- Memory Verse
- And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints (Jude 14).
Fulfilled prophecy and the ability of men of God to see events thousands of years in advance is one of the most convincing proofs of the inspiration and accuracy of the Bible. Here is one of the most remarkable prophecies in the Bible. Enoch, whose life is recorded in Genesis 5:21-24, saw beyond the Rapture of the church to the second coming of Christ in power and great glory. God gave him a glimpse of the return of Christ with His saints.
This is especially significant when one considers that Enoch is one of only two men in history who did not die. The Bible says of him: “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5).
Enoch was then a type or picture of the church. He was taken to heaven without physical death. God then revealed to him that there would be a coming miracle greater than the one he had experienced, when all living Christians would be translated — taken up without physical death — and that this great company would then return with Christ when He comes to set up His Kingdom. What a thrill it must have been to this man of God who lived so long ago when God gave him that wonderful preview of things to come.
It will be an even greater thrill to be a part of that great company returning with Christ someday in the future. Aren’t you glad you belong to Him?
“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God…”
Psalm 42:1, 2
“Soul Food” is a daily devotional written by Dr. Jack Van Impe that brings God’s Word to life.
“The Tender Touch” is a weekly devotional from the heart of Dr. Rexella Van Impe.
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- Soul Food
- Tender Touch
- Memory Verse
- Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready (Revelation 19:7).
God has chosen to the closest of all human relationships, marriage, to illustrate the Christian life. A bride and groom are drawn together by love. God’s love draws lost people to salvation. A wedding is a time of exchanging promises and of joining together. Salvation occurs when a sinner responds to the promise of eternal life and takes the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour. Marriage is the beginning of a life that will be experienced by two who have been made one. After the new birth, the believer and his Saviour go through life together. The Lord never forsakes His own.
There is, however, another great wedding day coming. This will be the fulfilling of the type that we now see in the Christian life. Christ is the bridegroom. The church is His bride. The marriage takes place in heaven after the Rapture of the church and while the Tribulation is raging on earth. It will be a great occasion.
The revelation of the coming marriage of the Lamb makes it absolutely certain that the church will not go through the Tribulation. We’ll miss the Tribulation because we have a date in heaven. We have to attend a wedding. Our wedding.
One of the finest Christians I have ever met said that he was confident the church would not go through the Tribulation because he knew the Lord was sure to care for His bride. Good thinking. And Biblically sound! Though we may go through much trouble, we shall escape the world’s most difficult time.
Better get ready for the wedding!
- Memory Verse
- And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS (Revelation 19:16).
World conditions could make us despair if we did not have the Bible. Though men have been seeking peace among the nations for generations, wars continue.
PEACE, What a word it is for men to hear;
With peace within there is no room for fear;
Yet peace escapes the fervent search of man;
He cannot find it, though he thinks he can.
William Howard Taft once wrote, “The battlefield as a place of settlement of disputes is gradually yielding to arbitral courts of justice. The interests of great masses are not being sacrificed as in former times to the selfishness, ambitions, and aggrandizement of the sovereigns.” But Mr. Taft wrote those words in 1911 and the world’s most deadly conflicts have been fought since then.
The Bible speaks of continuing wars and rumors of wars. Old Testament prophets wrote of the last days as being a time of unparalleled weaponry. Small nations as well as the great are pictured in preparation for war. And what a war it will be!
Thankfully, Christ will come and end the final war, known as The Battle of Armageddon. He will return in power and great glory, bringing His church with Him. Man’s evil nature will finally have run its course. The Lord will set up His Kingdom and the earth will know real peace.
Through faith, we know His peace within today.
- Memory Verse
- For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand (Revelation 6:17).
Who ever heard of an angry lamb? It is hard to imagine. Jesus is called the Lamb of God, John the Baptist said: “...Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Christ came as the Lamb of God to pay for our sins on the cross.
The Lamb of God is a fitting title for the gentle Saviour. His tender heart was broken over the needs of people. He had time for the children, for beggars, for lepers and others who were hurting.
As the Lamb of God, he stood silent before his persecutors. Isaiah described Him as follows: “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7).
Few in this world anticipate a coming day when the Lamb will display wrath. Yet that day is coming. And those who have not been saved and therefore miss the Rapture of the church will be here for the Tribulation — the wrath of the Lamb.
A Christian who was being ridiculed for going to a prayer meeting, said, “It is better to go to prayer meeting now than to wait for the largest prayer meeting the world will ever know. In that one, men will pray for the rocks and the mountains to fall on them to hide them from the wrath of The Lamb.”
Our God is a God of love — and justice.
Respond to His love today so you will not be here for the day of His wrath.
- Memory Verse
- Here is wisdom, Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six (Revelation 13:18).
