Psalm 56:4--In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
Psalm 86:12--I will praise You with all my heart, Lord my God, and will honor Your name forever.
In some remote Philippine island, Martin Burnham sits with his wife, Gracie, and over a dozen other captives.* A story circulated by a former captive is that while the hostages pray to God to be rescued, Martin praises God. He is content to trust in the sovereign power of his Heavenly Father. He is content despite the fact he and his wife are separated from their three children. Reports say he was wounded by gunfire. Who, but God, knows if he and his fellow prisoners will be released or be killed to further the political objectives of their depraved kidnappers?
Martin attended and graduated at Faith Academy, a K-12 school established for the children of missionaries in the Philippines and surrounding Asian countries. His dream was to serve God by becoming a missionary pilot. God honored his desire. Bernie flies planes. Following in his parent’s footsteps, he and his family serve as missionaries in the Philippines. He and his wife were in the right place at the right time to be seized. Yes—the right place at the right time. You see, anyone who has the courage to set aside concern for his own life to praise God in the midst of a terrifying situation must have been hand-picked by God.
My hunch is that Martin looks for opportunities to share his faith with his captors. I’m certain he prays for their salvation daily because he realizes that the real prisoners are those who do not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. The reason he can praise God is because he knows that no matter what happens, his life and the lives of his family are secure in the hands of the Almighty.
I hope you will pray for the salvation of those who brutally seized the Burnhams. I hope you will intercede for the release and return of Martin and his fellow captives to their families—so long as that is what most glorifies God! That’s what I’m praying. Martin and I were high school classmates. I’m so proud of his faith. We can learn much from his example! I hope that when you and I face adversity, like Bernie, we will have the courage and maturity to focus our attention on praising God!
Praising God is the ultimate end and aim of all we go through.—Oswald Chambers in Approved Unto God
*Martin was killed while Filipino soldiers attempted he and Gracie’s rescue. She wrote a stirring book In the Presence of My Enemiesabout their ordeal and his testimony.
©2001 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)