Read Psalm 49
Focus on verses 5 & 15
Our greatest enemy is a master of deception who uses fear to manipulate people to do his bidding. He really has little power other than the power to deceive, and his deception only works in the absence of truth. Perhaps this is why he spends so much of his effort on attempting to silence those who dare to speak truth. The truth is that “God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for He will receive me.” (v. 15) If this is true then “Why should I fear in times of trouble, when the iniquity of those who cheat me surrounds me”? (v. 5)
I you follow the news closely over the past few years you have perhaps heard of an American born Iranian pastor by the name of Saeed Abidini who has spent the last three or four years in one of the most dangerous prisons in Iran. He is being held there because he is a Christian who will not deny his faith in Christ or convert to Islam. He has been beaten and abused by other prisoners as well as guards at the prison. It is amazing to me that he has not been killed or died from lack of food and medical care by now. It would seem that God is miraculously keeping him alive. The few occasions where he has been allowed to communicate with his family always include words of hope and encouragement for us not to lose hope even if he is killed. There are many Christians in America and other parts of the world that are praying faithfully for him every day. I believe Pastor Abidini clings to the truth that God will ransom his soul… this is what gives him courage to continue to hope and to stand strong in the face of fear.
Satan would like to deceive us into believing that we have no hope, but he cannot succeed unless we choose to believe his lies. Some of his lies can sound very convincing if we are not well acquainted with the truth. We hear only little bits and pieces of what is going on in this dark Iranian prison where Pastor Saeed is being held. I believe that one day we will learn much more about how God has used him in that dark corner to bring light and hope to his captors and other prisoners even those who have been persecuting him.
Light will always triumph over darkness, just as truth will always triumph over lies. This is true in the life of those who suffer horrible injustice, as pastor Saeed is experiencing. It is also true for those of us who are being lulled to sleep spiritually by an apathetic society that is more fascinated and concerned about the private lives of celebrities and the latest politically correct gossip than we are about whether what we are reading and hearing is actually true of not.