"Dedicated to strengthening and encouraging the Body of Christ."

Faith In Tumultuous Times

By Lois J. Stucky

"Jesus call us o’er the tumult
Of our life’s wild, restless sea,
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth,
Saying, ‘Christian, follow Me.’"

    Recently, when reading letters coming to Herald of His Coming from scattered places around the world, the above words of a hymn came to mind. Several other thoughts followed. First, this hymn doesn’t seem to be sung much nowadays in church services in this part of the world. It is addressed to Christians and would be appropriate, but it seems almost forgotten, perhaps because Christians here and now are not experiencing tumult and tossing seas as much as minor ripples or smooth sailing. Looking at the letters in my hand, I had to say to myself, it is much like tumult for Christians in some parts of the earth.

    Another thought that came was how good it is to be able to recall from memory a hymn well learned in youth from frequent singing, and that now, when it unexpectedly comes to mind, it has the warmth of a visit from a good, almost-forgotten friend and it comes with a deeper, more meaningful message than youth ever consciously derived from it. I had to thank God for the privilege of church every Sunday and good hymns the saints sang regularly and for the life-long effect it had on the young people, however dimly they seemed to understand at the time. Oh, are we faithfully helping the youth of our generation to store gems in their memory?

    And a thought following that was how wonderful it is to hear Jesus’ sweet voice calling to us as He leads the way though life, even though we struggle at times to hear that sweet voice above the noise of the roaring, tossing waves of a "wild, restless sea." Oh, precious, precious it is to have a caring, skillful Pilot who is guiding us unerringly to the safe harbor of Heaven, where peace reigns for ever more!

    But then also, how important that we heed what He is saying, "Christian, follow Me." And the next verse of the hymn is perhaps especially appropriate for us who live in this part of the world: "Jesus calls us from the worship of the vain world’s golden store, from each idol that would keep us, saying, ‘Christian, love Me more.’" And the next verse applies to all: "In our joys and in our sorrows, days of toil and hours of ease, still He calls in cares and pleasures, ‘Christian, love Me more than these.’" Might our glad and grateful response to our dear Lord be, as the hymn concludes, to "give our hearts to Thine obedience, serve and love Thee best of all." Yes, Lord, You are worthy! You are worthy!

Letter from a Tumultuous Area

    One letter I have been looking at is from a native pastor on Mindanao, the large southern island of the Philippines. He writes,

    "...Our young ministry has fifty members and seven stay-in Bible students who cannot afford to study in any Bible schools and seminaries due to poverty living condition. They are sons and daughters of our village poor tenant members in the fellowship. Despite of hardship and struggles their love and devotion to God is real. They need your prayer to help fulfill their callings to be a minister of God.

    "My wife and I minister God’s Word in the villages and mountain areas twice a week. We minister also to the skinny, undernourished and half-naked children. These less fortunate children are so much neglected by the high society; no one dare to care for them. But we believe that they are precious in the sight of God, for His eye is upon the poor and needy.

    "We are fully convinced that God has chosen us to reach out to the unreached, to care for the fatherless children, to love the unlovely, befriend the friendless and comfort the hurting village people. He has commissioned us to the places that are seen as Satan’s strongholds where much poverty is there. Only few ministries will go into the darkest parts of Mindanao, where danger runs rampant --gunfight between government forces against communist rebels, religious and political hostile unrest, wars between Muslims and non-Muslims. Despite of the fact, my family and I and the brethren risk our lives for the cause of Jesus, and stand firm on the belief that ‘We can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth us.’"

    This pastor has asked for materials to encourage and edify the brethren in this new church and to help in evangelism. The gifts of you who contribute enable us to supply literature that will be helpful.

    Might some of you readers take these courageous brothers and sisters on your hearts for prayer, as they risk their lives to follow Jesus as He leads them to gather precious souls from places of great spiritual darkness. The letter on page twelve from the Philippines comes from this island also. Please pray likewise for them, as they stand in bold faith in God as "enemies are closing in."

Another Call for Prayer

    A letter from a young man in Ghana says, "I was introduced to the Herald of His Coming two years ago when I was in school, by a church pastor. Throughout my school time I used to get my copies from him, which has been a great blessing to me. I lose this opportunity since I completed the school and left the area.

    "Please, I am therefore requesting for you to place my name on the mailing list to enable me to receive regular copies. I will do my best to support the ministry as the Lord provides, even though at the moment I am a service personnel without any gainful pay.

    "Another issue is about the town in which I am doing my service. It is located in the northern part of Ghana with the total population of about twelve thousand people completely dominated by Muslims. It is said that on several occasions missionaries came with an attempt to start ministry, but the people resisted until recently, when a few believers like myself who are not natives of the area but are there due to work, started a fellowship where we worship. Many of the youth would like to respond to Christ, but fear being rejected by parents and relatives.

    "Please, the fellowship needs believers’ prayer for God to use it to make a change among the people here...."

    This is another call to prayer, and there are many more we could mention. Surely, as Jesus said, "The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few..." (Luke 10:2). All of us are needed to take part in the harvest, whether going in person, or through prayer or through supplying the finances for giving the Word of God by one means or another.

    Pray for This Issue

    You will have discovered that this issue of Herald of His Coming has three articles taken from one 21-point conference message. Because the topic is vitally important, it has been divided into three articles, as each one deserves repeated and thoughtful reading and study. We ask you to cover these messages and the readers with prayer. Might we all grasp the fact that repentance, as faith, must be continual throughout our Christian walk.

    An article by Richard Owen Roberts, printed with his permission about 1993 in Herald of His Coming, cautions us that Satan is ever on the trail of Christians, watchful to slip in and cause us to backslide if we let down in some phase of our commitment to God. This article is entitled, "Lord, I Agree" and presents twelve points where agreement with God must be maintained at all times lest we begin to backslide. To help you locate any disagreement with God you might even unknowingly have in your life, and to repent of it, we encourage you to write for Herald Newsletter No. 39, which is a reprint of the article, "Lord, I Agree."

    A letter from a lady living in a community of retired missionaries, confessed, "We are all saved, but we need to be put on fire!" Missionaries are people of above average devotion to the Lord and to His cause, but even these dear ones must be watchful against cooling off. Is it not so for all of us? I personally want to go over "Lord, I Agree" again and repent where it is necessary.

    Oh, it is such a privilege to know and serve God! Ought not we each one seek to live as close to Him and please Him as perfectly as we can, and to be in full agreement with His ways, cost the flesh whatever it might? When we consider how many millions and millions of people know not God, though they reveal a heart hunger by bowing before an idol of some sort, seen or unseen--when we consider that, do we not believe that we are much, much blessed that by His grace, we know Him and serve Him? In the light of the privilege of being one of His beloved, we ought not live in a halfhearted, casual way, but be altogether His, by His grace and enabling!