I try to read these devotionals from Extreme Devotion as often as I can. People can be incredibly inspiring and find God in situations we would never think possible. If Zoya can find God after being unjustly sentenced to prison, where is God in our lives today? Something to think about and bring to prayer. Information on the Voice of the Martyrs app is at the end of the story. I recommend at least downloading it and seeing if it becomes a part of your prayer life.
March 31: Extreme Places RUSSIA: ZOYA KRAKHMALNIKOVA
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
A fellow prisoner who was a priest in a Russian prison had betrayed Zoya. He made false accusations about her so that he could be released from prison and escape his own torture. During the trial, Zoya refused to say one word against him. She said, “When Judas betrayed Jesus, he was a treacherous man. But Jesus called him ‘friend’ in Gethsemane. Should we not learn from Christ’s example and behave like this towards those who betray us?”
Zoya Krakhmalnikova spent six years in a Russian prison for sharing Christ with others. Her time there gave her a unique insight into God’s Word and how it applies to the harsh realities of life. “In prison, every cell door has a hole called the Judas hole. Through it the guards can control you every five minutes. They watch you closely, inspecting you and instructing you. This helped me to understand, if the Communists are so diligent about keeping an eye on me, would not God and his angels do so with even more diligence?” Zoya could have easily allowed bitterness to rule her heart. But she took the lessons in Scripture and directly applied them to her own life. They were hard lessons. But they served to make her life and the lives of those around her a little brighter.
Going on an extended trip without packing one’s things is a seemingly ridiculous proposition. Who would travel unprepared? Yet Christians make a spiritual journey every day without being adequately spiritually prepared for their trek. We need to be prepared with God’s Word in our hearts in order to apply them when needed. Many of us struggle to succeed in spiritual tests because we have not studied God’s principles ahead of time. We end up feeling like failures when we could have been victorious like Zoya by applying God’s Word to our situation. Your faith in Christ may take you to extreme places. Are you prepared for the journey? Make sure you have plenty of God’s Word—you’ll need it.
You can read more through The Voice of the Martyrs’ app available on iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/prayer-calendar/id432550884?mt=8) or Google Play (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.persecution.prayercalendarhd)
Sent from my iPhone