THE GOOD OF TROUBLE: APPRECIATION FOR THE BIBLE

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Trouble in and of itself is not good. However, God can and does bring many good things out of our trouble. One of those things is a greater appreciation for the Bible.
Back in the 1970s, a young pastor I knew well was forced to face the problem of racism in his church. It was a question of whether a black church and its members should be invited to a so-called community-wide Thanksgiving service. He believed that God loved everyone and therefore, God’s church should welcome everyone, regardless of their color.
In spite of the lack of support from other ministers in the community, and the people in his own church, he invited everyone. As a result, his home received bomb threats, his children were harassed at school, and he and his family were shunned. At the first meeting for business following Thanksgiving, he was immediately fired, given thirty days salary, and thirty days to move out of the home the church furnished. He found himself with a wife, four children, no work, no income, and no home. He was hurt, disappointed, and worried.
Pacing the floor one night and worrying about what he would do, he prayed often and fervently, but no relief came. After a while, he turned to his Bible and began to look for help. As he searched the Bible, it fell open to Joshua the first chapter, and his eyes fell on verses five and six which says, “No one shall be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. Be strong and courageous.”
His heart filled with warmth and power as he turned his face toward heaven and prayed, “Thank you, Lord! I needed that!”
The B-I-B-L-E, that’s the book for me. How about you?

Robert Wilkerson, DMin, is a writer, minister, and public speaker. He is president of People for the Christian Way. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net.

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