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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lessons from a Testimony

I will praise thee, O Lord my God with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell. Psalm 86:12, 13
For anyone who has trusted Christ as their Savior these verses could be our prayer. The Lord has delivered us from so much - the bondage of sin, the fear of death, a hopeless existence and from hell. Some people realize even greater what they have been delivered from because they came to Christ later in life. Such is the case with Carol Trahan.

Carol was a college student that lived for this world, for pleasure and for herself. She was a bright student that had ambitions to be a doctor. To those watching her it would be easy to assume she had no desire for spiritual things. She scoffed at the Gospel and the existence of God, yet in her heart she knew something was missing in her life. She recalls reading a banner with a Scripture verse on it hung by the Christian organization on campus, and how it pricked her heart. She remembers those that shared the Gospel with her, and though she outwardly resisted, her heart was being tendered towards turning towards the Savior. She carefully watched the lives of those that called themselves Christians. Several times she found herself in church, just to please someone and would leave after the invitation all the time trembling with the realization that she needed to be saved. It was a roommate that shared the Gospel with her and led Carol again to church where she heard the Gospel again and finally surrendered and was saved.

As Carol shared her salvation experience with us, I was reminded of some that I'm praying will be saved that seem so hardened towards the Gospel. They're just like Carol was. But I am encouraged to hear that she was effected by the witnesses around her - a verse on a banner, the words spoken by a concerned person, a message preached. If you're praying for an unsaved person, don't give up because they seem so disinterested. The Spirit of God is working in the place we cannot see - their heart. Keep loving, keep being a faithful Christian witness, keep giving the Truth to them. They may not say it, but they are listening and taking it all in!

The Lord doesn't promise us that surrendering to Him after salvation will be easy, and it wasn't for Carol. When the Lord called her husband to minister at Northland Bible College and she had to leave her home in California she became bitter and complaining. After two years of struggling with his wife's contentious heart, her husband said they would go back to California. Though she now had exactly what she wanted, she was miserable because she knew she was out of the will of God. The Lord allowed her to work as secretary in their church and one day she came across a message on tape that convicted her heart of its rebellion. She confessed her sin to God and began on the road to freedom and blessing.

However, while she was coming back to the Lord she had no idea that her husband had been drifting away. She found this out in a horrific way - one day their pastor called Carol and her husband into his office to share with them some allegations brought against Carol's husband. Surely this was a mistake.

Is this not a warning to each of us that is married? We have such a huge influence on our husbands. We can either be a blessing to them by coming alongside to aid them in whatever God has called them to do, or we can make them so miserable by our griping, complaining, and contentious spirits that they quit. Our sin can influence our husband to drift as well, and there will be a price to pay. No wife can make her husband sin - it's his choice, but we sure can influence him! The Lord used this in my own life to rebuke me for wanting my own way too often. We forget that we are the helper - not the leader. It is our responsibility to submit and follow, even in a day when that is not a popular thought. Blessing will be ours when we obey.

...continued tomorrow.

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