Faith Messages to build your faith

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Why It's Too Soon to Give Up

Ron HutchcraftTen more 
minutes and my wife would have 
never been born. 

   The story that changed everything is hope for any of us who love someone who's making some very bad choices.

   My wife's grandfather, Bill Hadley, had given up on life. Trashing a profitable career for the alcohol and cocaine he couldn't resist...labeled with a prison record and penniless - he was hopeless and suicidal.
  And that night, as he walked South State Street in downtown Chicago, he was minutes away from Lake Michigan where he'd decided to end it all.
  One thing saved him. A mother who had never given up on him.
  There, on the street, he heard the song - the one his mother used to sing to him. It was coming from the rescue mission he just passed. Something made him stop inside. Where a caring mission worker shared a Bible verse that has probably changed more lives than any other -
"For God so loved the world that He gave..."
  Suddenly, Bill finished it. "...His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16). Somewhere in the long-clouded corners of his memory, he could hear his mother teaching him those words.
  And that night - minutes away from ending his life - he found life. The kind that verse talked about. "Everlasting" life. He would later say, "I walked out of that mission - not a reformed man - but a transformed man!" 
  He never touched or wanted alcohol or drugs from that night on. And he spent the rest of his life bringing the hope he'd found to forgotten people across the country.
  And now three generations Bill never met are here - living and spreading that hope - because of one man's choice that night.
  The story behind the story is told in the inscription on the back of a photo of young Bill. His mother wrote - 
  "O Will, every night when I read my Bible, I look at this picture and I ask God to keep you and somehow seal your heart with His love. You may see this after I'm gone and you'll know that I never ceased to pray for you. Mother."  

  She did live ten years after the night God answered those prayers.
  Even as her son's life got darker and darker, this mother was hanging onto a powerful but easily-forgotten truth. That I, too, have hung onto - even today. Because so much of my life's work has been trying to love and rescue people who just keep spiraling downward. 
  It's a hope-preserver for all of us who grieve and pray for broken, prodigal people.
  Never forget the difference between a chapter and a book.
  Many a book with a happy ending has some very dark chapters. A loved one's seemingly unstoppable rush to the edge of the cliff is not the book. It's a chapter.
  If we lose that wide angle lens perspective, we'll lose hope. But the Bible urges us to-
  "not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest..." Then, the punch line: "if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9). And Jesus said that we "should always pray and not give up" (Luke 18:1).
  That's what Bill's mother did. She wept over many chapters. But she never lost sight of the ending God could write to the book of her son's life. She just kept loving, praying and believing. And the final chapters of Bill's life were more glorious, more miraculous than she could have ever dreamed.
  If we can remember, in the darkest hours of a loved one's heartbreaking journey, that this is a chapter - then hope can win when despair is strong.
  Even as I write this, there are young men and women whose life-eroding choices I grieve for. But I know there is a relentless Shepherd who came to "seek and save those who are lost" (Luke 19:10). Who says, "I will search for the lost and bring back the strays" (Ezekiel 34:16). 
  He will do whatever it takes to bring them home. Even when it meant a cross.
  So, as long as there's breath, there's hope.
  I know. Bill Hadley's beautiful granddaughter told me.
Check out more blogs at Hutchcraft.com

Elegant elderly woman
praying

Let's pray-
     
   Father, when we have limited visibility, and we have to make some choices, may we look to You, the Savior of our souls.
   Transform us, and bring the inner healing we need to keep on living productive lives.
   May we become "rescue missions" for others who are hurting, who are desperate for Your help to guide them through their experiences, which seem devastating to them.
   Make us more like Jesus, so we can reach out as He did, to help others not give up. We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.


In my journal Friday morning, I'd asked the Lord for protection for our new President and his cabinet, having read Ps. 37:32, 33...

   (v.32) "The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him. (v. 33) The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged."

The following is what I wrote down as His answer to me...

   My child, you are one of many who see what's happening. My desire for My people is to bring a fresh awareness of My ability to make changes that will cause good things to take place. Those who are incensed will not be successful in attempts to thwart My plans. When My people pray for My will to be done, I can then accomplish great things for all involved.


Today's Bible verses-

(Phil. 4:1, 6-7 MSG) (Apostle Paul speaking) "My dear, dear friends! I love you so much. I do want the very best for you. You Make me feel such joy, fill me with such pride. Don't waver. Stay on track, steady in God. (vv. 6,7) Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life."


Max Lucado-  Pray Boldly- When Martin Luther’s co-worker became ill, the reformer prayed boldly for healing. “I besought the Almighty with great vigor,” he wrote.

   As John Wesley was crossing the Atlantic Ocean, contrary winds came up. When he learned the winds were knocking the ship off course, he responded in prayer. “Almighty and everlasting God. . .
command these winds and these waves that they obey thee, and take us speedily and safely to the haven whither we would go.”
   Boldness in prayer...it’s an uncomfortable thought for many. Storming heaven with prayers? God invited us to pray as such. Scripture says, “so let us come boldly to the very throne of God and stay there to receive his mercy and to find grace to help us in our times of need” (Hebrews 4:16 TLB). Dare to pray boldly!

From God is With You Every Day

Listen to UpWords with Max Lucado at OnePlace.com


Max's link to great messages on prayer!
There are so many helpful links there. I do hope you'll take the time to investigate the page from time to time.

I invite you to read a verse or two in each post fromSoon my book, Granny's Guide to Marriage in Verse, featured below...


Today's sermon spotlights-

March 5/17
5-week Series- 500 Years: the Legacy of Martin Luther

For the Glory of God  (audio)
Speaker- Pastor Daniel Paladin
Location- Potsdam

Sola Scriptura  (audio)
Speaker- Pastor Jamie Sinclair
Location- Madrid


Upcoming posts-

#97 The Dynamic of Praise- Part 1
14th- Tuesday's post by Wesley L. Duewel

#98 The Dynamic of Praise- Part 2
16th- Thursday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

When Should a Preacher Speak?
18th- Saturday's post by James H. Cagle

#99 Levels of Intensity of Prevailing Prayer- Level 1
21st- Tuesday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel


              Henry Van Dyke Quotes


Jean's blog (Click to see snippets of recent posts)
Below, you have an opportunity to leave a comment.
Or email me at jowildflowers@gmail.com
http://twitter.com/jeanoathout
http://facebook.com/jean.oathout



31-day Devotional 
Jean's testimony

[Maybe just choose a title each
day that interests you]

Sample verses from p. 62-

A Lady Once Waited
for Strength

"A lady once waited for strength
To do what God told her.
She asked the Lord at some great length
To make her courage stir.

She was dismayed it never came
To help her with this task.
Next time she found it was the same.
She faithfully did ask.

As she wanted the Lord to please
And try her very best,
She humbly went upon her knees
For help to pass this test.

When she remembered what was told
She was obedient.
To her delight God made her bold
To go where she was sent."

(Published by Lighthouse Publishing 
                       of the Carolinas. Used by permission).

 A great gift for someone who may need help 
to prepare for marriage, and for those in a
marriage, wanting some helpful advice.

2 comments:

  1. Great word for the day. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's human nature to give up too soon and such a bad idea. Thanks for the great reminder. Debbie

    ReplyDelete