September 26th – a Prayer for Naghmeh Abedini

I recently shared about this story in a Trinity Worship rehearsal and promised that I would share it on the blog. I think this story resonates because we forget that our brothers and sisters are suffering throughout the world for their faith in Jesus, and in this case, he is an American! I am asking that you join with me to pray on September 26 for the release of this brother and for God’s strength and grace to continually be poured out through his family here in the states and around the world as they share this story.

~Jon

https://www.reviveourhearts.com/radio/revive-our-hearts/free-all-fear/

*** I’m sorry that we can’t import the video here.  The link is provided so you can watch the video or you can read the transcript below.

Series: Free From All Fear: Naghmeh Abedini’s Story
Free from All Fear

Leslie Basham: Nobody enjoys suffering, but Naghmeh Abedini says suffering has brought her closer to Jesus.

Naghmeh Abedini: Any bad news or any suffering, or anything that seems to be negative, actually I’ve found it as a way for God to redirect my heart back to Him.

Leslie: You’re listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Monday, August 24, 2015. Here’s our host, Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Suffering can have a thousand faces. Maybe you’re in a difficult season of suffering right now, and perhaps that suffering is causing different kinds of fears in your heart. Well, I hope you’ll take the time to listen to today’s edition of Revive Our Hearts.

Our guest today, Naghmeh Abedini, confronts fear head-on every day of her life. As Christians, we’ve not been promised an easy life. Jesus said to His disciples in John 16, “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart; I have overcome the world” (v. 33 paraphrased).

Did you catch that? Where does lasting peace come from? Jesus said, “In Me, you can have peace.” Suffering might have a thousand faces, but its solution—its resolution—is found only in one face, and that’s the face of Jesus. As we’ll hear today, that’s something Naghmeh Abedini has learned and something she’s continuing to learn in this ongoing journey.

Naghmeh is an ordinary wife and a mother who God is using in some extraordinary ways. We interviewed her last fall at True Woman ’14. I’ll let her introduce herself.

Naghmeh: My name is Naghmeh Abedini. I’m from Boise, Idaho. I was born in Iran in the late 1970s. Soon after I was born, there was a revolution—the Islamic revolution with the hostage crisis.

News commentator [with sounds of mob in background]: There’s no mistaking, it’s a massive voice of protest against the rule of the . . .

Naghmeh: And then soon after that there was an eight-year war with Iraq.

News commentator: Fought in the name of religion, it’s a war that shocked the world with its use of chemical weapons.

Nancy: Naghmeh and her twin brother spent their early childhood with the culture of war all around them.

Naghmeh: My twin brother and I would see the airplanes; we’d see bombs. We’d walk to school; we’d see our friends’ houses destroyed. So we always talked among ourselves, “Who is God, and why would He allow this? Where is God?”

We tried practicing the religion we knew—Islam. We prayed more, the Islamic prayer, and we tried to fast. My brother was ready to sign up to go to war. At that time they were signing up seven year olds and eight year olds to go to war.

The little boys would run through mines and the mines would blow up, and then the soldiers would go in. If parents objected to that, then the government would throw the parents in prison for being against the government. So my parents didn’t know what to do.

They were seeing that my brother was being brainwashed in school to sign up to go to jihad, to die in this war; so that’s when we moved to the United States.

Nancy: Their search for answers came pretty quickly.

Naghmeh: Soon after we came to the States, my brother had a vision where he saw Jesus. He came running to me and he said, “I’ve found the God we’ve been looking for. His name is Jesus!” We were in California. We asked around, “Who is this Jesus? How can we follow Him?” Someone finally told us about this Jesus and gave us a Bible.

Nancy: We’ll have more to say about visions in a few minutes, but as you might imagine, Naghmeh’s Muslim parents were not happy to hear that their children had converted to Christianity.

Naghmeh: They were very angry, and my dad said, “It’s better for us to go back to Iran and for you to die in that war than for what has happened to you! You’ve become Westernized; you’ve lost your culture.” We had uncle who found a job in Boise, Idaho, and he said, “This sounds like a city that’s pretty secluded and small, and you can de-brainwash your kids back to Islam.”

Nancy: Well, that didn’t work, because Christianity is not about brainwashing, it’s about heart washing. It’s a relationship with the King of kings. But God wasn’t finished with Naghmeh’s family.

Naghmeh: After about ten years of living in Idaho, both my parents gave their hearts to Jesus.

