Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: Job 13:15a But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 1 Peter 3:14 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:1 Peter 3:17-18
What would you do if your friends were being killed because of their faith in God? Would you try to help them? What if you didn't even know the people being persecuted? Would you be willing to risk your own life and the lives of your family to save them?
That is exactly what Corrie ten Boom's family did in Holland in 1943. Germany had invaded their country as the Nazis took control of most of Europe. Corrie and her family could have been a help to the Nazis and then been rewarded, but they didn't. Instead, they put their family in jeopardy to help the Jewish people and paid dearly for it.
Corrie had been sick for several days with a bad case of the flu. The high fever made her lethargic and drowsy, so she stayed in bed hoping to feel better in the morning. She was awakened by screams and the sound of feet running toward her room. At first she thought it was one of the many drills they had practiced to hide the Jews who now lived with her family. But this time it was not a drill. German soldiers were invading their home, looking for the Jewish people that they had heard were hiding there.
Can you imagine the fear and panic that overcame them? Questions were emerging from their minds, such as: “What will happen to us now?” “Will we be killed or imprisoned for life?” “Will my family survive, will I survive”?
That frightful night after their home was invaded, proved to be only the beginning of the many horrible events that would take place in prison. They slept in beds filled with fleas, and ate stale bread and thin soup. They were not called by their names but by the numbers that were given to them. Corrie’s number was 66730. It was tattooed on her arm.
One day a guard took Corrie to a doctor to get some medicine for the high fever and cough she had. How surprised she was when the nurse asked if there was anything she could get for her. She asked for a Bible and received only a portion of the New Testament, the four Gospels. It would have been a serious thing if she had been caught with them, but having a Bible was worth any possible punishment.
The night that they were all taken to jail was the last night that all of them would be together again in this life. Corrie’s father died 10 days after being put in prison from pneumonia and her sister, Betsie, died 3 days before Corrie’s scheduled release. The Lord was gracious to Corrie and allowed her to survive all the horrible conditions and circumstances surrounding her while imprisoned. After spending ten long months in the forced labor camp, the day came when Corrie would be released. Some say she was let out because of an error, but we know that God had a plan for Corrie’s life and her release was no mistake.
Thought: Would you be able to survive a prison labor camp knowing you were only trying to help people who were being exterminated every day? Would you be able to survive the horrible living conditions and then the death of loved ones? Would you be able to survive on only a portion of the Word of God to comfort you and encourage your heart through these horrifying times?
If you have asked yourself these questions, be assured that the Bible teaches us that we are not to worry about these things or “if” we will survive them. His grace is sufficient for all those that will trust in Him even when we may be required to suffer for Him.
I Peter 2:19-21 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
1 Peter 2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
1 Peter 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
1 Peter 3:17-18 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
Corrie ten Boom spent the last years of her life sharing the love of God she had experienced while in prison and the freedom she understood in forgiving her captures. Betsie, who was with Corrie in prison, encouraged her to keep trusting in God and reminded her that, "there is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper."