As Christians, we’re all familiar with the miraculous interventions of God from both the Old and New Testaments.
These are just some of them: the parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21-31), the rod Aaron had that turned into a snake (Exodus 7:12), the freeing of Paul and Silas (Acts 16:16-40).
But those times where God intervened can seem very far away and almost preposterous in this modern age.
But God is still doing miracles and this story out of Nigeria proves it:
In the West African country of Nigeria, Christians have been under an all-out assault in some areas and targeted for their belief in Christ by radical Muslim groups — particularly Boko Haram.
Over the past year, more than 3,000 Christians have been killed in various attacks by Muslims.
In February and March 2019 alone, more than 300 have been brutally murdered.
Recently this happened again. A group of approximately 500 Christians were in hiding, as reported by the Barnabas Fund, from the Boko Haram Islamic terrorist organization, fearful of another attack.
When that attack came, most of the 500 were able to escape, but the terrorists were successful in capturing 76 of the Christians.
The captives were taken to the Boko Haram camp where they were tortured and demands were made for them to renounce their faith in Jesus and to convert to Islam. Men, women, and children composed the group of 76 captives — many were family units.
Four of the men were commanded to renounce their faith in front of the rest of the group, which included their wives and many of their own children. When the men again refused, all four were brutally gunned down directly in front of their families.
The terrorists then turned to the wives of the men and declared that they would have to renounce their faith in Jesus or their own children would be gunned down, just like their husbands.
The women had until the next morning to make their decisions.
Throughout the night, according to the Barnabas Fund, the women desperately prayed.
Their children then came to them saying they had seen Jesus and He had promised them that “all would be well” and that they should stand strong in their faith and know that God was in control.
Prophecy from the mouths of children!
As the next morning dawned, the children were lined up in front of the firing squad as the women were once again told to renounce their faith in God.
One by one, each and every one of them refused, even at the risk of their own children’s lives!
Instead, they cleaved to the faith they had in our Lord and Savior!
The terrorists took position to wipe out the children, just as they had their fathers the day before…
Suddenly the terrorist firing squad started dropping their weapons yelling “SNAKES!” and running away. Some even died on the spot.
These murderous men were stopped only by God’s intervention!
One of the captive children ran to grab one of the terrorist’s guns, but was stopped by another one of the children and told “You don’t need to do that, can you not see the men in white fighting for us?”
All 72 lives were saved during this miraculous intervention. They have since been relocated to another area of the country where they will be safe from more attacks.
It is simple to have faith when we’re not tested or challenged, especially not living through persecution on this scale!
But we are called to: “run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the job set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you do not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:1-3).
It is amazing how strong these women and children were in fulfilling that command from Hebrews. Even in the shadow of death, they still remained faithful to Jesus!
May our faith never be challenged to this point, but we know we are promised that challenges and trials will come during our Christian journey. Our responsibility is to remain steadfast in God, the One that created everything and everyone.
Let’s learn from the stories of remaining steadfast in God’s love and faith, even if we are never put in this type of situation! Remember Jesus said “But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven” (Matthew 10:33).
Please join us in continued prayers for our brothers and sisters in faith who are living through very real persecution every day in Nigeria and throughout other parts of the world.
Pray for their faith to remain strong no matter what they are facing and that they can feel God’s presence. And thank God for this miraculous intervention in Nigeria!