Nancy: In her mid-twenties, Nagmeh felt the call of God to go back to Iran and share Jesus with Muslims. The year was 2001, and Naghmeh had to confront one of her biggest fears.

Naghmeh: It was soon after September 11, 2001 that I left. It was a miracle, because I was already scared of airplanes. To fly into the Middle East right after September 11 was really a step of faith, but I truly felt that was what God wanted me to do.

So I went and I started sharing the gospel with my cousins and people I hadn’t seen for most of my life.

Nancy: Before long, Naghmeh met the man who would become her husband—Saeed Abedini.

Naghmeh: A year into it, I met Saeed. He has born and raised in Iran.

Nancy: This recording of Saeed was made in 2012 before his imprisonment.

Saeed Abedini: Hello, my friends. My name is Saeed. I was a very strong Muslim, part of a very strong Muslim family. I was practicing Islam a lot, always praying, reading the Qu’ran, helping people. I was trying to do my best for God and every activity and everything that I could do for God.

Nancy: Saeed was passionate and committed.

Naghmeh: He was praying and fasting more than normal Muslims, so a lot of the hardliners noticed him in the high school. They would look for strong Muslims to recruit into their groups such as Hezbollah.

Saeed: But to be honest with you, I didn’t have eternal peace in my heart. I was always looking for God to answer my praying and to give me a peace and a joy, but there wasn’t any joy in my heart. I felt alone, disappointed. I didn’t have any plans for my future. I was like lost, you know.

Nancy: The more he followed the religion of Islam, the more depressed and empty Saeed felt.

Saeed: I experienced depression when I was just twenty years old. I wanted to kill myself. In that time I went to a church and the pastor was talking about Jesus. He introduced Jesus as the Lord and Savior. I knew Him as a prophet and a good man, so it made me very angry and I decided to kill that pastor. I was thinking he was preaching the wrong messages and leading the people to the wrong way.

Naghmeh: In Islam, if you kill an infidel, that’s one way you go to heaven. So Saeed thought, I’ll kill this pastor and then I’ll kill myself—end my life—and I’ll go to heaven.

Nancy: Thankfully, God had other plans for Saeed. Through a series of events, God began to open his heart.

Saeed: I was thinking in myself that I was doing my best for God, but God in my life was like a dead god. There was no relationship between me and God. It was like I was working for Him, and He wasn’t always in His office to answer me back. So, I was thinking there was something wrong in it.

On the other hand, when I heard about the gospel, the pastor was saying that God wants to be a friend to you. He wants to talk to you for your daily living life. He wants to lead you according to your needs. Everything you need in your life, He wants to be a friend—like a father and son.

Naghmeh: Slowly he started opening up to the gospel.

Saeed: It was what I wanted; I was hungry for that! I was waiting for that, doing everything that I could to just find this relationship. I was praying about that, and for the first time I could say I was praying very honestly to God: “God, just please show me which way is true, Islam or Christianity? Qu’ran or Bible?

Nancy: One point that tripped Saeed up had to do with what he perceived as the unkept promises in the Bible.

Naghmeh: If the Bible’s true, then why does Jesus say He’s coming back soon, but after two-thousand years He’s still not back yet? One night, when he was confused as to whether the Bible was correct or the Qu’ran, he slept.

Saeed: It was like at one o’clock in the middle of the night when I heard a voice that called my name and woke me up and said, “Saeed, Saeed, I’m coming back soon. Go preach My gospel.” I woke up, looked around, no one was in the room, so I went back to sleep again. The second time and third time the same night it happened again. Three times I heard the voice.

And the last time I heard like a huge voice, shaking the room, and I woke up. I was scared. I felt the first time in my life the presence of the Lord on me. It was very heavy and scary, and the voice called me again: “Saeed, I’m coming back soon. Go to preach My gospel!”

And when I just accepted that, I said “Amen.”

Nancy: Now, God has spoken to us through His Word, and I don’t think it’s the norm for Him to speak through visions and dreams—especially in areas where we have ready access to God’s Word. But there’s evidence that in some parts of the world, such as the Middle East where God’s Word is so suppressed, that God is initially introducing people to Jesus today through visions and dreams.

We asked Naghmeh to expand on that, and her response was helpful.

Naghmeh: I think for me, having been raised here, we think in our minds a lot that a lot of the culture from the Middle East is visions and dreams. But also, people would get converted—would accept Christ. And we would have to say, “Okay, dreams and visions are good, but we have to filter them through the Bible. Test them and make sure, validate it by the Bible, who God is.”