Who is the coming world ruler known as the “beast?” Speculation abounds.
Actually no one can know who the beast is until after the Rapture of the church: “And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming (II Thessalonians 2:8).
While we cannot know who the beast will be, it is clear that the world is getting ready for his appearance. Peace efforts continually fail. Economic conditions become increasingly complex and it is not difficult to understand how buying and selling will ultimately be totally controlled by a super-powerful government. Commerce is already moving on a system of numbers and proposals to make money as we know it obsolete are now on the drawing boards. Computers that speak are common and it no longer seems out of the question to have an image erected during the Tribulation period that will be able to do so. The stage is set for the coming of the man of sin whose number is 666.
It must be emphasized that Christ returns for His church before these things spoken of in Revelation 13 come to pass. With the world now ready for the fulfillment of this prophecy, all Christians must get ready for the coming of their Lord and Saviour. We are to be occupied with Him. We are to look for the coming of Christ — nor the Antichrist.
When will Christ Return? Perhaps Today!
- Memory Verse
- Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us (1 Corinthians 5:7).
In the Bible, leaven symbolizes sin.
Christians are new creatures in Christ and ought to demonstrate this by righteous living: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
One cannot sin and win.
When Chrysostom was arrested by the Roman Emperor, the powerful ruler tried to make Chrysostom recant, but without success. Frustrated, the Emperor questioned his advisors about what could be done with the prisoner.
“Shall I put him in a dungeon?” the Emperor asked.
“No,” one of his counselors replied, “for he will be glad to go. He longs for quietness wherein he can delight in the mercies of his God.”
“Then he shall be executed!” said the Emperor.
“No,” was the answer, “for he will also be glad to die. He declares that in the event of death he will be in the presence of his Lord.”
“What shall we do then?” the ruler asked.
“There is only one thing that will give Chrysostom pain,” the counselor said. “To cause Chrysostom to suffer, make him sin. He is afraid of nothing except sin.”
Sin brings suffering.
Christians are equipped for daily victory over sin. Purge out the old leaven.
You’ve been defeated long enough.
- Memory Verse
- For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18).
In the second century, Justin Martyr wrote: “Many spirits are abroad in the world, and the credentials they display are splendid gifts of mind, learning, and of talent. Christian, look carefully. Ask for the print of the nails.”
The conflicts in the church at Corinth were beyond the reach of tact or psychology, the message of the cross was the only answer. Lost people need to hear this message to be saved and Christians never outgrow their need of the preaching of the cross for daily growth.
The cross is the cure for divisions. Churches that are torn by gossip and backbiting need to be reminded of the Lord’s sacrifice on the cross. Those who nurse hurt feelings need to stand at the cross and see their Saviour enduring the shame and pain of that awful hour. Who has the right to be offended in the light of His sufferings there?
Have you been wronged? Consider the cross.
Do you wonder about full forgiveness? Consider the cross.
Do you doubt God’s love? Consider the cross.
The message of the cross is not popular today. Many prefer religion that is not so stern...so demanding. The preaching of the cross reveals all people as sinners and Christ as the only Saviour. Man’s sinful nature and his pride object to that kind of teaching. Beautiful sanctuaries are fine but the cross seems out of date...foolishness.
But the way of the cross leads home...there is no other way but this.
Let this old and true message change your life. And God’s way will not seem foolish anymore.
- Memory Verse
- There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Two alcoholics were converted. One testified, “From the moment I trusted Christ to save me, and deliver me from the enslaving habit of strong drink, I have never had the slightest desire to drink anything of alcoholic content. I would have to learn all over again to love the evil which, for more than thirty years, was the greatest love of my life.” The second said, “How I wish my experience corresponded with the experience of the brother who has just testified. Every day I have a terrific struggle not to partake of the evil which for years all but wrecked my life. I am depending solely upon the mighty Saviour to keep me from temptation. Pray for me!”
God may deal differently with His children concerning temptation but He has promised that all temptation is limited. Every Christian can overcome any temptation. Our Lord guarantees our ability to conquer is greater than temptation’s power. He allows no temptation to come to us that is too strong for us to defeat. And He always provides an escape.
So, your excuse for yielding doesn’t stand.
The power of the Holy Spirit within and the Word of God at your disposal equips you to conquer. Prayer taps the resources of God making you invincible.
Others have faced the same temptation. And you are equipped to win.
The little boy was only about 8 years old,
bright-eyed, blonde, and so very cute.
He came up to me that Wednesday evening
before the crusade service started and said, "I
have something for you, Rexella!"
I smiled down at this vibrant little guy, knelt
beside him, and asked, "What is it?"
