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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/xPtR8pNFzUM”][vc_column_text]02/17/2021 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern)When we experience great pain and suffering, our first response may often be to panic and struggle to escape the situation. Dan Baumann was imprisoned in Iran for his faith. Despite his extreme pain, God had a special mission for Dan, and it started with asking his torturer a question.

In the west, we’re surrounded by messaging that encourages us to run from pain towards comfort and ease. But the persecuted know that God is not calling us to run from our pain and suffering. God is teaching us to close the doors to our prison cells and to look to Him to navigate the pain.

Watch the video to find out what happened next.

Transcript

I want you to imagine your pain, your suffering, as a prison cell. And that’s not too hard to imagine when we’re living like that. Okay, if you imagine your pain or suffering as a prison cell, I want you to be encouraged because I have the way out for you, and it starts with this. I want you to reach out to the door of your prison, and I want you to slam that door shut, and I want you to lock yourself in.

 

That’s a radical prescription. It’s something I’ve learned from the persecuted church, and I want to unpack it for you. When you’re suffering and in great pain, what are you doing? I know what I’m doing. About 90% of the time, I’m in a scramble trying to get out of it, and that’s especially true in Western culture. There’s a whole bunch of messaging that your life is all about ease; it’s all about fun. It’s about good times. Just avoid pain at all costs. Avoid pain at all costs. But the persecuted church has shown me a new way to look at pain and suffering, and that is to embrace it.

 

Let me start by telling you a story about a friend of mine. That friend is Dan Bauman. Dan Bauman is an American, and he went to Iran as a tourist. He spent a couple of weeks there, and on the way out, he’s at the airport going through immigration, and they said, “Mr. Bauman, we have a concern. Can we talk to you in the back?”

 

As soon as the door to public view, they started punching him in the face, and his life descended into a nightmare. Now, Dan’s a sweetheart of a guy, a very gentle soul, and you can imagine what happens to his mind right then.

 

Then he gets thrown into prison, and he’s sentenced to death, and he’s experiencing daily beatings and torture every day, and he’s being tortured by a single man. The same guy over and over, and while this is happening, the Lord starts saying, “Dan, I want you to love this man.”

And what do you think Dan’s response is? “Heck no, we’re not going there.” He’s like this is not the time. So that was his conversation first, yet the Lord kept tugging on his heart. Dan began to see that the Lord loved this man.

 

Apart from the evil he was involved in and the cruelty he was involved in, the Lord loved this man. He knew everything about him; his pain, his struggle, his kids, and his wife, and he wanted to make him His own. He wanted to adopt, and that was a very hard pill because that same man that the Lord loves so much is doing so much harm to Dan on a daily basis.

 

One day, everything switched, and Dan came in for his daily beating, his daily torture, and Dan says to him, “My friend, if we’re going to be together every day for the rest of our lives, then we need to become friends.” And he said, “My name is Dan.”

 

And that man froze. He did not know what to do. He started looking around in a panic, and with venom, he says, “We can never be friends.” And this is the Holy Spirit through Dan says, “No, today we’re going to become friends. My name is Dan.”

 

And that man again froze. The Lord, you can imagine, what the Lord is doing in his mind and his heart, and he eventually reaches out and grabs Dan’s hand and says, “My name is Isaac, it’s good to meet you, Dan.” [unsure of this name spelling, need to check the script.] And the next thing he says to Dan is, “I’m so sorry I’m doing this to you, but I have to.” And Dan says, “I know, I know Isaac.”

 

Have you ever had a moment like that? Where you’re in that prison of suffering, and you realize you’ve tried everything you can to get out, and you realize, “Wait a minute, God has me here, I think, and I’m supposed to be here.” And you say, “Okay, Lord, what do you want me to do?”

 

And something happens. It’s when in your mind, you say, “Lord, I don’t care if I’m here for the rest of my life. My life is yours, and you can do whatever you want with it. So, if I’m supposed to be here in prison, then so be it.”

 

You know, the Lord says that unless a seed falls to the ground, it can’t come to life. For each of us, we have to get to that point. We have to die, and it’s not a normal death. It’s a death that leads to life. But it all starts with reaching out and closing the prison door.

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