Nancy: Much like the apostle Paul’s encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, Saeed Abedini’s dream marked a definite turning point in his life. He never looked back.

Saeed: And the day after that, because of that meeting with the real God, the live God, my life was changed. I was someone else. I found joy, peace, love in my life and everything was changed. I was someone else.

Naghmeh: The next morning he was out in the streets preaching the gospel, sharing about Jesus.

Saeed: Now I love that pastor. I loved the people in my life. I loved my life, and God started working through me in other people’s lives. I was so happy and excited that I could see, every day, people’s lives changing.

Naghmeh: That’s how I met him, in the year 2002. We were married in 2004.

Nancy: Saeed’s ministry began to see fruit—lots of fruit!

Naghmeh: When I met him in 2002, he was the pastor of house churches—about 100 people, college students, people in their twenties. By 2005, when we left Iran, that had grown to a few thousand Muslim coverts in thirty cities in over a hundred house churches.

Nancy: Growth like that, particularly in the Muslim world, is almost unheard of it. Naghmeh gives all the credit where it rightly belongs.

Naghmeh: It has to be the hand of God. It has to be the Spirit of God. You know, you could work on trying to convert a Muslim for a year and it wouldn’t work. It has to be God softening their hearts. For me, the year I was there—between 2001 and 2002—I shared the gospel with over fifty of my relatives and five of them gave their hearts to Christ. Forty-five of them rejected Him.

Saeed, he would say the first year of his conversion, there was himself and four others, and they would pray from midnight until eight in the morning and then they’d go out in the streets and share the gospel. They would get beaten; they would be abused, because it’s a Muslim country.

No one was coming to know Christ. After a year of constant praying, seeking God and asking for His kingdom to come to Iran and for awakening and for people to get saved, they started seeing fruit. So a big part of it, I believe, is the prayer—intercession that went up for the people of Iran.

So it’s just the hand of God. You can’t really take credit for converting thousands of Muslims. It has to be a move of God.

Nancy: Naghmeh describes Saeed as a constant prayer warrior.

Naghmeh: The eight years we were together, he prayed six or seven hours a day. I could never understand that. Having grown up in the American culture, I would think, You should be done by fifteen, twenty minutes, half-an-hour. It’s just not possible to pray six, seven hours a day.

He would do that with our kids. That was part of his life. He would walk around neighborhoods, even in the U.S., and he would have our two-year-old and three-year-old (at that time) just lay hands on each house and pray for their salvation. That’s who he was. He was always walking around Iran, Tehran, different cities, praying.

Nancy: Saeed and Naghmeh left Iran in 2005.

Naghmeh: We came to the States, had our two kids Rebekka and Jacob.

Nancy: Then, in 2009, the Abedinis felt called to go back to Iran.

Naghmeh: We were in Iran for maybe three weeks, just visiting, and the Iranian government arrested Saeed but didn’t put him in prison, just put him under house arrest and interrogated him. They told him, “Well, you’re not doing house church anymore. But if you promise not to do house church anymore you’re welcome to come back.”

Saeed said, “I’m a pastor, I want to help the people of Iran.”

They said, “Well, we encourage you to do humanitarian efforts,” and that’s what Saeed was doing from 2009 to 2012. We were working on an orphanage with the Iranian government.

Nancy: Saeed became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 2010. He continued to travel back and forth to Iran. He’d been ordained to the ministry in 2008. In this recording, he preached encouragement to the persecuted church.

Saeed: If you have problems and persecution in your life today, after you accept Jesus as your Savior and Lord in your life, we should not forget that we are not living in a comfortable world. We always will have problems and pressures, but there are some verses in the Bible . . .

Naghmeh: In June of 2012, he was going back to finish the orphanage. We were eighty-percent done with the building. Five out of the six board members were approved by the government; we had all the paperwork. He went to do some work and come back. He was supposed to come back in July of 2012, and never came back.

Congressman Ed Royce: In September of 2012, Iran arrested and later sentenced Pastor Saeed Abedini to eight years in prison . . .

Nancy: This is U.S. Representative Ed Royce of California.

Congressman Royce: . . . for gathering with others to study the Bible—which, as his wife told the committee—is in fact a lawful act, even under Iranian law! But one which the regime deemed a threat to national security.

Naghmeh: I got a call at midnight on September 26. His mom called me and said, “They’ve taken my son! I don’t know where they’ve taken him. They just took him in the most horrific way, early in the morning—like 6 a.m. They raided the house, took everything. We didn’t even know if he was alive or dead!”

