An Iranian pastor who has refused to renounce his Christian faith faces execution as early as Wednesday after his sentence was upheld by an Iranian court.
Not long ago, a friend on a forum shared a difficult situation he was going through, and I told him what I learned through a similar situation in an attempt to encourage and help him. After hearing his story, I thought, “Wow, next to his suffering, I’ve hardly suffered at all.” Then he wrote that after hearing my story, he felt that next to my suffering, he had hardly suffered at all. We laughed about that.
For many years, I struggled to believe that God really loves me. I grew up hearing that He did, and I thought I believed it, but I didn’t REALLY believe it deep down in my spirit. It comes from growing up with conditional love. Because I didn’t really believe He loved me, I was scared whenever I “failed” God that He would be disappointed or angry with me. And any time something bad happened, I thought God was punishing me for something. Recognizing that this was a problem, about ten years ago I began to pray Ephesians 3:17-19 for myself: