The God who comforted and encouraged Corrie Ten Boom in the darkest and most depressing places on earth, can encourage and comfort you in whatever situation you are facing.
Transcript notes from video:
Corrie Ten Boom and her family had a commitment to help the Jewish people during WW2 – they successfully hid many Jews. However, they were caught and suffered terribly in the holocaust camps with the Jewish people.
It was a living hell of suffering. Corrie’s father died after a few weeks – and Corrie watched as her dear sister Bestie gradually got weaker and weaker in the holocaust camp until she died.
Corrie was at times mad with those who had caused her the suffering. She was bitter and angry – but she came to realise God’s mercy and love for her even in the darkest place.
She learnt to see God’s loving care in the small things of life. One of the worst things was the roll call in the mornings – where they had to stand outdoors from 4-7am in the freezing cold with hardly enough clothes. The German soldier in charge would then take some prisoners and beat them in front of everyone. It was hard not to focus on the cruelty – but God sent a little singing bird three weeks in a row to fly directly over the roll call. It helped Corrie and the prisoners to take their mind off the horrible suffering and see God’s love and care.
She famously said – ‘there is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still’. There in the midst of her darkness, God was with her – He encouraged her, He comforted her, He strengthened her.
One time when a group of 250 prisoners were being marched off to work in a bomb factory. Corrie snuck out of her bed, ran between the search lights and hid in the shadows of the barracks until she got to the place where these prisoners would walk past. She gave a word of encouragement to each person as they passed. ‘Christ is victor’ – ‘God is with you’, ‘Underneath are the unfailing arms’ and so on. After the war she found out that this group was working in the munitions factory when terrible air raids came – and they were not allowed to go and hide in the shelters. A prisoner kept repeating to herself what Corrie had said – ‘Christ is victor’. And she survived – and not only her but 249 of the 250 whom Corrie encouraged survived.
As we have been encouraged by God – we can encourage others.
Corrie went on to travel the world encouraging people with God’s message of forgiveness.
Once she went to a prison in Bermuda where they had been a riot. She ministered to the prisoners and was then taken to meet a murderer who had tried to run away. He had just been whipped because of his violence and rioting.
She was speaking to him, and he told her that his heart was full of hatred. She said she understood – he said ‘how can you understand?’ She went on to tell her story of being in jail, and of her thoughts of anger and revenge when the prison guards whipped her weak sister. But Jesus filled her with love, and she told him that you don’t have to full of hatred anymore. She had been comforted and was able to comfort him.
2 Cor 1:6 – Our sufferings are for the encouragement of others who suffer. Our comfort is for the comfort of others. God has a purpose beyond ourselves – our lives are not just about us and our comforts. Through the things we go through that might not be fair or right – God gives us a heart and a message to a suffering world. He wants to encourage and comfort many people out there – and He is equipping you through what you are facing to have a message of hope to many.
Enoch Lavender was born in Australia, raised in Norway, spent time living in China and is now based in Melbourne, Australia. He has been studying Hebrew and the Jewish roots of our faith for the past decade, and has a keen interest in the Middle East from a Bible prophecy perspective.