Around the same time Saeed was arrested, someone else was arrested—a blogger—and he didn’t last four days in the prison. He was tortured to death. We didn’t even know if Saeed was in a prison. They could have taken him anywhere and killed him. It was just the hardest week of my life, where I didn’t know.

I didn’t go to the media. I was afraid it would make things worse, so I really only told a few people, “They’ve taken Saeed. Can you pray?”

Nancy: It’s the news no wife, no mother, ever wants to hear, that her husband, the father of her children, is gone and might never come back. Naghmeh thought of a way to find out whether Saeed was alive or dead.

Naghmeh: Soon after they took Saeed, they started interrogating his parents, and we noticed the captors knew a lot of things we had said on the phone, on our Skypes, in the house, so I knew everything was monitored. So I called his parents’ house one night and said, “If I don’t know that my husband’s alive, I will go to media tomorrow. I need to know now.”

And within a few hours after that call, Saeed called his parents in Tehran. He said, “I’m okay. I’m in prison, in solitary. I’m okay.” And so we knew where he was. Of course, in solitary you don’t really get phone calls. It was a miracle they allowed him a call. You don’t really get to visit anyone in solitary.

Congressman Royce: So in jail, his guards have attempted to coerce him. They have tortured him to try to get him to renounce his faith. They’ve told him that, otherwise, he will serve even a longer time.

Naghmeh: My kids are crying; they’re missing their dad. Anniversaries and birthdays and Christmases are passing by without him and that’s painful.

Nancy: Naghmeh’s worst fears had been realized.

Naghmeh: But God really released me from that fear. I was a very fearful person, afraid of finances, the future, what-ifs. When I felt like my whole life got upside down and one of my worst fears happened—I became a single mom—I felt like I finally connected to the Vine.

Nancy: In John chapter 15 Jesus described Himself as the Vine, and His disciples—and by extension, us—as the branches. Naghmeh understands what it means to abide in Christ.

Naghmeh: I was freed from all my fears. I discovered Jesus in such an intimate way that I knew—I just knew—if I lost everything—if I lost my husband, if I lost my kids, if I lost finances, if I was in the streets, diseased—I knew I’d be okay. I knew I would be more than okay. I knew I’d have joy and peace, and I knew that nothing in the world could take that away from me.

Before that I didn’t know that. I always thought, What bad news is going to destroy my life, and I’m gonna be a wreck? Now I know I can be a wreck for a second, for a few moments, but then I can go to His presence. I’ve discovered that source. I’ve learned how to get connected to that Vine.

So, I just know where to go and be refreshed and renewed and get my strength, so I’m not afraid of anything. It was freeing, when I learned about Saeed’s arrest. I was very fearful and the Lord just gave me peace and strength and even joy.

Nancy: Undoubtedly, Saeed has had his own emotional struggles as well. Naghmeh sees evidence of that.

Naghmeh: Saeed’s a very strong person. He would always tell me, “Don’t cry over anything but sin. If you grieve over anything, don’t grieve over life.” We would always talk and he’d say, “I don’t want you to cry over anything that happens to me. If I’m in prison or killed for my faith, I want you to rejoice because it’s for Jesus.”

So he was always strong, like don’t cry except for grieving for sin. But the times he does get emotional and breaks down is when he sees the pictures of the kids growing up. He’s such an amazing dad, and he’s missing years he can never get back. It’s hard on him.

I know it’s the hardest part, more than tortures and beatings, being separated from the family.

Nancy: As details emerged it became clear that Saeed was being treated harshly.

Naghmeh: After a few months, when his parents finally got to see him in prison, his mom couldn’t even get close. He was behind a glass window, and his mom couldn’t even get close to that glass window. She didn’t recognize him; he was so sick and beaten.

He was able to share some of the stories, and that was when we found out. You hear about solitary and the things that happen in prison, and when you hear what he’s gone through. . .a lot of people losing their minds and hallucinating. . . and during those times God was able to just meet him there with prayer and worship.

When I questioned all our marriage, “How could someone pray for that long?” The Lord showed me that He was preparing him for those hours of solitary in prison, where you have nothing else but prayer and worship. Saeed is a worshipper, is a prayer warrior. So God really kept him alive during those times of solitary and beatings and mind games and psychological torture and all of that.

Nancy: When she finally realized that Saeed’s imprisonment was going to be a more drawn out ordeal, Naghmeh decided to go public.

