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“When I Am Weak, I Am Strong”

Gilbert Hovsepian
Gilbert Hovsepian

“For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (See 2 Corinthians 12:10.)

Gilbert Hovsepian grew up in a Christian family in Iran, where most people are Muslims. His father, a pastor, lost his life because of his Christian work.

The following story is from an interview with Gilbert on

(Gilbert is continuing to heal from a serious motorcycle accident in December 2014. He appreciates everyone’s prayers.)

Gilbert: One time I had this incident where these three men came to me with knives and they said, “We want to take your life unless you deny Jesus.” Well, I don’t know. I always thought if that moment comes I will deny Jesus, then later I’ll say, “God, I’m sorry.” But I don’t know; something happened at that moment and my answers were not what I thought I would give.

For example, [one of them] said, “Deny Jesus, or I’ll kill you.” And I said, “You know what? My dad was killed and God was glorified, and the church grew. Isn’t that my purpose?”

And then I caught myself [and thought], “Gilbert, what are you saying? Just deny and let these crazy people go.”

It took almost 45 minutes. They were threatening me, they were pushing me, and it was dark at night. No one was there to protect me. I don’t know, but when God calls He also provides for the calling. And of course in the last minute when he was very ready to [use the knife], I was afraid. But I wouldn’t deny; I don’t know why. Again, even after that, I’m like, “Gilbert, why didn’t you deny? You should have just denied.” But God provided.

Interviewer: I think that’s an encouragement for our listeners. Sometimes we feel we are weak in our faith and that people who are persecuted must be really strong. They’re “super-Christians,” and we’re just normal.

But what you’re saying is even in that moment you were weak. But God gave strength, and God provided the power and the encouragement to do that.

(Source: Edited from the original for clarity and length.)

Read more about God’s provision during persecution in the post Corrie ten Boom.



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