2208) Faithful Endurance

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     Aunty Esther was a diminutive elderly Chinese medical doctor with a soft, kind voice that masks the many years of suffering through which she has passed.

     “During the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976),” she says, “I was called in by my superior one day.  At that time I was in charge of eight large pediatric wards in my hospital.

     “The communists were cracking down on people who did not toe the current party line.  My superior warned me that I should deny my faith and join the communist party or I may have to face the serious consequences of job demotion and salary reduction.

     “A few days later, I was rudely awakened by four nurses who roughly pulled me from my bed and marched me to the hospital.  En route they stopped at a barbershop and shaved off half of my hair. In front of the rest of the staff, I was confronted to renounce my faith in Christ and join the communist party.

     “I responded, ‘I can’t deny Jesus. I love Jesus!’  At the mention of His name they threw me down on the ground and cursed.  Later, the communist cadre at my hospital tore the stethoscope from my neck and said, ‘You are no longer Esther; you are now The Fool.”’

     Esther continues.  For the next eleven years she lived in the basement of the hospital and obediently submitted to her new task—cleaning the floors and toilets of the hospital wards that she previously headed.  Her already meager salary of 50 dollars per month was reduced to 15 dollars; and she had to buy the cleaning materials from it.  The rest was used up on food.

     But Esther practiced the presence of Jesus in her job.  She sang as she toiled.  With a twinkle in her eyes she adds, “My hospital had the cleanest floors and cleanest toilets in all of China!”

     Hospital staff would come to her and with great envy question her source of joy in spite of her troubles.  Esther responded, “When you have Jesus in your heart, it doesn’t matter what job you do or what position you have.  It only matters that you love Him and are faithful and loyal to Him.”

     When the Cultural Revolution period ended, Aunty Esther was reinstated in her original job and given back pay for all that she had been deprived during those eleven years.  This amount enabled her to send one of her children for higher education.  She faithfully carried on her public witness for Jesus until the day she died in her late nineties.



“Our God is so great even the persecutors serve him,” said a Chinese pastor.  He was referring to arch-persecutor of the Chinese church, Mao Tse Tung, who launched the fiercest anti-Christian campaign of the twentieth century in the 1960’s.  Called the “Cultural Revolution,” he swept away all churches, burned all Bibles, and imprisoned all the pastors.  Yet all he succeeded in doing was pushing the church deep underground, where it became embedded in the family structure and Chinese culture in a way 300 years of evangelism had failed to accomplish.  From this fire emerged the world’s largest revival – where the church grew from 1 million in 1950 to over 80 million today.  “We say,” smiled the pastor, “that thanks to Mao—who thought he was annihilating the church—we have the greatest revival.  He thought he was killing the church, but all the while he was doing pre-evangelism.  God had the last laugh.  Glory be to God!”


Jeremiah 7:7-8b  —  Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.  They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream…its leaves are always green…

II Timothy 2:10-12a  —  I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.  Here is a trustworthy saying:  If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him.

I Peter 2:20b-21  —  If you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.  To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

Romans 15:4  —  For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.


Almighty God, Lord of the storm and of the calm, of day and night, of life and death; grant unto us so to have our hearts stayed upon your faithfulness and your love, so that whatever happens to us, however black the cloud or dark the night, with quiet faith we may trust in you and walk with you; abiding all storms and troubles of this mortal life, begging of you that they may turn to our souls’ true good.  Amen.

–George Dawson (1821-1876) English Baptist minister