January 4, 1853. For many months I have been assured that the Lord, in His own time, would give larger sums of money for this work. At last He has answered my request. I received the promise of a donation of eight thousand one hundred pounds from a group of Christians. See how precious it is to wait on God! See how those who do so are not disappointed! Faith and patience may be tried, but in the end, those who honor God will not be put to shame.
The size of the donation did not surprise me because I expect great things from God. Have I been boasting in God in vain? Is it not obvious that it is precious to depend on God for everything? The principles I use are not only applicable to the work of God on a small scale but also in the largest operations for God. May 26. The current expenses of the institution were never this great during the past nineteen years. But the extent of its operations and the supplies which the Lord sent in were also never so abundant.
We are richly rewarded for waiting on God. He listens to the supplications of His children who put their trust in Him. But in order to have prayers answered, a Christian must make his requests to God on the ground of the merits and worthiness of the Lord Jesus. He must not depend on his own worthiness and merits.
Do you really believe in Jesus? Do you depend on Him alone for the salvation of your soul? Make certain that not even the least degree of your own righteousness is presented to God as a ground for acceptance. If you believe in the Lord Jesus, the things you request should be for God's honor.
Suppose that we believers in the Lord Jesus make our requests to God. Suppose also that, as far as we can honestly judge, the obtaining of our requests would be for our spiritual good and for the honor of God. We must then continue in prayer until the blessing is given to us. Furthermore, we have to believe that God does hear us and will answer our prayers. Frequently we fail in not continuing in prayer until the blessing is obtained and in not expecting the blessing. As assuredly as any individual uses these points, so assuredly will his requests be granted.
October 9. This morning before breakfast I read Luke 7. While reading the account of Jesus raising the widow's son from the dead, I lifted up my heart and said, "Lord Jesus, You have the same power now. You can provide me with means for Your work. Please do so."
About half an hour later I received two hundred and thirty pounds to be used where it was needed most. The joy such answers to prayer gives me cannot be described. I was determined to wait upon God only and not to work an unscriptural deliverance for myself. I have thousands of pounds set aside for the building fund, but I would not touch it. My soul magnifies the Lord for His goodness!
The natural mind is prone to reason when we ought to believe, to be at work when we ought to be quiet, or to go our own way when we ought to steadily walk in God's ways. When I was first converted, I would have said, "What harm can there be to use some of the money which has been given for the building fund? God will help me eventually with money for the orphans, and then I can replace it." But each time we work a deliverance of our own, we find it more difficult to trust in God. At last we give way entirely to our natural reasoning, and unbelief prevails.
How different, if one waits for God's own time and looks to Him for help and deliverance! When at last help comes, after many hours of prayer and after much faith and patience, how sweet it is! What a reward the soul receives for trusting in God and waiting patiently for His deliverance! If you have never walked in this path of obedience before, do so now. You will experience the sweetness of the joy that faith brings.
December 15. I praise, adore, and magnify the Lord for His love and faithfulness in carrying me from year to year through His service and supplying me with all I need! Without His help and support, I would be completely overpowered in a very short time. With His help I go on and am very happy in my service. I am even in better health now than I was twenty years ago.
For the past several years, Bible distribution has become more important to me. The powers of darkness have attempted to rob the Church of the Holy Scriptures. Therefore, I have taken advantage of every opportunity to distribute the Bible throughout the world. Many servants of Christ in various parts of the world have helped me in this work. Through them, thousands of copies of the Bible have been distributed.
If you are in the habit of distributing tracts and have never seen fruit, I suggest the following hints for your prayerful consideration: Through prayer and meditation on the Word, become willing to let God have all the glory if any good is accomplished by your service. If you desire honor for yourself, the Lord must put you aside as a vessel unfit for the Master's use. One of the greatest qualifications for usefulness in the service of the Lord is a heart that truly desires to honor Him.
Precede all your labors with earnest, diligent prayer. Do not rest on the number of tracts you have given because a million tracts may not lead to the conversion of one single soul. Yet, a blessing beyond calculation may result from one single tract. Expect everything to come from the blessing of the Lord and nothing at all from your own exertions.
At the same time, work! Walk through every open door, be ready in season and out of season as if everything depended on your labor. This is one of the great secrets in connection with successful service for the Lord-work as if everything depended on your diligence, and trust in the blessing of the Lord to bring success.
This blessing of the Lord, however, should not merely be sought in prayer, but it should also be expected. The result will be that we will surely have it.
Suppose, that, for the trial of our faith, this blessing is withheld from our sight for a long time. Or suppose we die before we see much good resulting from our labors. Our labors, if carried on in the right way, will be at last abundantly rewarded, and we will have a rich harvest in the day of Christ.
At the beginning of this period there were 300 orphans in the new Orphan House on Ashley Down. During the year 30 orphans were admitted making 330 in all. The total number of orphans who were under our care from April, 1836 to May 26, 1854 was 558.
During the past year my faith was tried in a way it had never been before. My beloved daughter, my only child and a believer for several years, became ill. The illness turned to typhus, and there seemed to be no hope for her recovery. But faith. triumphed. My beloved wife and I gave her into the hands of the Lord, and He sustained us both. My soul was in perfect peace, trusting my heavenly Father. She remained very ill for more than two weeks before she began to grow stronger and was moved to Clevedon to recover.
Of all the trials of faith I have passed through, this was the greatest. By God's abundant mercy, I Was able to delight myself in God, and He gave me the desire of my heart. God is always faithful to those who trust in Him.
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