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Jesus Will Supply All the Strength You Need


For years now I’ve been receiving bi-monthly newsletters from  Laymen’s Evangelical Fellowship International and always look forward to the teachings and encouraging articles. I was especially blessed to see a message included in the most recent newsletter which I had read many years ago, written by Corrie Ten Boom. Even if you’ve read it before, you too may like to read it again…

Hebrews 13:5-6For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

“Facing Death”

corrie ten boomCorrie ten Boom, a Dutch Christian, once spent some time in a small African country where Christians were oppressed by a new government.
On the first few days of Corrie’s stay, native Christians were ordered to the police station, supposedly for registration. In reality, they were arrested and executed; a systematic eradication was taking place.

On Sunday morning, Corrie was due to speak in a little church. Fear and tension were etched on every face; who knew who would be killed next? Sitting on the bare, wooden benches, the Christians looked expectantly at Corrie, desiring her to speak a word from God at this tragic hour.

Corrie read from 1 Peter 4:12-14 in the Bible to these precious brethren. Here the reading is quoted from a beautiful old English version: “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you”.

Corrie then told them a story: “When I was a little girl,” she said, “I went to my father and said, ‘Daddy, I am afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a martyr for Jesus Christ.’
‘Tell me,’ Father said, ‘when you take a train trip from Haarlem to Amsterdam, when do I give you the money for the ticket? Three weeks before?’
‘No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train.’

Her father agreed,  ‘And so it is with God’s strength. Our wise Father in heaven knows when you are going to need things too. Today you do not need the strength to be a martyr; but as soon as you are called upon for the honour of facing death for Jesus, He will supply the strength you need—just in time.’

Corrie knew that some of those African brothers and sisters were facing death; she continued, “I took great comfort in my father’s advice. Later I had to suffer for Jesus in a concentration camp. He indeed gave me all the courage and power I needed.”

Her African friends agreed, knowing that God would supply all their needs—including courage in the face of death.

“Tell us more, Tante [Aunt] Corrie,” said one old man. So Corrie told them of an incident from her time at the concentration camp at Ravensbruck.

One day, a group of fellow prisoners wished to hear Bible stories from Corrie. Yet the concentration camp guards called the Bible das Lügenbuch [Book of Lies]. Any prisoner possessing a Bible or talking about the Lord could face death; yet Corrie went and fetched her Bible from her cot. Suddenly, she had become conscious of a presence behind her. “One of the prisoners,” Corrie narrated to her African listeners, “formed the words with her lips, ‘Hide your Bible. It’s Lony.’ ” Lony had been one of the cruellest of women guards. Yet Corrie knew that she must obey God who had led her so clearly to give a Bible message to the prisoners that morning. While Corrie taught, Lony remained behind her—and still stayed when Corrie suggested that a hymn of praise be sung.

Although this could have proved costly to the other prisoners, they sang—in the face of the enemy.

After the song was finished, a voice spoke. It was Lony, asking for another song like that. Again and again, Corrie and the prisoners sang. Then Corrie spoke to that woman guard about the Lord Jesus Christ. Her behaviour began to change, until she became a sort of friend.

Corrie told her African friends, “I knew that every word I said could mean death. Yet never before had I felt such peace and joy in my heart as while I was giving the Bible message in the presence of mine enemy. God gave me the grace and power I needed—the money for the train ticket arrived just the moment I was to step on the train.”

Broad grins spread over the faces of Corrie’s African brethren. She then closed the service with a poem by Amy Carmichael:

We follow a scarred Captain,
Should we not have scars?
Under His faultless orders
We follow to the wars.
Lest we forget, Lord, when we meet,
Show us Thy hands and feet.

After the meeting, someone began singing that old song:

There’s a land that is fairer than day,
And by faith we can see it afar.
For the Father waits over the way,
To prepare us a dwelling place there.
In the sweet by and by, we shall meet on that beautiful shore.
In the sweet by and by, we shall meet on that beautiful shore.

Later, Corrie was informed that more than half of those at that service met a martyr’s death—and so received a martyr’s crown. But God’s Spirit of glory had been resting upon them (1 Peter 4:14).

—Corrie Ten Boom, Tramp for the Lord

2 comments on “Jesus Will Supply All the Strength You Need

  1. This is very cool…we just listened to the audio version of the hiding place in our van. The quote below was spoken on the CD, as Corrie was having a dream. It’s a story that is very hard to hear and very hard to read, but alas, could this be the future for every believer in Christ? I read once that Hitler’s temper tantrum was nothing more than a dry-run. The days ahead are indeed dark.

    Corrie then told them a story: “When I was a little girl,” she said, “I went to my father and said, ‘Daddy, I am afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a martyr for Jesus Christ.’
    ‘Tell me,’ Father said, ‘when you take a train trip from Haarlem to Amsterdam, when do I give you the money for the ticket? Three weeks before?’
    ‘No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train.’

    Her father agreed, ‘And so it is with God’s strength. Our wise Father in heaven knows when you are going to need things too. Today you do not need the strength to be a martyr; but as soon as you are called upon for the honour of facing death for Jesus, He will supply the strength you need—just in time.’

    • Paul, i was so happy to see this story in the latest newsletter–i remembered reading it many years ago. Though i can’t recall offhand the program, i recall hearing an interview with Corrie Ten Boom on the radio years ago. It was a 2-3 part interview which aired over a few days. Every day during that time i was glued to my radio listening to her tell of God’s mercy, love, and His Glory. I would sit listening and just weep. Wish i could locate the interview so as to share it here with you all. It had to have been at least 20 years ago or longer when it aired.

      Yes amen Paul. We don’t know what we each may be called to endure before the end. But we can have peace in knowing Jesus will be with us and will provide the strength needed to endure it. Not only in persecution, but in times in each of our lives when faced with (what looks to be) impossible circumstances: the loss of a loved one, illness, and finally, even death. Jesus will give us what we need.

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