Authorities arrested Pastor Andrew and Norine Brunson in 2016—church-planters in Turkey for more than twenty years—and later accused them with terrorism. They released Norine thirteen days after the arrest, but Andrew remained imprisoned.
“One of the biggest challenges in prison is uncertainty,” Pastor Andrew said. “Maybe I will spend the rest of my life in prison. Maybe they will make a political agreement and get me out. Maybe they won’t.”
Pastor Andrew begged God to rescue him, but also desired to be willing to serve His purposes. “I would pray, ‘Lord, I want to be willing. Help me to be willing to serve Your purposes, even if it means life in prison.’”
We are “made right” before God by faith (justification) and Roman’s Chapter 4 uses Abraham’s life as an example.
The father of our faith held both the assurance of God and uncertainty—togather. Uncertainties strengthen our faith as we believe God anyway—and trust God anyway.
"Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waiver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able to perform.” Romans 4:19-21
The book of Genesis tells the story of God promising Abraham that he would be the father of many nations (Genesis 12), but he was childless.
Then God told him he would have a son (Genesis 18:1-15), but both Abraham and Sarah’s bodies were old—old old, shriveled like drying grapes kind of old.
But Abraham was “fully assured that what God had promised, He was able to perform.” (Romans 4:19)
Even in the dark He is there and has purpose for our sufferings, our waitings, our uncertainties.
, who spent months in the dark—questioning God. But then he chose faith. Day by day he called out to Him from a Turkish prison cell and declared the truth of who God is—pushing back the questions and doubt. And God grew him “strong in the faith.”
"There was very little I could do for my freedom, but I could fight for my spiritual life.” - Pastor Andrew Brunson
I’m waiting on God in uncertainties in my own life and sometimes I wish I could climb up onto His throne and move things around. My faith wants control rather than trust, but it’s in the prison cell of uncertainty that our faith sours to believe God—even when we have no idea when or how He will show up.
Look out for Pastor Andrew’s memoir, “God’s Hostage” set to hit bookstores October 15.
This post first appeared on SeanaScott.org