Naghmeh: Saeed was taken in September. I didn’t go to media until December. I was really struggling. I thought, I don’t want to lose my privacy. I don’t want the world to know what happened. I’m a very private person. I don’t like to travel. I love being in Boise, Idaho—I don’t need to see the world. “Lord, I’m just going to pray and You’re going to release Saeed. This is how it’s going to work, like last time.” In 2009, that’s what happened.

But I really felt the Lord saying, “No, I want you to break out of your shell for the gospel. I want you to step out and travel and go to the media, for the gospel.” And I thought, How is that related? How is me going before Fox or CNN saying, “Help, my husband’s taken!” . . . how is that even related to the gospel?

I couldn’t understand it, but that’s when I learned to submit to God—not to all my fears. I learned to say, “Okay, Lord, I don’t like flying. I don’t like leaving Boise. I don’t like leaving my kids. I get anxious leaving my kids, but if You tell me to go, I’ll go. If You tell me to stop, I’ll stop. I will go.” But I couldn’t understand: “How’s this about Your gospel?”

I didn’t know that in each interview the Lord was teaching me how to minister to these people that didn’t know Him who were interviewing me. Then slowly I was taken before nations. I was taken before the United Nations where I had over a hundred ambassadors listening in the language of their own country as I got to share that Jesus Christ is the solution to what they’re looking for.

I sat in front of the Socialist Party and the Communist Party and the Dutch Parliament and seeing them get so emotional as I got to share about Jesus, and Saeed forgiving his enemies because of Jesus—getting that strength from Jesus.

I went before very liberal human rights groups like the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, and to be able to say that Saeed is in prison because he believes that Jesus Christ came to this earth and paid the price for our sin, He died and rose again.

I’ve been able to share the gospel message in environments where a Christian would never be invited to speak. I’ve been on secular Iranian media where I’ve been able to share the gospel live with millions of Iranians. I didn’t know that at first when the Lord told me to step out. I didn’t know it was related to the gospel.

But God has used Saeed’s imprisonment for me to share, but also Saeed has shared in one of the darkest places in the world [that prison]. There he’s led people to Christ.

Nancy: In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus commands, “Love your enemies and pray for those persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:44). We asked Naghmeh if she finds it difficult to love those who hold her husband captive.

Naghmeh: Well, the first three or four months of Saeed’s imprisonment I was just in the Psalms, and I realized one of the main reasons I loved the Psalms was where David was like, “Lord, get ’em! Just get ’em! Just the part where he’s telling the Lord to destroy his enemies.”

Then the Lord had to speak to my heart and say, “No, that’s not my way. Pray for them!” I remembered Saeed and the way he would approach hardliners. One time we were in Iran in 2011 with our kids. We thought the work of the orphanage was coming to an end, and we took our kids to be there at the opening.

Saeed approached this military officer who was responsible for like ten thousand soldiers. He was talking to him about Christ, and I remember telling Saeed, “What are you thinking?!”

And he would always tell me, “I’m not afraid of the hardliners. They think they’re serving God. They don’t know. They are like I was. They’re blind.”

So he had love for the hardliners. I realized there was hate coming in my heart. I would see Muslim women in covering and this bitterness would just swell up in my heart, and the Lord would say, “Okay, where is your heart? Okay, the Psalms are good, but I want you to love your enemies and forgive your enemies.”

So I started praying for those persecuting Saeed and, even now, I see Muslims and bitterness does creep in my heart. Then the Lord just prompts, “Pray for them!” So I’ll just say, “Lord Jesus, just meet them.” I think that’s one of the best ways to minister to Muslims—you see them and you pray with them. You love them.

The best time, when they’re not offended, is to invite them to Christmas celebrations. They believe in prophets—Jesus. You give them Bibles at that time and they’re not offended. So I’ve learned just to love them, share the gospel with them, and overcome that bitterness that continually creeps into my heart.

Initially the Lord had to really grab hold of me and say, “Where’s your heart going? You’re getting bitter. You’re really cursing your enemy. I want you to pray for them.” And so I did battle with that the first few months.

Nancy: This September 26, the third anniversary of the day Saeed was taken away from his family, Naghmeh is asking anyone who would like to pray for Saeed to join her in a prayer vigil. If you would like to sign up to support this precious brother and his family in this way, you’ll find more information at our website, ReviveOurHearts.com.

In the months since we interviewed Naghmeh, there have been more disappointments—along with occasional glimmers of hope. Saeed’s mother fled Iran last November. President Obama visited Naghmeh and her children in January, expressing his desire to do everything possible to help Saeed. He talked about his visit with Naghmeh in February at the National Prayer Breakfast.

