“But gather and heap up and store for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust nor worm consume and destroy, and where thieves do not break through and steal, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:20-21)
My heart is very sad at the apparent abandonment of the four Americans held in the brutal Iranian prison system. Former Marine, Amir Hekmati, Pastor Saeed Abedini, Washington Post Iran Bureau Chief Jason Rezaian and ex-FBI Agent Robert Levinson. John Kerry did mention their plight in his news conference, but their releases were NOT part of negotiations.
It’s hard enough being an American in Iran, but to be a Christian American is doubly hard. Iran is an Islamic State run by hard-line Muslims intent on world domination and the elimination of all those who they deem as infidels. (i.e. Christians, Jews, and the Western nations).
Pastor Saeed Abedini is being held in perhaps the most brutal prison in all of Iran and he has suffered beatings, torture and malnutrition at the hands of the guards and the inmates. But to read his letter from that prison that he wrote and gave to his father to share with the Body of Christ, I was reminded of the Apostle Paul. He too suffered terribly for the Gospel’s sake. Here is the letter posted on Facebook this evening by his wife Nagmeh:
Update on Saeed:
Saeed’s father visited Saeed in prison today. Saeed had heard about the deal with Iran and wanted to share the following message with you all (see below). Please pray for Saeed as the situation inside of the prison has become worst for him at the hands of the hardliners who do not like that he is an American and also that he is a convert from Islam to Christianity. These are the same hardliners who have been chanting death to America. It is urgent that we get him out. Please join our family in prayer.
I know that so many of you have felt that I have been left behind after a deal was reached with Iran and I am still not home.
I want you to know that as I wrote the thank you letter to President Obama after he had visited my family in January of this year (which he read at the national prayer breakfast), that God is in control of all countries and leadership in the world when the body of Christ comes together in united prayer. He is in control and He is the One who beautifully writes the history over all governments, presidents, and any P5+1 negotiating team.
We are all looking for a safer, more friendly world and because of this desire many of us are happy and others un-happy about the deal. Please join me in using these emotions that have been awakened to give fervor to united prayer for God’s chosen nation, for America, and for the whole world.
in chains for Christ and chained together in unity
What incredible courage he has to think of us and encouraging us not to get bitter and angry over this madness. His call for unity among believers is so very true for this day and this hour believers! Each day he is in that prison, more treasures and crowns are being stored up for him on that wonderful day when Jesus rewards us for our faithfulness.
Pastor Saeed has developed the strong faith of Paul. “in chains for Christ and chained together in unity” show s the depth of his maturity and faith. Each day he brings more glory to Jesus than even he realizes. Each day is one more opportunity for the light of Jesus to break through the darkness.
There may come a day when some of us or maybe even all of us who call Jesus Lord and Master have to stand against this kind of evil day. I pray Father, that I can be counted worthy to bring glory to Your name as Saeed Abedini is doing.
Please pray for Pastor Saeed and all Americans held in captivity in Iran. Pray also for their families as they are suffering as well. Lift them up every day to the Father’s Throne of Grace. Jesus said, “keep on asking, keep on seeking and keep on knocking and it shall be opened.”
Stay strong believers…