John Piper, in his book Spectacular Sins writes, “Sometimes if you put your eye close enough, the smallest pinhole can reveal a new world.” He is correct in his assertion. Recently we looked through the pinhole.

Generally, western Christians know not suffering, but we will, at least according to the Bible we herald as the word of God. “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20). “All who desire to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). We are “fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him (Romans 8:17). Most Christians in the west have not known this kind of suffering as a followers of Jesus… but it’s coming. We have no need to fear. We looked through the pinhole.

In an experience that can only be described as a gift from heaven, a few of us have walked in the east in places western governments demand we not go and our news media outlets use to whip us into a frenzy. In the east there are mothers and fathers, children and grandmothers, fleeing horrific atrocities. Each person has a story of loss and death and their minds are filled with morbid pictures on which no one should ever gaze. To walk in the east, in the land of ISIS, is to look through the pinhole and discover truth and hope amidst people intensely suffering. As Christians and Muslims are kidnapped, burned, and beheaded, another fire burns.

To look through the pinhole is to discover gospel irony. Immense suffering at the hands of satanic barbarians only stokes the fire of the gospel of Jesus. While the media will only tell you about the ISIS advance, the pinhole reveals new life as thousands who knew not the Jesus of the gospels now call him God. Through the pinhole we see that for every city ISIS brutalizes the Kingdom of Jesus expands. Fear gives birth to hope and ignites faith, creating life from death.

We looked through the pinhole and we found that ISIS is not the dominant force at all. Instead Jesus appears to thousands in dreams, answers prayers in miraculous ways, and sends, yeah mobilizes an army of faithful Christ followers with relief and good news. Yes, in the east, mercy and grace ooze from the blood of the martyrs and King Jesus is like living water to the thirsty, bread of life to the hungry, and the Good Shepherd to those who seem to have lost their way. The pinhole reveals, Jesus is more than enough for anyone in deplorable and horrific suffering.

I, for one, am astounded at the love and power of our God. The view through the pinhole blurs for me as tears of joy and victory well up. When suffering comes to the west we too will experience an outpouring of His grace. Be encouraged. Jesus is on the move. We looked through the pinhole and we have seen His Holy Spirit at work. Pray for the east and prepare your heart for such victory in tribulation. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

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