President Barak Obama: I was recently in Boise, Idaho and had the opportunity to meet with Pastor Abedini’s beautiful wife and wonderful children, and to convey to them that our country has not forgotten Brother Saeed, and we’re doing everything we can to bring him home. [applause] Then I received an extraordinary letter from Pastor Abedini.

In it he describes his captivity and expressed his gratitude for my visit with his family, and thanked us all for standing in solidarity with him during his captivity. Pastor Abedini wrote, “Nothing is more valuable to the body of Christ than to see how the Lord is in control, and moves ahead of countries and leadership through united prayer.”

He closed his letter by describing himself as, “prisoner for Christ, who is proud to be part of this great nation, the United States of America, that cares for religious freedom around the world.” So we’re going to keep up this work, for Pastor Abedini and all those around the world who are unjustly held or persecuted because of their faith.

Nancy: But Naghmeh knows that her ultimate hope lies, not in government officials or in political schemes, but in God, the King of the universe.

Naghmeh: Anything—any bad news or suffering or anything that seems to be negative—I’ve found it as a way to for God to redirect my heart back to Him, to hear Him say, “Where’s your focus? Where are you looking?” In this day and life of social media, where you look at numbers—at Facebook and “likes” and “shares”—the Lord is just continually speaking with me and saying, “I don’t like your eyes going on numbers, I don’t like your eyes going on government officials, on who’s going to do what. Keep your eyes on Me.”

So a lot of even the hateful messages, the death threats, all of this are means of helping me say, “Okay, where’s my heart?” I trust the Lord! I’m not going to fear anything.

The worst news, the better, I think, in the way that you have to dig deeper or else you’re going to fall. You’re going to be uprooted, so you have no other choice. So you dig deeper, of course. What do you get? You get more peace, you get more joy, you get more love. You just get more of Him.

So you thrive in the storm, actually. It’s when you are digging deeper and you have fruits in all seasons. We’re afraid as Christians that during the times of trial is when we might fall away, but it’s a great opportunity for us to dig deeper and discover Christ in a more intimate way . . . which is what heaven’s really like. You get to taste a piece of heaven.

This is either real or not. If it’s not, I’d rather just live my life, but if Christ is real, I would give my life. Times of trial are the times you can dig deeper—not just be a Christian by words, but you can know Christ. At the end of the day when Jesus comes back, it’s not necessarily what we did for Him, it’s how much we know Him, and the trials of life are drawing us closer to knowing Him. That’s what really matters.

Nancy: In 2 Corinthians chapter 12, the apostle Paul actually says that he would rather boast in his weaknesses so that “the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Naghmeh can say that. Pastor Abedini can say it, too. But what about you? Are there fears that paralyze you?

As we’re hearing in the news these days, the world we live in is increasingly hostile to Christians and to everything we believe in and hold dear. That’s why I hope you’ll take courage from the Abedinis’ story. Let me read again the passage I started with.

Jesus said to His disciples in John chapter 16: “Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home . . . I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (vv. 30, 33).

How can you have freedom from every sort of fear? How can you find absolute peace in the midst of raging storms? You can find it in Him, find it in Jesus. Take heart. He has overcome the world!

Leslie: Thanks, Nancy. Maybe as you’ve listened to Naghmeh’s story, you’ve thought about some situations in your life that cause fear. Your story is probably different in the details, but the temptation to fear is something a lot of us face. Naghmeh’s story will encourage you to trust the Lord even when circumstances seem impossible.

I hope you’ll get a copy of a booklet our team has created that tells Naghmeh’s story. The booklet is called “Free from All Fear.” Or maybe you know someone who’s facing some fears and they’d be encouraged by Naghmeh’s story. We’ll send you a copy of the booklet “Free from All Fear” when you support the ministry of Revive Our Hearts with a gift of any size.

Your gift will help us continue calling women out of fear, and toward freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ. Ask for the booklet “Free from All Fear” when you donate. The number is 1–800–569–5959, or visit ReviveOurHearts.com. We’ll send one booklet per household with your donation today.

And you can get information on the prayer vigil for Pastor Saeed, coming up on September 26. You’ll find a link at ReviveOurHearts.com.

The Lord has called Naghmeh to tell a very specific story in our day, and He’s also called you to live out your very specific story in our day. Tomorrow, Nancy will show us what it looks like to fully engage in to whatever God is calling you. She’ll tell the story of Deborah, who joined a battle at just the right time. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the ESV.