Stepping Out in Faith

By A Letter From Franklin Graham   •   June 20, 2011

I have been reading through the book of Deuteronomy and have been impressed at the mighty hand of God that moves dramatically throughout the pages of Scripture. The Bible recounts that as Moses neared the end of his life, he reminded the people of Israel about the mighty hand of God. “Because the Lord loves you … the Lord has brought you out [of Egypt] with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage” (Deuteronomy 7:8, NKJV).

After Moses died, the Israelites stood on the banks of the overflowing Jordan, ready to cross into the Promised Land. It looked impossible. The water was swift and deep. But God told Joshua to instruct the priests to go and “stand in the Jordan” (Joshua 3:8). As they approached the rushing torrent, nothing happened.

But when they touched the water’s edge with their feet, God worked a miracle and stopped the river. The priests stood in the middle of the Jordan until a million or more Hebrews had crossed into the Promised Land. When they stepped out on the other bank, the water resumed flowing.

Sometimes when we face difficult situations, we may feel that we are in bondage to our circumstances, but we must trust God and step out in faith. Obstacles may seem frightening, but the Bible says that God will honor a person who depends on Him to lead and guide. “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6–7, NASB).


Stepping Out in LA

Through the years, I’ve seen God’s mighty hand at work at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association as we proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This month we are depending on Him to help us as we go to Los Angeles to hold our first all-Spanish evangelistic Crusade in the U.S.

When I was a boy, we didn’t see many Hispanics where I lived. As recently as 40 years ago, Hispanics made up just 4 percent of the U.S. population. Today, 1 in every 6 people in America is of Hispanic descent, and 1 out of every 4 American children is Hispanic. Millions of our nation’s citizens speak Spanish in the home. They are a major part of our society, our economy, and our future.

Los Angeles is a hub of Hispanic influence, presenting a wonderful opportunity to proclaim the message of repentance and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. What God does through Festival de Esperanza could have a far-reaching impact among Spanish-speaking communities throughout California and eventually across America.

More than 600 churches in the Los Angeles area are actively cooperating with us. Pray that people who make decisions for Christ will connect with a local church, grow in their walk with the Lord, and begin to share their faith with family and friends.


Stepping Out in the Midst of Pain

In the wake of the horrific tornado that killed more than 140 people, I visited Joplin, Missouri, to encourage and pray with survivors and relief workers. Many homes and businesses have been destroyed, as well as churches. Chaplains from our Billy Graham Rapid Response Team began ministering in Joplin shortly after the disaster struck, praying with people, providing spiritual counsel to those traumatized by the crisis, and bringing the hope of Christ into shattered lives.

Prior to a community memorial service, one of our female chaplains began a conversation with a woman seated next to her. The woman told how her son, a pizza restaurant manager, had died while saving others during the tornado. She began to pour out her heart. The chaplain, realizing the Holy Spirit had led her to that particular seat for a reason, listened intently and then prayed with the grieving mother. After the memorial service began, the mother began to sob uncontrollably and the chaplain simply wept with her, much like Jesus wept with Mary after the death of Lazarus.

Two chaplains encountered Kevin and Robert, friends who had ridden out the terrifying storm in their truck. They needed to talk, and the chaplains listened with compassion. When the conversation turned to spiritual matters, Robert had questions about eternal salvation. Before long, he asked the chaplains to guide him as he asked Jesus Christ into his life. After prayer, the chaplains gave him a Bible, showed him how to use it, and encouraged him to find a local church.

There are many other touching stories of God at work through the Rapid Response Team chaplains in the aftermath of this disaster. Joplin is a community in great pain, and our teams will be there for a number of weeks. Pray for the chaplains, for those they are comforting, and for those with whom they share the love of Jesus Christ.

Not all of life’s hurts are the result of a natural disaster. You may be experiencing some loss in your own life, or perhaps you are struggling through a period of fear, uncertainty, rejection, or loneliness. I encourage you to focus on the mighty hand of God, because it is God who gave us this promise: “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand” (Psalm 37:24, NKJV).

Thank you for your prayers and your support. If God enables you, a gift this month would be a great help as we proceed through a very busy summer of evangelistic ministry.

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50 Comments

  1. Carolyn says:

    Thank you heavenly father for the BGEA, as they are a blessing for many. Their words of love and hope are heard by many. As I live my life from day to day and think how life is hard for me, then I see what other people are dealing with, my problems are not so bad, thank you LORD father for loving me so I can pray for others. Please help Franklin and his team help others in there time of need, in GODS name I pray.

  2. Rob says:

    May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ richly bless your ministry. You remind me so much of your father, keep working in the Holy Spirit with the Mighty Sword of God.

  3. Sissy says:

    Thank you for your ministry and I am most appreciative of your day Reverend Billy Graham for his lifetime of service to our Lord Jesus Christ and to you dear mother who has gone on to Glory for being a faithful wife, mother and Christian woman. God has truly blest you and your siblings with godly parents. Thank you for reaching out to those in need. I pray that your crusade goes well in California. Prayer is powerful and God is able in all situations. God Bless You!!

  4. Barbara says:

    Thanks for the words of encouragement during a time of indecision in my life. God will show me the way if I am patient and follow his directions in my life. I pray for those who have lost their jobs and homes, that they have faith that The Lord God will see them through.

  5. Phyllis says:

    Thank you Lord for BGEA and all the wonderful Christains out there. Lets pray for all the unsaved ones, those who has problems in their life what ever they may be, Let them turn to the Lord, he is there for them. and will give them love and peace they need. Lets pray for all the problems in this world. We need your help very much. Think you Lord for your Love.

  6. Joyce says:

    I am a widow recuperating from aleft knee implant, then my left femur snapped in 2 places, while it is healing, my right knee is in such pain. I have no one to help me, my Family of 3 brothers and 3 sisters ignore me like I don't even exist, because I am a saved and baptized Christian, they say I am twisted and in a cult…but I handed them and all my burdens to Jesus, my Bright Morning Star and my first love and waiting in joyful hope for HIM to get me out of the valley I've been in! PTL!

  7. Aida says:

    I thank our Lord for the mighty work He is doingthrough the BGEA ministry. I am always blessed to hear how God loves the world when He uses thisministry to help others and bring His word of salvation. Praise be to God! You are always in my prayers.

  8. Duane says:

    Thqank you so much for God's Word to remind me to simply trust Him,in spite of my former backslidden state, I TRULY KNOW THAT ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER, for our good to those who love the LORD. May God truly fill you and your impact team as you share the love of Jesus Christ w/ those folks suffering in Joplin, MO. HE IS ABLE, TO GOD BE THE GLORY

  9. Mary says:

    I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT!!!!

  10. Bill says:

    God bless you for the help in Joplin and many other disaster areas. We are praying especially also for the LA weekend as have family nearby. May many come to know Jesus. We pray for your Father, Billy, God's great child, as he faces challenges. PTL