by Joe Handley
(Editor’s note: This is the 6th post in a series through Hebrews 11 called “In the Shadow of the Cloud.” We will be exploring what we can learn from those mentioned in this clouds of witnesses section.)
Moses’ parents set him aside because they knew he was no ordinary child. By faith, he refused to be known as Pharaoh’s daughter’s son. By faith, he persevered. Why? Because he knew the greater value of Christ! And today, Moses is a LEGEND!
I serve modern-day legends like this every day, the unknown types mentioned in this passage: people who are persecuted, who suffer, and who persevere for the one who brings hope to humanity. They inspire me and I wear a bracelet on their behalf declaring that “I am one with them!” The bracelet reminds me to pray for them. Often, people ask me about the bracelet and this leads to opportunities to share about the plight of the Persecuted Church and this opens the door to sharing the gospel.
Many of my heroes today live in places where they suffer and sacrifice simply because of their faith and their willingness to share. Within the last month alone I’ve heard their stories: they have been beaten and left for dead, ostracized from their families, discriminated against in job opportunities and social standing, and marginalized in society.
Why would they give up so much like this? Because they know the hope of Jesus and the life He brings them, the joy in the midst of the struggle, and the pleasure in the middle of the pain.
These same leaders have stories of whole families, neighborhoods, or communities coming to Christ. One pastor told me: “We thank God when we are persecuted.” And when I asked why, he said,
It does the opposite of what the authorities intend. They intend it to create fear, but instead it creates curiosity! People begin to ask, ‘Why would they do such mean things to such nice people?’ And in this, many come to faith in Christ!
Moses, the legend, paved the way for thousands of unsung heroes today. He modeled for us what is means to walk by faith through suffering and persecution. By following God’s lead, an entire people were brought to the Promised Land. And today, entire neighborhoods and communities switch to following Jesus because of people like Moses.
Will you stand up and be a modern-day Moses? Will you walk by faith, willing to sacrifice all just as Moses did? Will you join me in being “One with them” who day in and day out walk the path of Moses?
Joe Handley (@jwhandley) is president of Asian Access. Previously, he was founding director of Azusa Pacific University’s Office of World Mission and lead mission pastor at Rolling Hills Covenant Church. He also co-led one of the first multi-national high school mission congresses in Mexico City. Joe strives to develop leaders who multiply churches that transform nations. Learn more: Asian Access Blog