Jesus is Worth it All
by Karen Bejjani
I love a good story, don’t you? A few months ago, we shared Part One of Talie’s story. (Talie is a former devout Muslim from Iran.) Here’s part two of her abbreviated story:
“I can still hear my cousin’s confident voice in my head, ‘Talie, I have faith in Jesus, and I’ve been praying for you for a year. God wants me to give you this book.’ She pressed a Bible into my hands and told me to read it like a story. Then she looked me right in the eye and said, ‘God has a plan for you’.” – Talie
Strong and Courageous Witness
Prayer and trust in the Holy Spirit’s leading made her cousin bold and courageous. She was far from timid, and Talie couldn’t say “No.” Talie didn’t know it then, but the gift of that Bible started her on a journey to Jesus.
“I started reading ‘Matthew’ right then. I read the whole thing, like a sponge, reading it over and over and over.” – Talie
When she got to John [3:16], she stopped cold. She’d heard that verse before from her Uncle. He’d lovingly shared it years prior, and she had heatedly pronounced him an infidel because of it. This time her response was markedly different. The verse had pricked her heart. Intrigued, Talie picked up the phone and called him,
“Uncle, I started reading the Bible, and I have questions. Can you connect me with someone who can explain about Jesus being God?” – Talie
Seeking the Truth
Through quiet tears of joy, Talie’s uncle connected her with friends who lived nearby and who were secretly teaching the Bible. They explained carefully to Talie that the price for studying the Bible could mean her certain death.
“Will you put yourself and your son in danger?”
Yes, despite the danger, Talie was compelled to seek the truth. And so, she met them secretly, each week for 2 ½ years. During that time, Talie poured over the Bible and her Quran, going back and forth, researching carefully to prove that the Bible was wrong. And yet, the more she studied, the more she wondered if Jesus might be more than just a prophet.
One day, as a part of her research, she decided to attend church. Years earlier, she’d stepped into a church with her Uncle as he ran errands, and she’d been absolutely sure she’d go to hell because of it. When she called her Uncle to discuss it, he responded in shock, “Are you sure?”
“Do you believe that Jesus is your savior, and that He can change your life?”
“Yes!” Talie responded.
Picking Up Her Cross
A “Yes” in an Islamic-ruled nation, is different than a “Yes” in Western nations. Once Talie accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior, she was in extreme danger. And yet she felt joyful, fearless, on-fire for the Lord.
She looked for opportunities to live out her faith. Returning home to her devout Muslim family, she pushed back her headscarf just a bit and walked out of her bedroom with newfound freedom, thinking…
“When I die, I’ll go to Jesus. I have absolutely nothing to lose.” – Talie
Her family immediately suspected something was different. As they prepared to pray, she had just seconds to think about how she’d respond. Christ’s words burned in her mind, “but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew [10:33]) She blurted out,
“I’m not praying in the name of Allah anymore. I don’t believe that he exists. I believe in the name of Jesus. Jesus is my God, not Allah.” – Talie
Jesus is Worth it All
What happened next is gruesome. We’ll spare you details. Talie was repeatedly beaten, stabbed and left for dead by her family. Through paper-thin walls in her home, she could hear her mother-in-law tell her son, “Your mother is dead.”
But God intervened. Through miraculous circumstances, Talie eventually made her way to the US as a refugee with the clothes on her back and $100 in her pocket. She never saw her son again. Talie lost everything and gained everything. She found that Jesus is worth it all. Today, Talie is serving The Lord and passionately sharing the eternal hope of Jesus to Muslims through a non-profit refugee resettlement ministry she founded.
“God never left me alone. He always walks with me.” – Talie
Jesus tells us that, “if any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” (Matthew [16:24]-25 NLT).
Have you, like Talie, come to realize eternal hope in Christ – that Jesus is worth it all? Are you willing to be used by God to share that gift with other Muslims like her?
- Tell the Lord you’re willing to give up your own way, take up your cross and follow him, wherever He leads. Ask the Lord to grow your faith.
- Be ready. Read this book for more faith-building stories like Talie’s. You will also learn five things every Christian should know and do with Muslims like her.
- Share Talie’s story and other iHOPE resources with your friends. Invite them to grow their faith along with you.
- Help iHOPE inspire and empower more Believers to share the Good News with Muslims like Talie who are seeking the Truth. Give here now.
Thank you striving with us toward the day when every Muslim will hear the Good News of Jesus Christ through an army of authentic Christian witnesses like you, who know that Jesus Christ is worth it all.