Replace our sorrow with joy

On Target

Psalm 90:15 – Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, and for as many years as we have seen evil.

I was teaching a two-week course in the Bryansk Bible Institute in February 1997. The school met in a large Baptist Church in Bryansk, Russia, about 250 miles southwest of Moscow. In between class sessions, I wandered through the church to look at the facility. I noticed this verse from Psalm 90 painted on the front wall of the sanctuary. Curious about the significance, I asked for the backstory.

The church was heavily persecuted during the Communist era. At one point, the church was closed and used as a storage warehouse. The congregation petitioned the local officials to allow them to reopen the church. The local officials said, “No.” The people petitioned the officials in Moscow, who said, “Yes.”

The congregation cleared out the church…

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