He excitedly held out a brown paper bag for me
to open. Inside was a freshly-baked, crusty-brown
loaf of bread. "Oh, how nice!" I exclaimed. "Did
your mother make this for me?"
"No, I did!" he said proudly. "I made it for you."
I couldn't keep from giving him a hug of appreciation
for his gift that meant so much to me. To
some it may not have seemed like much -- a
slightly misshapen, slightly overdone loaf of
homemade bread. But behind it was an
overflowing supply of generosity and love for my
husband and me.
And even little is much when it is given with love.
Jesus confirmed this with His comments about
the giving of a poor widow who dropped two tiny
coins into the offering at the Temple. Contrasted
with the large sums being given by the wealthy,
her gift must have seemed insignificant to those
who looked on. But the Lord said, "This woman
has given more than all the others. They gave a
portion of their abundant wealth -- she gave all
she had, even her very living" (see Mark 12:41-44).
I think it is very significant indeed that Jesus
Christ, the Son of God, took note of that small,
sacrificial gift and said that, in His eyes, it was worth
more than all the other gifts put together. The New
Testament account doesn't actually say so, but I
wonder if God didn't bless those two little coins
and multiply their value many times over!
How God will use your gift
He did that one day with a little lad's lunch of
five loaves and two fishes. Jesus multiplied that
simple sack-lunch into enough to feed a multitude
of 5,000... with lots of leftovers.
I believe the Lord performed this miracle for
more than one reason. Yes, He felt compassion for
the multitude that had followed Him and listened
to His teaching all day long. He wanted to meet
their physical need and satisfy their hunger for
food as He had satisfied their thirst for spiritual truth.
But I believe this miracle may also have been to
encourage the faith of His disciples. Perhaps they
may have been tempted to send the multitude
away hungry ("what good is so little among so
many?") and use the few loaves and fishes as a
meager snack for the staff.
But the Lord demonstrated in a graphic way
that, in His kingdom, there is always enough to
meet the need. He blessed and broke the bread
and fish, then had them serve the hungry people.
When everybody had eaten his fill, the disciples
gathered up what was left. And there were 12
baskets full -- one basket for each disciple!
What a great lesson! What a great miracle! Yet, it
could not have happened without the unselfish
giving of the little boy who handed over his lunch.
What if he had said, "There are too many hungry
people here, and I have barely enough food for
myself. I can't afford to give... and what little I
have wouldn't make much difference anyhow."
But he did what he could do -- shared what he
had. And his gift fed a multitude... and taught
Jesus' disciples a great lesson. Plus, I've always
felt the little boy must have ended up taking more
food home that night than he'd started out with.
So he had a chance to witness to his parents about
what the Lord had said and done.
Who could have blamed the poor widow if she
had said, "Look at all the rich offerings the
wealthy people are giving at the Temple. I have
only these two mites -- worth less than a penny.
There's no way I can give. No one would even know
if I did give, or miss my tiny offering if I didn't."
But out of love for God she gave -- and Jesus
himself noticed and called attention to her generosity!
Your giving is important
So often people look at the worldwide soulwinning
outreaches of Jack Van Impe Ministries and
feel that our program is so big that we don't need
their help. "What I have to give is so little in comparison
to your need that I'm embarrassed to even
offer it," they say. In essence they're saying, "But
what have I to offer?"
You know what this ministry is doing. We're on
weekly television, with regional audiences that
are growing with each telecast. The rating
services say that already we are number one with
some segments of the viewing audience. Our goal
is to blanket all of the U.S. and Canada with
our program ministering to multiplied millions
In addition, our overseas radio broadcasts are
touching thousands upon thousands of homes
across Europe and in many other countries. Each
month we receive letters from people in many
nations who have been blessed and helped
through this outreach.
And we are able to do this on a fraction of the
budget of many larger organizations. It has
always been our policy to hold overhead expenses
to an absolute minimum and use virtually all of
our funds for pure ministry. And we make sure the
ministry gets full value for every dollar invested.
That's the secret of how we have been able to
accomplish so much on a fairly small income.
And this is why every support gift we receive is
important. Even a small offering sent to Jack Van
Impe Ministries very probably will accomplish as
much as a larger amount given to a "big name"
organization. Some friends also have the
misconception that most of this ministry's support
comes from those who give very large amounts --
thousands and tens of thousands!
We have no corporate sponsors, no denominational
underwriting, no group of wealthy
benefactors. Actually, what keeps us going are the
regular, faithful, sacrificial gifts of friends who
send $10, $20, or $50 each month, or as often as
they can. Every gift we receive -- large or small --
What is in your hand?
What do you have to offer? Give that. For
remember, to whom much is given, much is
required. But even if you had absolutely no material
possessions, you still could give your love,
your encouragement, your prayers. It means so
much to know our friends are standing with us.
