A letter received from Pastor Saeed Abedini, American citizen imprisoned in Iran. When I heard that empty Christmas settings were placed during Christmas as a reminder of my imprisonment and those imprisoned for Christ, tears of joy filled my eyes. I was able to share about this with other prisoners and they were shocked by the love and support we have for each other in Jesus. I told them how in the Bible we are all considered brothers and sisters (despite race, color, or nationality) and we are to share in each others pains.This comes from our Lord. The Word of God says that when we are persecuted for our faith, we are to count it all joy. When I think that all of these trials and persecutions are being recorded in heaven for me, my heart is filled with complete joy. The Bible says that the Joy of the Lord is our strength. Without the joy of the Lord we cannot live. It is this joy in our life that gives us strength to continue in this life.Without strength, we cannot continue the work of the Lord and without joy, there is no strength. I always wanted God to make me a godly man. I did not realize that in order to become a godly man we need to become like steel under pressure. It is a hard process of warm and cold to make steel.The process in my life today is one day I was told I will be freed on bail to see my family and kids on Christmas (they are all lies) and the next day I am told I will hang for my faith in Jesus. One day there are intense pains after beatings in interrogations, the next day they are nice to you and offer you candy.These hot and colds only make you a man of steel for moving forward in expanding His Kingdom. When for 120 days you are asleep in a room with one big light that is constantly lit and does not separate day or night and when you can only see true sunlight for a few minutes a week, thats when you are becoming His Workmanship and you can be a vessel in bringing His Kingdom in a dark place and you are able to share the Gospel of Peace and Life to the dying world.And this is where you learn you can love your enemies with all of your heart.I am looking forward to the day to see all of you who are behind me with your prayers and to embrace you in my arms. Thank you for the love you have showed me. What is in us is stronger than what is in the world and it has conquered the world. Pastor Saeed Abedini, in chains for our Lord Jesus Christ Used by permission, courtesy of the Abedini family.
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
What an instrument of substance. Just reading it gives me joy. The only outcry needed here is to stand with this brother in our own attitudes and pray that we come into the same mind of suffering as he has. Blessed be the name of the Lord. What encouragement!
Brothers and sisters. Please do not ignore tbis letter. This letter comes from a saint who is in prison for his faith in Jesus. We read about those precious saints in times past who suffered for Jesus. Now we are seeing an actual letter from a brother who is imorisoned for his faith in Jesus. This is real. This is now.We are told to remember those in prison as we were tbeir felkow prisoners. Will we remember this brother? In effect, our State Dept. has declared him persona non grata. They have forgotten him. Oh. Did I not add this man is an American citizen. Saeed Abideni came to this country for being a believer in Jesus Christ. He was persecuted for his faith in Iran. He could have settled into the temptation of the American dream. Yet he continued to make trips back to Iran to strengthen tbe house churches there.. Be knew tbe dangers. He was warned by tbe Iranian government of imprisonment. And possibly death. But he continued to serve Jesus and laid down his life.Chances are tbis man will be martyred. Yet he is laying down his life for Jesus. This nan being an American citizen and believer in Jesus has much to say to us in America. Particularly to our so called Christianity. That which we practice here in America.Those who revel in tbeir Constitutional rights please take note of a real American who should put us all to shame. For this man is prepared to give his life for Jesus and his only weapon is tbe word of God in his heart.Those who cry for brokenness. Please take note of a brother in Christ who has been poured out as a drink offering for the things of Christ.No doubt this man will be martyred. But may his death and testimony send such shock waves around tbe world. May his death and testimony send such shock waves into heaven and hell that the demons tremble and the gospel is unleashed. And unleashed in power!Dear God. Use your servant Saeed Abedini to advance your kingdom purposes and advance your gospel around tbe world. In Jesus Name.Bearmaster.
Will anyone pray for this brother?Bearmaster.
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ: that, whether I come and see you or be absent, I may hear of your state, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one soul striving for the faith of the gospel; and in nothing affrighted by the adversaries: which is for them an evident token of perdition, but of your salvation, and that from God; because to you it hath been granted in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer in his behalf: having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me. If there is therefore any exhortation in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tender mercies and compassions, make full my joy, that ye be of the same mind, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Philippians 1:27-2:-2.Brother you ask if anyone will pray for this brother in prison for Christ. If this were my son then I have no doubt I would have not only prayed for him but would have taken the next plain to Iran to wilfully and in all determination stood against the authorities of that country in a mind to lay waste to them. This would of course have been foolish and probably would have ended in my own imprisonment as well as pilling suffering on my son head for my own fleshy reasons. As it is when I read this letter I was for the first time in my life genuinely uplifted and encouraged by reading of another man suffering. The brother is suffering but he is a beneficiary of it. His words speak clearly to that end. Not only this but he shows that he fully expects to see his family again and to greet them with great affection for their faithfulness towards him. I dont say this to deny the need to pray for this dear brother, but rather to ask what manner of prayer ought one to pray. Every other post and thread which has appeared regarding this brother has missed this profound reality which is clearly seen in the letter itself. Extracts have been selectively posted and all this to a political end of things. Which one of us understanding that this brother has comprehended a greater reality and is a comfort to his fellow prisoners and is more profited by his imprisonment than he was without it, would pray for his release as though this fact were somehow absent from this letter. He will be released and his testimony would be better served in Christ if we bore witness to the substance of Christ working in Him than to the circumstance of his imprisonment. Please forgive me if this offends anyone. It ought not to do but I fear that it will regardless. This letter is full of real substance of Christ and it is a testimony to Christ Himself. In the end the Lord will be faithful and relieve this brother as the hour necessitates according to Christ and not men. That is my prayer brother.
Brother your words are solid. I agree. Our prayer should not be so much for this brother's release as more for him to be faithful in his trials. I was reminded through your post the N. Korean believers ask pray we not escape the persecutions but that we be faithful in the persecutions and trials. Certainly words for us western believers need to reflect on.Bearmaster.
Here is an update about this brother's situation:http://aclj.org/iran/free-saeed-time-unified-national-international-responseWhile this situation is tragic, God can and will redeem it for his honor and glory. There are too many incidents where this has happened much to the consternation of the authorities. God is in control - it did not take God by surprise. Many persecuted Believers say do not pray for our release from prison but pray that we would remain faithful. Now THAT requires a maturity we in the free-world seldom experience. God bless this brother and his family.
AMEN!Iran does not acknowledge American Citizenship status if you are born in Iran or if your parents were born in Iran, or if you are a woman married to an Iranian. These individuals must obtain an Iranian passport when traveling to Iran and the United States, having no embassy there,warns such travelers and releases itself from interference because it's citizens are traveling against advice.The spiritual battle there is fierce. This brother will need our continued prayers. We will pray for God's will in this and that he will be released when the work God has there with him is finished. We also pray for his physical well being and most importantly, that his eyes be securely set upon Jesus. I am confident that with that, the Lord will give him greater revelation of Himself and be glorified in the strength, boldness and clarity He gives. What a marvelous thing to know that in the Lord's hand, nothing will be wasted.