READ : Hebrews 11:32-40
They were stoned … they were killed … destitute, persecuted, tormented – of whom the world was not worthy. (vv. 37-38)
Unlike many of the small number of believers in his homeland, Joseph grew up in a Christian home and family. He had the wonderful privilege of a godly father who taught his children the Bible and lived before them as an example of faith in Jesus Christ. But there were struggles as well, especially for young Joseph. His father was often gone for long stretches, and Joseph wondered why Christian service took so much of his dad’s time when he needed him. And then one day Joseph’s father left home and didn’t come back. He was arrested by the authorities and imprisoned for some years for the crime of witnessing to Jesus Christ. Eventually an international protest was mounted, and the government was forced into setting him free. But shortly after his release, Joseph’s father was murdered. The crime was never solved.
Now Joseph has the added burden of notoriety within the tiny Christian community of his country. How do you live up to the legacy of a martyred father? By being yourself, and serving the Lord faithfully in your own way. Joseph is doing just that today, boldly carrying on a witness and a ministry that the Lord is using to build his church in a very difficult and dangerous place.
Pray for Christians who live and witness in hostile environments.