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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  1. Linda says:

    I am so thankful to the Lord, because in Joplin Missouri my famiily is alive because Jesus sheltered them from the tornado's and their house stood on the rock. That rock is Jesus the one I pray to every day, I Pray all the time for my grandchildren, and my daughter, and great grandson, Eliais.

  2. Frances says:

    I can't tell you how much it meant to me, a resident of Tuscaloosa AL, to receive a personal note from you saying that you were praying for me.

  3. Martha says:

    It just humbles me to hear and read of others' steadfast faith and trust in God and how he has worked/continues to work in their lives. My physical problems are so insignificant. But God is so great and compassionate…His blessings are new every morning! He really has been blessing my son, I pray constantly for him and that he get right with the Lord. Thank you and God Bless all of you at BGEA! Please pray for a job for me with benefits…also need a car very badly. I thank God for His forgiveness of my recent sins, made out of hopelessness and desperation. Thank you Father.

  4. Marilyn says:

    Thank you BGEA for posting this message of hope. I am a single mom without a job, my savings has run out and I have been so fearful but I've given my fear and need to Him who is able to do all things. My heart is with all those who are hurting especially those in the storm ravaged areas. May the God of comfort give you peace as He is doing so for me.

  5. Charlie says:

    God is so good, even in the storms of life. His love is ever binding. Thanks to all the BGEA teams. God bless each and all.

  6. Ruth says:

    God's blessings to you in all you do for the LORD, every avenue of pain and need. My son is very ill with ALS and his wife with pancreatic cancer. both terminal, both loving Jesus. I reflect upon Job and his pain. So I say, yet will I praise HIM.

  7. Evie says:

    Thanks for this uplifting message. I have been going through a tough time. I have been out of work for six weeks, have not received any unemployment yet and the only income we have coming in is my husband's. His income is not enough to pay all of our bills. But we know God is always there for us and capable of providing no matter how difficult the situation. We are trusting and believing in God's mighty power to bring us out of this storm. May God's will be done according to his plan for our lives. Amen.

  8. Glenda says:

    God has just brought me through a year of intense work and struggle. We put our home on the market in Aug. of last yr. (started making repairs etc in June)We wore ourselves out getting this house ready to sell and moving things out. My sons have been without work for several months now. 2 days ago…the Lord broke down the walls and the river began to flow. We sold our home and one of my sons found a job so…just hold fast and believe regardless of how your situation looks. Trust Him with all your heart…and he will bring it to pass. God is Good and in Control of any situation regardless of how hopeless it seems.

  9. Diana says:

    Dear Lord please just continue to bless this ministry and all they do for the people that have come through disasters of life, which involves all kinds of disasters that we all go through each and every day. Help us to see all blessings that are bestowed on us every day that we awaken. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! No matter what the evil one throws in our way. Amen

  10. Cliff says:

    Our Church delivered supplies to Joplin 2 weeks ago and the trip was a blessing. To see the destruction was beyond words, I was so glad to see Samaritans Purse there and prepared to meet the needs of those who had lost so much, but the spiritual need is what matters most and those words and decisions will bring eternal blessings. May Jesus Christ be glorified and His name magnified above all else.