Do you have the faith of Daniel?
[Daniel said,] “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty.”
Facing the furnace
In 1989, Lazlo Tokes was the pastor of a fast-growing reformed church in the city of Timisoara, Romania. His powerful preaching had caught the attention of communist officials, and they began a strategy of suppression. Just before Christmas, they decided to send him into exile.
But when the police arrived to hustle Pastor Tokes away, they were stopped cold. Around the church stood a wall of humanity. Christians from around the city — Baptist, Pentecostal, Orthodox, Catholic — had joined together to protest.
All through the day they held their post. As it grew dark, a Baptist student named Daniel Gavra pulled out a packet of candles, lit one, and passed it on to his neighbor.
Then he lit another. One by one the burning candles were passed out among the crowd. Soon the darkness of the December night was pierced by the light of hundreds of candles. When Pastor Tokes looked out his window, he saw a sea of faces lit up by a warm glow.
Two days later, police finally broke through the crowd and dragged Pastor Tokes away. But that was not the end. People streamed to the city square. Hundreds were shot, Young Daniel’s leg was blown off. Yet the brave example set in Timisoara inspired the rest of the nation. Within days the entire population of Romania had risen up and the bloody dictator Ceausescu was gone.
adapted from How Now Shall We Live? Devotional by Charles Colson (Tyndale) pp 711-12
Digging Deeper: For more on facing persecution, read Jerry Jenkin’s Shadowed, a novel about keeping faith in the last days. Tyndale House Publishers (hardcover 2005, softcover 2006).
Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House