Suffering and Jesus (a must see)

Hi TD,

Suffering as a Christian is an integral part of being a Christian.  Period.  Nabeel Quereshi (former Muslim, author of the multi-award winning book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus) is no stranger to this, as he endured emotional and relational suffering after leaving Islam and surrendering to Christ, a cost he knew he would have to pay to come to the Truth. The above testimony/lecture and Q&A, Suffering and Jesus, is valuable teaching, perspective aligning, and very insightful.

The sub-title is “How Suffering Transformed My Life”  and was given earlier this year. imagesLittle did he know at the time  what other suffering God had in His plans for him.This week Nabeel announced a new suffering that God has placed in his life: advanced stomach cancer.  We just saw Nabeel, Michelle, and their new baby girl in June.  The thought of her possibly growing up without her dad is quite sobering:

Dear Friends and Family,

This is an announcement that I never expected to make, but God in His infinite and sovereign wisdom has chosen me for this refining, and I pray He will be glorified through my body and my spirit. My family and I have received the news that I have advanced stomach cancer, and the clinical prognosis is quite grim. Nonetheless, we are going to pursue healing aggressively, both medical and miraculous, relying on God and the fact that He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.

In the past few days my spirits have soared and sank as I pursue the Lord’s will and consider what the future might look like, but never once have I doubted this: that Jesus is Lord, His blood has paid my ransom, and by His wounds I am healed. I have firm faith that my soul is saved by the grace and mercy of the Triune God, and not by any accomplishment or merit of my own. I am so thankful that I am a child of the Father, redeemed by the Son, and sealed in the Spirit. No, in the midst of the storm, I do not have to worry about my salvation, and for that I praise you, God.

Unfortunately this means I am no longer able to engage in traveling ministry for the time being. I am canceling almost all my speaking events, with a few exceptions. From this point on until such a time as the Lord might choose to heal me, I intend to blog or vlog about my journey with cancer, transparently offering my heart, thoughts, and struggles in case they might encourage others and glorify God. I will no longer be with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, though it has been an absolute privilege to be on the team for the past 3 years. My third book, No God But One: Allah or Jesus?, launched today, and I still intend to write my next book, 20 Questions Muslims Ask and the Answers that Convert Them. Beyond that, the Lord knows.

Friends and family, may I ask you to fast and pray fervently for my healing? I do not profess to know the will of the Lord, but many of my close friends and confidants are convinced that this is a trial through which the Lord intends to bring me alive and refined. May His will be done, and may I invite you to seek Him in earnest, on your knees, fasting on my behalf, asking our Yahweh Rapha for healing in Jesus’ name.

And as you pray and fast, “I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.” (Philippians 1:18-20)

For His Glory,
-Nabeel

Would you please join us in praying for Nabeel and his family?  Thank you. – Arthur

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What if You Are Dying?

Hey TD,

The question in the heading is actually rhetorical, for in reality, every one of us IS dying.  We are one day closer to it everyday.  We ARE dying.  How would you handle a diagnosis that your dying process has been accelerated due to cancer or something similar?  That’s something Sandra and I think about a lot.  Not morbidly, mind you; but realistically.  We have both been experiencing unnatural pains or sensations in our bodies of late that have reminded us of our mortality, especially in light of the consistent and unyielding stream of funerals we’ve attended in recent years.

In Randy Alcorn’s life-changing novel, Safely Home,” the lead character (my hero), Li Quan, constantly asks, “Is this the day that I die?”  He too does not ask it morbidly; just realistically … and biblically.  It’s really a question we ought to be frequently asking.  In Luke 12, God calls out those who don’t think this way, warning them that their lives might be required of them that very night (v. 20).  A few verses later, He instructs, “Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit.  Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks.” (vv. 35-36)

In this video, you hear how Bobbie and Robert Wolgemuth are handling Bobbie’s battle with cancer.  They are good acquaintences of ours and dear friends of Joni and Ken.  The doctors have told them there is nothing more they can do and have stopped all chemo and treatment.  Though very difficult, their lives demonstrate the truth that Jesus makes, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you.” (John 14)  I hope you’ll watch soberly, consider your life and calling, and live hard for Him this week! – Arthur

Living by Faith, Not by Sight

Hey TD!

In the aftermath of one of the most lopsided victories in Super Bowl history by the Seattle Seahawks, one story has emerged that has captured my attention.  It is the story of a Christian teenage boy, Jake Olson, who has been a source of inspiration to the Seahawks’ Super Bowl winning coach, Pete Carroll.  Some of you may remember that Carroll was also USC’s national championship winning coach for 10 years when he coached in college.

Jake’s story has riveted me.  His courage and faith have humbled and inspired me.  I don’t want to give away too much, so I won’t say anything more.  You’ll have to watch the following videos to find out his story.  I encourage you not only to watch them for curiosity’s sake, but to consider how you can live for our King by faith and not by sight. – Arthur

Orange County Register article