"St. Paul said, 'I have learned in whatever..."
Dear Christian Friend,
St. Paul said, "I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content"... whether in Alaska or Florida, Guadalajara, or Guatemala, in poverty or wealth, with eyesight or without. It is not a pleasant, palliative or mind-wash, but a real miracle of grace from our loving Lord. A Christian does not automatically receive every gift because of being "born-again". He must pray it through and appropriate each promise one after another for himself personally.
At an open air meeting the other day, a brother put in his little sermon, a personal testimony of healing. That started a little trend for the day so that the next speaker told how he had had an accident, lost his voice, but got it again when he had confessed his failings. However that was the same testimony we had heard some time before. When he finished, a new brother came forward and asked permission to give his testimony also. He, being known to several of our folks there, was welcomed and began saying he had been very nearly blind since birth. He know no other way of life than to follow his mother, guided by her hand at work, in the house or in the yard. Before he was ten years old, his mother had gone to a revival meeting, gone forward, leading the boy as usual by the hand, and while she was praying for her own spiritual welfare, suddenly the boy broke in, blurting out loud that he could see. Then everyone began to pray over him and praise the Lord.
He did not go into details whether it was sudden or somewhat gradual, but in a short time he was able to go to school, learning to read, all the time dedicating himself and his sight to the Lord. He is now about ninety and has been in full time evangelistic ministry for some years.
I was happily startled a few days ago to find I could suddenly tell if the light in a room was turned on or not, although the sight had been nearly gone for many months. Then I was startled again in testing each eye separately to find the eye that I thought was completely gone since about two years ago, has suddenly begun to rejuvenate.
Years ago when everyone was praying for my sight, some had said they had definitely touched the Lord and had the assurance that God was going to heal me. As my sight failed more and more, it came to me there were many promises in the Bible that were delayed so that God's miracle working power would be beyond question, such as Abraham and God's promise of a son. Abraham and Sarah thought it would be in their early years, but when it did not happen, Sarah lost faith. Nevertheless, God still completed His Word although her faith was weak, so that Isaac was born to them at an age when all human hope or probability was gone. You can do an interesting study of Isaac to find how budding out of a dry stump, a root out of dry ground, Aaron's dried up walking stick blossoming with flower and yielding fruit in one night, and more and more.
So the Lord gave me this little improvement to help my faltering faith for my own sight. We all know well there is nothing to hard for the Lord. He can give victory whether there be many or few. Whether the scientists say visual nerves once dead never come back to life may be true in general, but have nothing to do with limiting God when a miracle is according to His will.
So, we praise and trust the Lord in sickness and in health, in sight or without. HE DOETH ALL THINGS WELL.
After our Easter it is Jewish Passover time. I have been talking with some Jewish acquaintances about God's plan for them.
Some years ago I went to considerable effort to find every Jew in Guatemala City to witness, leave a Bible or New Testament, or other literature written by converted Jews. I discovered that there were about as many Arabs here as Jews. Recently I keep hearing more of Islam, which we used to called Mohammadanism and their growing zeal and strength. Recently a study by a journalist outlined in some detail the beliefs and practices of these religious Arabs. I was amazed to learn that their teachings parallel much of the Jewish story step by step, but each such step degrades the Bible account and substitutes it with another which exalts Islam beginning with God's promise to Abraham and that being fulfilled in his firstborn, Ishmael, not Isaac. The Sinaitic revelation was finally known accurately in the Koran, not in the Mosaic Law.
Why, it was just like the anti-Christ will copy the appearance and power of Christ, but actually all be of the devil. Even so the Old Testament anti-god is Mohammenanism along with the various most fanatic and charismatic leaders among them. There will doubtless be a continual dramatic growth of Islam in power and fanaticism, with persecution of both Jews and Christians, missionary or governmental. Then that period will pass to allow the final, still more despotic and cruel final anti-Christ to come on the scene and usher in the final Tribulation.
The other day I learned here that while the milk was still being given out daily, the bean supply had not been sufficient for some days. I was wondering if our faith and money on hand were in short supply, but I learned it was a budget or book- keeping problem. The beans had jumped in price, less quantity had been brought in, but checking on our money showed it seemed to have grown about the same amount as the inflation, so we could just order the normal full quantity again. The Lord will provide. Yes, I will rejoice. Though troubles assail and dangers affright. Though friends should all fail or foes all unite, there's one thing to assure us whatever betides, the promise assures us, THE LORD WILL PROVIDE. Yes, I will rejoice. Rejoice in the Lord.
Yours in Him,