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Cleveland kidnap victim Michelle Knight trusts God’s plan

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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Ohio kidnap victim, Michelle Knight, thanks supporter and says she can walk through Hell with a smile (Credit: Hennes Paynter Communications via

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight made global headlines when they were released on May 6 after 10 years in captivity.  Now the three women have made a YouTube video to express their thanks to those who have prayed for them and supported them financially.

Michelle Knight, age 32, is the oldest of the three.  She was the first victim to be abducted, last seen at a cousin’s house in Cleveland on August 22, 2002.  Her alleged abductor is accused of raping, starving and punching her, causing her to miscarry.  She reportedly suffers from hearing loss and facial bone damage after years of vicious beatings, requiring facial reconstruction surgery.

Despite all she has endured, her faith is strong and clear.  In her video she says, “I may have been through hell and back, but I am strong enough to walk through hell with a smile on my face, and with my head held high, and my feet firmly on the ground. . . . I will not let the situation define who I am.  I will define the situation.  I don’t want to be consumed by hatred.  With that being said, we need to take a leap of faith and know that God is in control.  We have been hurt by people, but we need to rely on God as being the judge.

<iframe style=”float: right; border: 1px solid #000000; background-color: #C0C0C0; padding: 2px; margin: 10px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -khtml-border-radius: 3px; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px;” width=”300″ height=”170″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>{/source}”God has a plan for all of us.  The plan he gave me was to help others that have been in the same situations I have been in.  To know that there’s someone out there to lean on and to talk to.  I’m in control of my own destiny with the guidance of God.  I have no problem expressing how I feel inside.  Be positive.  Learn that it’s [more] important to give than to receive.  Thank you for all your prayers.  I’m looking forward to my brand new life.”

Have you seen a more remarkable testimony to faith and grace?  Michelle is right: God has a plan for every one of us.  One way he redeems our suffering is by using us to help others who face similar trials.  When we are honest about our problems and transparent about God’s grace, we earn the right to share that grace with those who walk where we have walked.

Jonathan Merritt’s A Faith Of Our Own perceptively calls Christians beyond the “culture wars” to personal cultural engagement.  He quotes John Stott, one of the towering theological figures of the last 100 years: “While personal commitment to change our life-style without political action to change systems of injustice lacks effectiveness, political action without personal commitment lacks integrity.”  Changed people change the world.

When last did you experience God’s redemptive grace?  Give your Father permission to use your experience to help a hurting soul today.  If God can redeem Michelle Knight’s suffering, can’t he use yours?