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April 2024

 

My Friend and Partner,

Her name was Barbara Hoffman. She was a nurse in Massachusetts, and the wife of Pastor Ron Hoffman of Tree of Life Ministries. They both have gone on to Heaven. She taught me one of my most valuable lessons concerning faith.

It was a cold, snowy night in New England. Our service had just finished in the auditorium there in Marlborough. Pastor Ron told me, "The parking lot is a sheet of ice tonight, so I'll go and get the car, and you and sister Bonnie help my wife." He pulled up, and we helped sister Hoffman into the back seat. When I went to close the door, I said to her, "Take care." Before I could close the door, she exploded out of the back seat, waved her bony finger in my face, and said, "I refuse to take care!"

I was completely taken aback. What had I done wrong? What had I said wrong? Then, she smiled and quoted the Scripture, "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." 1 Peter 5:7. Then, she laughed and said, "You'll never forget this lesson."

Folks, I have never forgotten that lesson because it changed the way I thought about life and the journey of faith that I'm on. Faith does not ignore reality, but faith deals with reality. It is the difference between a broke man's confession, "I don't know how I'm going to make it," and a believer who confesses God's Word and declares, "God will make a way for me."

It is the Shunnamite woman who declared, "It is well," while her son's lifeless body lay on the bed of the man of God. (2 Kings 4:26)

It is the father with a demon-possessed son who asked, "Lord I believe. Help my unbelief." (Mark 9:24)

It is the mother's confession whose daughter was grievously tormented of a devil when rebuffed by the disciples. Her response was, "Even the dogs eat the crumbs from the Master's table." (Matthew 15:27)

There seems to be a fear or dread that is filling the hearts of people today. My message of faith is that you can live a burden-free and depression-proof life. We are not to be moved by the things of this world. The Apostle Paul's confession was, "None of these things move me." (Acts 20:24)

How do we get into a place where the fiery darts of the wicked one are deflected every time? The shield of faith is a defensive weapon that blocks Satan's fiery assaults. Here are three things that I've learned:

(1) Speak the Word. (2) Give up and let Jesus take over. (3) Praise your way to victory.

 

You, too, may live a life of victory free from all of life's worry and care. Your help this month enables us to preach the Gospel around the world. Thank you for your prayers and giving.

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