A few days ago, The Wall Street Journal published a jaw dropping interview with Mosab Hamas Yousef, the son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef — a founder and leader of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.
– born into a Muslim, terrorist family,
– converted to Christianinty,
– spied on the Palestinians,
– for the Jewish nation…
How’s that for a big reveal?
When God Is Silent
When I first started working out of college, my first boss was an Israeli. This was back in the day, when I was seriously clueless about political correctness in the workplace.
God took advantage of the green-behind-the-ears. The big cheese and I became good enough friends, for me to actually share the Gospel with him one day.
We ended up at a divide over God’s goodness. He turned to me, with brows knitted and eyes tinged with honesty and anger, and said,
“Bonnie, I wish I could have faith like you. You just believe…
Me? I can never believe in a God who would allow millions of Jews to be killed by Hitler…
Where was God when innocent women and babies were raped, murdered and burned?”
I treaded carefully. Even though the Holocaust was a result of evil in the world, his enigma wouldn’t be solved by a Sunday School answer.
He wanted to know why God — if He was good and powerful — didn’t stop the evil from happening.
I gave the best answer I could. But, he wasn’t satisfied.
How can God stay silent, during a time He could have taken action?
We ask this same question, when we find ourselves huddled under the weight of troubles and trials.
Which God Will We Choose?
My friend is right — it ultimately comes down to a matter of faith.
Do we believe that god is deity, aloof and ruthless random with his actions? Then, we can select experiences that point to existence of such a god.
Do we dare believe that God is ultimately good? Then, we can believe there must be more to the bigger picture. We remember how Jesus heaped everything wrong and evil on Himself, when He died on the cross for us.
In the darkness of our greatest fears, we hold onto our snapshots of God’s love, forgiveness and grace — even as we hurt.
Liberated From God
The story of Mosab’s double conversion – from terrorism to Christianity and allegiance to Israel – stunned me to the core.
“I converted to Christianity because I was convinced by Jesus Christ…
I loved him, his wisdom, his love, his unconditional love.
I didn’t leave [the Islamic] religion to put myself in another box of religion…
It’s a beautiful thing to see my God exist in my life and see the change in my life.”
If God could reach this man, He can reach me, where I am afraid and confused. When life doesn’t make sense.
When asked what could change the tide in Middle Eastern terrorism, Mosab did not mince words:
“The problem is with their God.
They need to be liberated from their God.
He is their biggest enemy.
It has been 1,400 years they have been lied to.”
Don’t Give Up On God
Mosab’s story teaches me to never give up on the power of God’s love. He can reach anyone, no matter how dire the situation. No matter how high the stakes are.
I tend to write off the improbability of a situation. I notice how impenetrable a heart can be. All the while, God has moved into the heart of a most unlikely candidate to speak His love and power.
The article ends with a breath-taking testimony of Mosab’s life changing faith:
These are all dangerous words. Of the threats issued to his life by Islamists, [Mosab] says,
“That’s not the worst thing that can happen to you. I’m OK with it, I’m not afraid. . . . Palestinians have reason to kill me. Some Israelis may want to kill me.
My goal is not to defeat my enemy. It is to win over my enemy.”
God may appear silent. But, watch out. He is very good at big reveals.
“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror;
then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part;
then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
Is God silent in an area of your life now?
What are your snapshots of God’s personal goodness to you? Doubt and faith can co-exist.
“And we know that in all things,
God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose.”
Today's post is a third write-up on the topic of trouble and how it fits into God's plans for us. Here are two posts you'll want to check out -- the comments that readers posted prompted today's thoughts: 1. Anyone Seen My Blueprints? How Trouble Fits In With God's Plans 2. Why Following Faith Is Tough I'm going to be ordering a copy of Mosab's book -- Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue and Unthinkable Choices. If you happen to read it too, lemme know. Would love to know what you think about it. SUBSCRIBE NOW to catch these updates from FaithBarista hot and fresh directly in your mailbox via email (click here) or RSS (click here) news reader.