The Work of Suffering that Brings Hope

Nabeel Qureshi’s ministry is one marked with a courageous passion for God and a commitment to making His name famous. It all began with a bold decision to convert from Islam to Christianity, and recognizing the potential of losing his devout Muslim family in the process. Despite hardship, Nabeel chose to fulfill his calling, sharing the truth in love through speaking, writing, and debating. The hope and power of God were evident in Nabeel’s life, and he remained fully devoted to Jesus until he drew his final breath in September of last year. Nabeel’s wife, Michelle, is dedicated to the continuation of his ministry. She shares with us today poignant lessons learned these past several months as well as excerpts from her contribution to the third edition of Nabeel’s memoir, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus... it’s a grace to welcome Michelle to the farm’s front porch today.

guest post by Michelle Qureshi

“Nabeel will give you a ring…I want you to be with him.”

I had been dating Nabeel Qureshi long-distance for a mere four months at the time.

On May 30th, 2007, God spoke clearly to me, making known His intentions regarding our relationship. I was unreservedly committed—my heart was smitten, and my spirit trusted my Lord’s desires. Eight months later, we were engaged.

On September 16, 2017, after nine years of marriage, Nabeel was welcomed home to heaven for eternity.

God knew full well from the beginning what He asked of me.

But while the cost of obedience to the Lord can be high, it will always result in fruitfulness.

In my obedience to marry Nabeel, which was happily in line with my desires, I found myself becoming beautifully refined: my faith deepened as exposure to Christian apologetics taught me to ask myself why I believed what I believed, my hardline personality loosened up in response to Nabeel’s carefree manner, and my tendency to be a homebody was challenged in a healthy way by Nabeel’s adventurous spirit.

Similarly, Nabeel’s obedience to his call to ministry saw many lives changed: his speaking engagements encouraged Christians and non-Christians alike to further investigate their beliefs, his teachings on Islam brought well-rounded clarity, and his writings transformed countless people around the globe.

On August 24, 2016, the cancer diagnosis struck. But not just any cancer: stage 4 stomach cancer, with a 4 percent chance of survival.

Blue Barn Photography

Blue Barn Photography

As the treatments progressed and Nabeel’s condition worsened, I came to realize that, apart from Jesus, I really can’t do anything.

But I also realized that I really can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

When I finally submitted to the fact that a sovereign, good, and trustworthy God was the one in control, not me, I was set free from the hold that fear and anxiety had on me.

God was for me, so, regardless of my circumstances, what could be against me?

Nabeel spent the majority of his remaining weeks hospitalized and in a state of decline.

I began to feel less like his wife and more like just his caretaker; my expectations of him became exposed.

As I cried out to God during that time, He reminded me of how scripture says, “My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

That has been true all of my life. All along, even when I wasn’t seeing it that way, God was supplying the needs, sometimes through Nabeel.

He allowed Nabeel to be a conduit for a period of time. It never was a right of mine to have a husband, but rather a privilege.

Even now that Nabeel is no longer here, God is still here and God is still supplying.

His word doesn’t change. He doesn’t change.

While I am finding strength and security by going to God for all of my needs, however, it doesn’t mean I don’t have uncertainties to face.

I felt tremendous peace during Nabeel’s struggle with cancer, and I truly believed I would see him healed.

I obviously find myself in different circumstances now, and I’m going to have to wrestle with that.

There is a lot I don’t know.

But what I do know is that God is big enough to handle our questions.

He is compassionate enough to bring us to greater and deeper truths.

He will lead me through the wrestling.

 

Nabeel Qureshi was the author of the New York Times bestsellers No God But One and Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, the only book ever to win Christian Book Awards for both “Best New Author” and “Best Nonfiction.”

Raised as a devout Muslim in the United States, Nabeel grew up studying Islamic apologetics with his family and engaging Christians in religious discussions. After one such discussion with a Christian, the two became friends and began a years-long debate on the historical claims of Christianity and Islam. Nabeel chronicled his resulting journey in his first book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus. Providing an intimate window into a loving Muslim home, he shares how he developed a passion for Islam before discovering, almost against his will, evidence that Jesus rose from the dead and claimed to be God. 

Following a year-long battle with stomach cancer, heaven welcomed Nabeel home on September 16, 2017. He leaves behind his wife, Michelle, and a young daughter who aspire to honor the ministerial legacy Nabeel established during his brief 34 years on earth. This revised 3rd edition of Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus is now expanded with new bonus content, including a section of reflections from his wife, Michelle.

Engaging and thought-provoking, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus tells a powerful story of the clash between Islam and Christianity in one man’s heart — and of the peace he eventually found in Jesus.

[ Our humble thanks to Zondervan for their partnership in today’s devotion ]

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