What Is God The Father To You?

I remember reading a personal testimony of how a woman--born a Muslim in a well-heeled, politically connected family, in a staunchly Muslim country — came to faith in Christ. She had received a Bible, secretly, from foreign missionaries to her country. She began to read it — secretly — of course. Her possessing a Bible was only known to her fiercely loyal personal maid. In time she came to know the Bible as well as, if not better than, the Koran. But she kept reading both, one out of cultural expectation, and the other, out of a genuine desire to know the truth.

For many years, out of fear, she kept her Bible reading habit private. Over time, her knowledge of the God of the Bible grew. But so did her confusion. She was utterly perplexed by the competing claims of the Koran over the knowledge she was gaining more and more of from the Bible. She spent time — lots of time — in prayer and meditation. She read constantly, alternatingly between the Bible and the Koran. Uncertain and near despair, she prayed more fervently to know God.

I remember her prayer, paraphrased and shortened here to: “God, I see you in the Bible and the Koran as well as in the Bible, I don’t know which one to believe in . . . please tell me.” The answer she got was a question: “In which book do you meet me as the Father?”

She was astounded. But the cloud of confusion and uncertainty began to lift. She read the Bible again and again, looking for passages that speak of God as the Father. God’s question led her to the answers she sought.

The Father loves (1 John 3:1). He protects (Matt. 10:29), forgives (Matt. 6:14), He knows our needs (Matt 6:8) and gives us what is good for us (Matt 7:11). He comforts (2 Thess 2:16-17), and He is the Giver of the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13). 

These answers, and much more, gave her the courage to go public about her faith, and strength to endure the intense persecution that followed. Family, friends, government and society were all allied to pressure her to recant. She refused. Militants burned her house and threatened her life. Finally, with the help of the missionaries who gave her the Bible, she emigrated to a country where she can live and practise her faith free of fear and persecution.

Pastor Robert Chew