VIDEO FLASHBACK: Rev. Billy Graham’s Message of Hope for Times of Crisis

 

“Don’t let the headlines fool you! Yes, we’re living in a crisis period – but God is with us,” the late Rev. Billy Graham reassures in the beginning of a video providing a message of hope shared Friday by his son, Rev. Franklin Graham.

“Take a moment to listen to the encouraging words of my father @BillyGraham that ring true in this challenging time our world is facing,” Franklin Graham urges in his Tweet introducing video of his father’s words accompanied by images from the current coronavirus pandemic.

Take heart, because “God is with us in the midst of the grief” and, if we remain faithful, we can look forward to a bright future, free of all the suffering and distress of this world, Rev. Billy Graham promises:

Take a moment to listen to the encouraging words of my father @BillyGraham that ring true in this challenging time our world is facing. pic.twitter.com/RGmVFaEPWs

“Don’t let the headlines frighten you! Yes, we’re living in a crisis period – but, God is with us in the midst of the grief. In the midst of the suffering, God is there.

“Oh God, we don’t understand it all, but we believe you are the great and the mighty God. God, I believe, I trust in you, even if I don’t understand.

“God still loves, and he loves with such an everlasting love that he gave his son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die for you. And, if it were not for that, there is no hope in the world.

“But, those of us who follow him and serve him have a future that’s brighter than tomorrow. It is our glorious task to give hope through the message of the cross and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ who came to bring peace in a broken world. No matter what God has in store for us and for our world, let us be found faithful.

And, someday, we will know that all the strife and injustice and the pains that infect our world today is someday going to be over.

“Hallelujah.”

By Craig Bannister

https://cnsnews.com/blog/craig-bannister/flashback-rev-billy-grahams-message-hope-times-crisis

Being Cared For

Today's Devotional

The Lord Almighty is with us.  Psalm 46:11

 

Debbie, the owner of a housecleaning service, was always searching for more clients to build up her business. On one call she talked with a woman whose response was, “I won’t be able to afford that now; I’m undergoing cancer treatment.” Right then Debbie decided that “no woman undergoing cancer treatment would ever be turned away. They would even be offered a free housecleaning service.” So in 2005 she started a nonprofit organization where companies donated their cleaning services to women battling cancer. One such woman felt a rush of confidence when she came home to a clean house. She said, “For the first time, I actually believed I could beat cancer.”

A feeling of being cared for and supported can help sustain us when we’re facing a challenge. An awareness of God’s presence and support can especially bring hope to encourage our spirit. Psalm 46, a favorite of many people going through trials, reminds us: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” and “Be still, and know that I am God; . . . I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord Almighty is with us” (vv. 1, 10–11).

Reminding ourselves of God’s promises and His presence with us can be a means to help renew our hearts and give us the courage and confidence to go through hard times.

By:  Anne Cetas

Reflect & Pray

For what trials are you depending on God for strength? What Bible verses help you?

I’m grateful, God, for Your presence and Your promises. May I live out an attitude of confidence in You and Your ability to sustain me.

To learn more about why life can sometimes feel unfair, visit bit.ly/2YeZilB.

Getting to Know God

Jeremiah 9:23-24

Today’s verses reveal that God wants us to know and understand Him (John 17:3). It doesn’t happen overnight, though—it’s a lifelong pursuit. My relationship with Him is becoming more exciting and satisfying as the years go by, but I still have more to discover about my Savior.

The Lord reveals Himself in His Word, so that’s where we should start. Our understanding of who God is should match what the Bible says about Him. Descriptions of His characteristics and methods are scattered throughout the Bible. As you read, look for His attributes, desires, and ways.

Try interacting with the Lord through prayer and meditation. Discuss with Him what you’ve learned, asking about anything you don’t understand. Also ask how to apply what He’s taught you. When you do these things, you’ll learn just how faithful He is—and that He’s your dearest friend.

Amazingly, the Creator and Ruler of the universe wants to spend time with you so that you can know Him better. It’s as if He is saying, “I want you all to Myself for a little while.” Take Him up on the invitation to get away to a quiet place and learn about Him.

The Headstone of the Corner

“The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.” (Psalm 118:22)

That this enigmatic verse is really a Messianic prophecy is evident from the fact that Christ Himself applied it thus. “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?” (Matthew 21:42). The Jewish leaders had refused Him as their Messiah, but the day would come when they would have to confess their sad mistake.

Later, addressing them concerning “Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead,” the apostle Peter said: “This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner” (Acts 4:10-11).

