Here is a letter that Youcef Nardakhani | Iran wrote on the day of his release.
He was released on February 26, 2023.
I present these few lines as a testimony and to express my gratitude. Oh how kind and loving is our God! Because He showed me how to believe in Him and be filled with the love of Jesus Christ and gain the strength to serve Him. So I say as long as I live: glory and honour to God, who is the King of all ages.
He is the God who refines His church through various trials and prepares it to appear in His presence as a bride without blemish and stain. Amen. As a soldier and a humble servant of Jesus Christ, I consider everything that I have experienced during my days of service and endured in my homeland of Iran, as my small part in sharing in the labour and sufferings of Christ. By faith I share in His sufferings, so that according to His words, I will also share in His joys. Today I am extremely happy, and I rejoice because I experienced the fulfilment of God’s promise, according to my trust in Him. He saved me from enduring a long-term imprisonment. 10 years of imprisonment and two years of exile, as he had previously delivered me from the death sentence.
I know that these things happen to me because I want to live according to God’s will. Therefore I ask Him to help me continuously so that I can be loyal to Him and endure everything; to be steadfast in all circumstances and to show by the way I live that I look forward to His return. Whenever this thought came to me that it is very difficult to serve Him in this world, I remembered that a day will come when I will sit by His side and reign with Him. Also, although as a child of God I have been locked up many times because of His name, I still believe that no-one can ever lock up His Word at any time or place. His Word is spread everywhere. Yes, I believe in His Word.
It is certain for everyone that God never lies! Divine truths always stand, and nothing can shake them. It is like a foundation stone on which these two sentences are written: God knows those who truly belong to Him, and those who believe they belong to Christ must avoid wrongdoing. As in all times, today also with the hardships and sufferings and pressures that Satan and the spiritual forces of evil inflicted on God’s people, there were some among us who turned away from God and His commandments, and became weak in their faith, acting against their servants and fellow human beings, testifying and believing the false accusations of the servants of the evil one. And in this way it has caused discouragement and despair among the believers, making them unable to go through the trials. I hope that God will not hold this wrongdoing against them.
But God by His grace helped us to pass through these days and witness His grace again according to our trust and faith, and the peace that He put in our hearts before enduring imprisonment. May God’s faithfulness in all these matters become permanent and eternal in our memories. May God’s grace and mercy be with those who, according to His command, have not refrained from doing any good deeds of serving and helping these little ones in Christ.
Echoing Paul, and by quoting him, who suffered many times due to the preaching of the Gospel message – suffered severe persecution, hardships and imprisonment – I declare that may God grant His grace and mercy upon those who were not ashamed of our imprisonment, and remembered us, and tried to meet our needs and, through prayers stood by us and with us in this spiritual battle, and in this way became a source of encouragement and joy to us, so that we could remain firm and steadfast.
Glory to God who alone is wise, through Jesus Christ forever! Amen.
The humble servant of Jesus Christ,
26 February 2023