn’t seen his children in three years. But through all of this, he refuses to recant his faith.
It has not been an easy road for Naghmeh and her two children. But she’s clung to several verses in Scripture to get her through this journey.
“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time He said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
“My suffering was good for me for it taught me to pay attention to Your decrees.” Psalm 119:71
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:2-4
Naghmeh has seen her faith grow as a result of this trial.
“The Lord has taught me to really see the pressures and things that come against me, to take pleasure, because it allows Him to break me…for me to run to Jesus and discover Him in a deeper way.
Jesus has become more of a person to me in the last three years than He’s ever been. He’s become a friend. I’ve never so clearly heard the voice of my Shepherd. And it’s main;y through suffering that we get this.”
Naghmeh is quick to say we shouldn’t seek suffering but accept that God uses it more than any other element of life to bring us closer to Him.
“I don’t like to say that; we don’t want to suffer. But that’s the way He works. It is where we reach a point of desperation…”
Naghmeh references Moses and Abraham. They waited on God’s timing and it took decades. The process is what matters to God more than the outcome. Are we trusting Him? Are we running to Him? Are we becoming more like Him in our trials?
“Sometimes we don’t get what we hope for. But in the process we’re being refined, we’re getting into deep intimacy with God. And that’s what counts.”
Featured Songs: We Must Not by Selah; No Turning Back by Selah; Draw Me Lord by Selah