This analogy evidently refers back to the building of Solomon’s great temple a thousand years earlier. At that time, each of the great stones for its beautiful walls was “made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building” (1 Kings 6:7). According to tradition, there was one stone that didn’t fit with the others, so the builders moved it out of the way. At last, when the temple tower was almost complete, they found they were missing the pinnacle stone that would cap all the rest. Finally they realized that the stone they had rejected had been shaped to be the head stone at the topmost corner of the tower.

Peter referred to it again in his epistle: “Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious:…Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient” (1 Peter 2:6-8). HMM

Much In Every Way

Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and mere is nothing too hard for thee.

—Jeremiah 32:17

 

When Tennyson wrote “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of,” he probably uttered a truth of vaster significance than even he understood. While it is not always possible to trace an act of God to its prayer-cause, it is yet safe to say that prayer is back of everything that God does for the sons of men here upon earth. One would gather as much from a simple reading of the Scriptures.

What profit is there in prayer? “Much every way.” Whatever God can do faith can do, and whatever faith can do prayer can do when it is offered in faith. An invitation to prayer is, therefore, an invitation to omnipotence, for prayer engages the Omnipotent God and brings Him into our human affairs. Nothing is impossible to the man who prays in faith, just as nothing is impossible with God. This generation has yet to prove all that prayer can do for believing men and women.   SOS033

Lord, this is a truth with implications too vast for our finite comprehension. Thank You that you use the prayers of believers to engage Your omnipotence. Amen.

 

Not Waste but Glory

My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

—Psalm 84:2

 

In our private prayers and in our public services we are forever asking God to do things that He either has already done or cannot do because of our unbelief. We plead for Him to speak when He has already spoken and is at that very moment speaking. We ask Him to come when He is already present and waiting for us to recognize Him. We beg the Holy Spirit to fill us while all the time we are preventing Him by our doubts.

Of course the Christian can hope for no manifestation of God while he lives in a state of disobedience. Let a man refuse to obey God on some clear point, let him set his will stubbornly to resist any commandment of Christ, and the rest of his religious activities will be wasted….”To obey is better than sacrifice.” (1 Samuel 15:22) I need only add that all this tragic waste is unnecessary. The believing Christian will relish every moment in church and will profit by it. The instructed, obedient Christian will yield to God as the clay to the potter, and the result will be not waste but glory everlasting. BAM102

 

Speak, Thy servant heareth,

Be not silent, Lord;

Waits my soul upon Thee

For the quickening word. HCL205

 

A Crisis and A Process

Philippians 3:12

The question is sometimes debated whether the experience of holiness is gained instantly or gradually. The answer is that the life of holiness is both a crisis and a process. There can be no experience without a beginning, but no beginning can be maintained without growth.

First there must be a beginning. There arises an awareness of personal need which draws a man on to an act of full surrender. The forgiven soul awakes to the truth that forgiveness is not enough. Blessed is the man whose iniquity is forgiven—but that act of divine grace arouses in him a longing to be like the One to whom he owes his forgiveness.

Or the beauty of holiness as seen in another life may awaken this desire. Here is the magic of Christian love shining in other eyes and the light of Christian joy illuminating another face. What could be more inviting? True Christian living not only is good but looks good. Grace and charm are never far apart.

The life that is wholly forgiven needs to be wholly possessed. And to be fully possessed requires a full surrender. Need, of which I am made conscious by a variety of reasons, may drive me to my knees in total surrender.

God’s answer is to grant me of His Spirit according to my capacity to receive. In faith believing I receive of His Spirit. That is the beginning.

The beginning, but not the end. This is the commencement of the life of holiness, not its crown. And a start loses all meaning unless there is a continuance.

The crisis must be followed by a process. In the initial act of surrender I receive the fullness of the Spirit according to my capacity to receive. But that capacity grows with receiving—as a bandsman’s facility to play grows with playing, or to speak with speaking or to follow his craft by practicing it. I learn by doing, not less in matters of the heart than of the hands. A full surrender is the beginning of the life of holy living; the end of that experience I do not—I cannot—see. There’s a long, long trail a-winding between start and finish.

At no point is the believer ever as good as he can be. Ever must there be growth in grace, and every day of growth will prepare the way for days of further growth. Just as the longer a musician practices his art, the more sensitive becomes his ear to any untunefulness, so the closer a believer draws to Christ, the more sensitive will he become to anything un-Christlike.

Frederick Coutts, The Call To Holiness