“The Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.” Ac 20:23 NIV
About 75 percent of believers now live in Third World countries, often in anti-Christian environments. Xu Yonghai is one of them. He worked to see the legalization of house churches in China. The government responded by locking him up for two years in an eight-by-eight-foot cell in a Beijing prison. There was no bathroom, only a pipe in a corner from which water flowed onto the concrete. “My cell was the last stop for prisoners sentenced to die,” he said. “At times there were as many as three other prisoners in the tiny damp room, awaiting their date with the executioner.” Yonghai survived through prayer, meditation, and writing. Using a bar of soap to write on the walls of his cell, he outlined the major points of a book about God. When he was finished, he committed the thoughts to memory, and upon his release he turned his prison notes into a fifty-thousand-word book entitled God the Creator. More often than not, your difficulties and hardships confirm you’re in the will of God rather than out of it! Paul writes: “I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace” (vv. 23-24 NIV). Note the word grace. No matter how difficult the will of God may be, you can accomplish it by drawing each day on His limitless supply of grace.
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