Got a few spare minutes? Use them! Don’t get distracted by your phone, check this simple and short study to grab some thoughts on passion, inspired by the story of Hayat from Sudan. It might only take you a few minutes to read, but hopefully the words and ideas will stick with you the whole day!
As a teenager Hayat fell really ill. She was left unable to walk or move properly. Some Christian friends offered to pray for her. Initially she refused, but after a while Hayat decided to let them.
As they gathered round her, she found herself praying with them. She suddenly believed God could heal her, and guess what? After they left, she was able to get out of bed for the first time in months.
She became a Christian and started reading the Bible. At this point Hayat’s family were confused. They were pleased she’d been healed, but hated the fact she’d started following Jesus. They threatened her. She was bringing shame on the family. Her life was at risk.
But Hayat was passionate about her relationship with God. She kept going to church. In the end a gang of men led by her Father and Uncle showed up during one of the services. They tried to scare her into refusing Jesus. But she wouldn’t.
So, they had her arrested. She was held for three months, constantly visited by people trying to get her to revert to Islam. To keep going she would sing to God, worshipping when all seemed lost.
Eventually she was released without charge. Exhausted, she returned home, only for her father to give her an ultimatum. Deny Jesus or leave. She told her Dad she loved him, but that she couldn’t live without Jesus.
Hayat left. She’s now being looked after by people in her church. She hasn’t spoken to her family in a long time – in their last conversation her Dad threatened to kill her.
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever”.
We often think of passion as something loud and triumphant. Passionate football fans shout and scream and jump up and down. But the reality is that true passion doesn’t need to shout to make a massive noise.
Hayat was passionate about Jesus, unbelievably so. She’d experienced his love, been physically healed and seen an amazing new hope enter her life. Whilst her passion was there for all to see, it led her to a really difficult choice between Jesus and her family. It’s hard to imagine that Hayat entered that final conversation with her Dad like a triumphant football fan. More realistically there would have been tears; her choice would have been immensely painful.
That is true passion; keeping going even when it’s difficult. If we truly want to follow Jesus passionately, like Hayat, then we should expect the uncomfortable. It’s not about shouting the loudest, but putting Jesus above all else. As Hayat knows, sometimes those decisions will really cost us, but a relationship with Jesus is more than worth it.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.