A Letter to the Suffering Saints in Beslan, Russia
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ who lost loved ones in Beslan,
We at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, extend our heart-aching sympathy to all of you who have wept over the pain and loss of these recent days in Beslan. We hear and feel the voice of the apostle Paul, “Weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). Therefore our tears have mingled with our prayers for sustaining grace in your life. We pray that “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort” will comfort and strengthen and preserve you in the hope of glory.
We believe you are sharing Christ's sufferings, because all suffering endured on the Calvary road of obedience and faith is suffering with Christ. And since you share in Christ’s sufferings, you will share in his glory. If the Spirit of him who raised Christ from the dead dwells in you, then he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies (Romans 8:11). The sufferings of this life are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed to the children of God. O that our great, sovereign, risen, and reigning Christ may give you unshakable confidence in this truth.
We cannot fully imagine what you must have gone through, or are now dealing with. But Christ can. He was tested in every way like you are. Therefore he is a great and sympathetic High Priest. He is able to stay beside you and understand and feel what you feel and give you everything you need. He will never leave you or forsake you. He will be with you to the end of the age. All authority in heaven and on earth is his. And he is infinitely wise and good. We pray that your faith in him will be unshaken and strong.
You have not worked in vain. You have not raised little children in vain. Their lives are not wasted. Jesus is the resurrection and the life, though we die, we are alive. Believing in Christ, your children are alive, and will serve Christ meaningfully and joyfully this very day and forever.
Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might (Ephesians 6:11). Very soon, we will all see him face to face.
With strong affection and desire for your faith,
John Piper, Pastor