This letter was written by Brother Behnam Irani before Christmas of 2012. It has a great application for us today. I know that I was abundantly blessed and inspired by what he wrote. I trust that you will be blessed as well.
Unbounded thanks to the holiness of the Lord that brought us accountability and rendered capability to us to serve him. It gave us an advantage to participate in very little of his suffering on the cross of Calvary.
Despite the pressure and difficulties in prison, I am pleased to share, what is like a fountain, my Christian joy with you in the new Christmas days to come. And I know that you, who are the saints and spiritual children of God, are acquainted with this joy.
As a minister of God, I allow myself to announce you to be happy. Know that all the happiness that we have on Earth is the first fruit of that great joy provided for us in heaven.
Oh my dears, you are the fruit of our Lord Jesus Christ’s pains, and you were produced by him. I invite you to love each other with the love that the Lord Jesus planted in our hearts. In these critical days, do not let Satan affect your relations with God and believers.
Remember that we all have one father according to the Word of God and, thus, value each other like a true family.
Now that I am far from you, whenever I think about each and every one of you, I notice that there is an abundant love in my heart for all of you.
My brothers and sisters, I love you all. Christ has given you to me on Calvary. Even if I were sentenced to many years behind bars for the salvation of one of you, there would never be any complaint.
You are so precious that God himself braved the death on the cross. Do I or other servants not have to bear imprisonment for you?
I wish you can love each other as much as I love you, at least.
Sooner or later our earthly settlement will end, and we will leave the world with all its attractions. Please do not let any earthly attraction prevent you from sweet Christian relations.
As the apostles of Christ took the bread, and shared it among the assembly, servants should receive the spiritual food and deliver it to the people of God.
In the story of the Samaritan woman, in the fourth chapter of the Gospel of John, there is a great secret hidden for servants. When Christ met that Samaritan woman, she reached a revelation about his true identity.
Bible says: “Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town…” She went to testify and contribute the revelation of Jesus Christ and what he did for her. The remarkable point is that she put down her water jar. This water jar can be a symbol of obstacles belonging to the world and servants’ personal affairs such as occupation, financial problems, lacking personal vehicles and accommodations, and daily necessities for their families.
The problem will be heavier if we add social and legal issues as a barrier to serving God. The Samaritan woman was deeply involved with worldly issues before the revelation.
When Jesus talked about the living water, she said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” Or when Jesus said that he was able to give her the living water, she said, “How? You have nothing to draw with.” She could only trust in what she saw, but the Book of Hebrews says, “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see;” otherwise, faith cannot have its meaning. Faith is a belief in power. This power is potential, not yet achieved, but it will definitely be fulfilled in its certain time. Faith is to look through spiritual eyes. Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see because God has said it.
Most of the time we Christians, and especially servants, act like that Samaritan woman. Our faith is based on visible things around us. She could only see the well and water; therefore, she didn’t ask, “From where will you bring water?” But she said, “You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep.”
She didn’t have faith in the abilities of the man beside the well. The above question was a result of the lack of enough knowledge.
How about us?
Most of the time, when we talk about ministry, it is said, “The well of our problems is very deep. When there is no support, when there is nothing to draw with, when there is no income, how can we serve?” Frankly, this is the Samaritan woman’s mentality. We all have this weakness, more or less.
Depth of the well and lack of facilities stop us and intimidate us about the future. A hidden fear fills us. We don’t feel safe about the future, and therefore we try to multiply our safety. We try to interfere in God’s responsibility, and this is exactly the point where we start to fail in our spiritual life and ministry. Because human thoughts are replaced with divine thoughts, and this prevents God from acting. I hope we don’t pass from the previous sentence irresponsibly.
There were times when I was being tempted and paying more attention to my future during my ministry as a servant of Christ, and these verses as a red light stopped me, even though I was sometimes fined for passing this red light.
“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:31-34)
In these days which are truly evil, I encourage you to be alert. Do not fear for the recent economic crisis covering the larger part of the world and especially Iran. Rising prices has encumbered livelihoods. As I am writing, currency values have doubled, a 100-percent increase that will dramatically increase goods, including imported goods. And, indeed, nowadays we are dependent on foreign goods, and to acquire them we need higher incomes, and higher incomes require harder work.
This can cause worries for believers and servants to fall into a terrible trap. You servants will find new excuses for reducing the quality and hours of your ministry; and drowning more deeply in worldly affairs you will come to a point when it is too late.
You will realize you haven’t had a visit from God for months, your prayers are aggravated, and your messages do not influence listeners because they have originated from your skills in eloquence and not from a divine revelation.
No longer will you be able to solve disorder with heavenly wisdom in the church, being surprised why believers do not listen to you. You will forget that spiritual affairs are revealed by heavenly wisdom which is obtained by visits from God and receiving updated messages from Him.
I assure you by the definite testimony of the Bible that God will bless your incomes if you stay faithful and do not reduce the quality of your spiritual life as he blessed the old woman’s oil and flour and saved her from famine.
Do not be afraid of famines. If fear overcomes you, you will be tempted to flee to Egypt like Abraham in the famine of Harran. So learn from the people of redemptive history and trace the men and women who believed in God’s promises under all circumstances, for they inherited God’s promises.
Oh, my brothers and sisters, and servants who are scattered all over the church of Iran, tears are shed for you. I wipe them not to be noticed. They originate from the pain of my love to you. How well I now understand when Paul the Apostle said to the church, “I raised you with tears.”
Please pay attention to what God says in Matthew 6:26, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
Strengthen weakened knees through the path of faith. Raise the hands at risk of falling with zeal so that God’s presence fills the hearts that are afflicted with anxiety and calms them down as our Lord Jesus calmed the storm by a single command.
I heard some servants and members of the church of Iran have migrated to foreign countries. Time will prove whether this movement was right or wrong, but what we must know is that they did what was the best choice at that time and, therefore, we have to respect their choices.
Perhaps one day we who are currently residing in Iran will immigrate away and they return to Iran instead. What is expected is that we don’t forsake God’s kingdom wherever we are in this planet. Believers ought to cooperate fully with servants and aid them in pressure and difficulties. Bear their possible mistakes with the Christian love and don’t express them verbally. Respect the anointing God has given them, and know that any disrespect to their ministry and anointing is regarded as disrespect to the Holy Spirit. So be alert to this matter so as not to be subject to God’s judgement. Once again, I congratulate all the saints at Christmas and the coming new year of 2012.