I share this story from Max Lucado’s book, Fearless. “Russia of the early 1950’s needed little excuse to imprison her citizens. Let a person question a decision of Stalin or speak against the Communist regime, and he could find himself walking the frozen tundra behind the barbed wires of a Soviet concentration camp. Boris Kornfeld did. No known record of his crime survives, only the sketchy details of his life. Born a Jew. Trained as a physician and befriended by a believer in Christ.
With ample time on their hands, the two men engaged in long rigorous discussions. Kornfeld began to connect the promised Messiah of the old covenant with the Nazarene of the new. Following Jesus went against every fiber of his ancestry, but in the end he chose to do so. The decision cost him his life.
He saw a guard stealing bread from a dying man. Prior to his conversion, Kornfeld never would have reported the crime. Now his conscience compelled him to do so. It was only a matter of time before the other guards would get even. Kornfeld, even in danger, was at complete peace. His only desire was to tell someone about his discovery before he lost his life.
An opportunity came in the form of a cancer patient, a fellow prisoner who was recovering from abdominal surgery. Left alone with him in the recovery room, Kornfeld urgently whispered his story. He poured out every detail. The young man was stirred yet so groggy from the anesthesia that he fell asleep. When he awoke, he asked to see the physician. It was too late. During the night someone had dealt the doctor eight blows on the head with a plasterer’s hammer. Colleagues had tried to save his life but couldn’t.”
We continue to live in brutal times with all the rioting and destruction. Good people, who are trying to protect what they have spent years building up are being destroyed with fire or worse yet, being beaten and some killed for just being in a place they have spent years serving their community.
We live on a brutal planet today as lawlessness and godlessness is running rampant. We have taken our courage and replaced it with fear. In this story by Max Lucado we see a doctor who met Jesus and instead of living in fear he became fearless!
On April 3, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King shared these words, “We’ve got some difficult days ahead,” he told the crowd. “But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.” (www.redstate.com/mickeywhite/2017/01/16/martin-luther)
He said he feared no man and in less than 24 hours, Dr. Martin Luther King, was dead from a gunshot. Max Lucado writes, “They took his breath, but they never took his soul.” (p. 96)
We need to be fearless today and not fearful!! We may experience pain in this world and even pain unto death as we stand up for Jesus, but we will not be fearful…we will stand up for holiness and righteousness and we will be fearless!
Let’s not allow the fear that is running rampant around our country and world to overtake us and keep us hiding, but may we stand boldly and fearlessly for Jesus!
“Consider Boris Kornfeld, the Russian physician bludgeoned to death because of his convictions. Though the doctor died, his testimony survived. The man with whom he spoke never forgot the conversation…Dr. Kornfeld passionately related the story of his conversion to Christianity, his words flavored with conviction. The patient was hot and feverish, yet alert enough to ponder Dr. Kornfeld’s words. He would later write that he sensed a ‘mystical knowledge’ in the doctor’s voice.
The ‘mystical knowledge’ transformed the young patient. He embraced Kornfeld’s Christ and later celebrated in verse with this joyous affirmation: God of Universe! I believe again.!
The patient survived the camps and began to write about his prison experience…some attribute the collapse of the Eastern Communism, in part, to his writing. But were it not for the sufferings of Kornfeld, we’d have never known the brilliance of his young convert: Alexander Solzhenitsyn. What man meant for evil, God, yet again, used for good!” (ps. 98-99)
What the enemy has meant for evil and fear, God will use for good and make us fearless!