Praising God in the Hardest of Times brings Results
EDITOR’S NOTE: All the people mentioned in the following report are serious praisers. This is a good example of how God inhabits the praises of His people and moves on their behalf. Reverend Dick Blank reports:
I was busy and booked solid one day. Then my planned schedule was interrupted (by God) so I unexpectedly arrived back at home just as my good friend, Bud, got there to winterize our pontoon boat. He told me that he had planned to do the job two months previously, but had not gotten around to it until that day. After completing the job he came in the house for a cup of coffee. This turned out to be a God-coincidence.
Foremost in my mind that day was the preparation for for an upcoming difficult memorial service I was asked to do for the suicide of a 33-year old man who had struggled with drug addiction and was wanted by the law. The man had spent some time at Teen Challenge where he had been exposed to the Word of God, but had left the program after a few months and then reverted back to his old life style.
He was the adopted son of two dear Christian friends. They had just explained that praising God with all their might at their weekly praise meeting, just two days after identifying their son’s body, was the only way they could muster the strength to get through the grief of his loss. Especially since Christmas was only a couple weeks away.
Bud shared just what I needed to hear (apparently also what God wanted) and also what was needed to pass on to the people attending the service. Bud said that he had been praying that the man would have had confessed his sins and been forgiven and accepted into heaven. To his surprise, and with much peace, Bud kept getting the same thought back – that their son had indeed repented and is now in heaven with his Creator.
How good it was to share that exciting message from God at the service. Also at funeral services I don’t have altar calls (although I generally encourage people to read the Gospel of John, 1 chapter a day, for three weeks). This time, with heads bowed I asked for a raising of hands for those who would like to invite Jesus into their lives and receive the forgivness of their sins and His gift of eternal life.
There were well over a hundred people present and three hands were raised. Out of a serious tragedy those three people were born again. In addition, two days later, the father of the deceased led another young woman to the Lord – she was the mother of a young child the deceased had fathered.
The father told me that his life verse was Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good for those who love God for those who are called according to his purpose.” Without knowing that, this was the same verse quoted to him by the leader of the praise meetings the day the father heard of his son’s death. It became the verse for the funeral service. It became manifested for God’s glory.