What do you have to offer? What God has placed
in your hands. What you are willing to give to His
work. If all you have to give to God in Jesus' name
is a cup of cold water, then that is all God expects.
For if there be first a willing mind, it is
accepted according to that a man hath, and not
according to that he hath not (2 Corinthians 8:12).
Over the years the Lord has blessed my
husband and me with many precious friends who
have shared the burdens and the opportunities of
this ministry. Occasionally, in addition to the
support given for our work, we have received a card or
a word of encouragement, or a small personal gift.
I have appreciated all of them.
But I don't think I'll ever forget the night when
that charming 8-year-old brought me the best he
had to offer, a loaf of bread he baked himself!
Talk about busy! For many months Dr. Van
Impe and I have been going from early to late,
working harder than we ever have in our lives.
In addition to our normal activities and
responsibilities, every hour is filled with reading,
praying, studying, writing, planning... and
traveling! As you know, we're often on the road in
speaking engagements, ministering day and
night. And from time to time we also meet with
many of our dear partners in various cities.
Back at home, we're in the office, working on
our weekly telecasts, recording music, meeting
Don't think I'm complaining -- I've never been
so excited and thrilled. There are so many
tremendous opportunities before us that I can hardly
wait for morning to come... and sometimes I'm
reluctant to turn off the lights at bedtime.
The other day someone said to me, "Rexella,
don't overdo it. You've got so many responsibilities
-- it's really a tremendous burden!"
I appreciated the concern of this friend, who had
only my best interests at heart. But although I'm
working harder than I have in all my life before, I
am not overloaded and burdened down!
I have discovered the secret of the easy burden.
The lesson of the ant
A biologist once was doing a study of ants. One
day he watched a worker ant carrying a piece of
straw. Compared to the ant's size and weight, that
straw must have been a heavy and unwieldy load.
But the ant kept working -- kept carrying his load.
After a while the ant came to a large crack in the
earth. He explored to the left and the right, but
there was no way to go around -- and the crack
was too wide and too deep to get across.
The ant stood there on the brink of the precipice
as though pondering the situation. Then, he took
the burdensome straw off his back. Stumbling,
tumbling, and straining, somehow he managed to
put one end of the straw on one side of the crack
and let it fall across the span! Then the ant walked
across the straw safely to the other side.
With a few tugs and strains, he pulled the straw
across the crack, put it back on his back... and
went on his way again! He triumphed by using his
burden as a bridge to the other side.
What a lesson for us!
In this life we will have burdens. The Apostle
Paul noted, For we that are in this tabernacle do
groan, being burdened (2 Corinthians 5:4). But
we need not be unduly crushed to the ground by
our load if we allow the Lord and His strength to
sustain us. The psalmist cried, Cast thy burden
upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee (Psalm 55:22).
Jesus said, Come unto me, all ye that labour
and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am
meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest
unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my
burden is light (Matthew 1 1:28-30).
Did you notice that Jesus did not say, "Come
throw down your load and walk away with no
burden at all." He only promised to give us rest.
Then we are to take on His yoke and pick up His
burden. And what kind of load is it?
It is a light yoke, an easy burden!
The Lord has not promised that we will not have
to work in this life. There is no guarantee that we
will not face difficulties and trials. Nowhere does
He tell us that the road will not be long or the night
not so dark.
go... and never will we be left alone. For he hath
said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee
(Hebrews 13:5). And He also promised, Lo, I am
with you alway, even unto the end of the world
If Jesus is with us, and His burden is always
light, why do we get so loaded down at times? I
think it is because we pick up the burdens of the
past along with tomorrow's burden and add it to
the load allotted for today.
John Newton once wrote, "I compare the
troubles which we have to undergo in the course of a
year to a great bundle of fagots, far too large for us
to lift. But God does not require us to carry the
whole at once. He mercifully unties the bundle
and gives us first one stick, which we are to carry
today, and then another, which we are to carry
tomorrow, and so on. This we might easily
manage if we would only take the burden
appointed for us each day. But we choose to
increase our troubles by carrying yesterday's
stick over again today and adding tomorrow's
burden to our load before we are required to
Jesus says, "Come rest. Lay down yesterday's
burden, and don't lift tomorrow's load yet. Just
pick up today's burden... and it will be easy!"
And like the resourceful ant, we may discover
that at times we can use our burden to bridge the
chasms in the path before us. It can literally
become a stepping-stone to higher ground.
A burden of joy
What an exhilarating realization! And here is
another load-lifting thought. When we realize
what our burden is -- or to be more exact, who our
burden is -- our attitude changes.
I heard about an American soldier during the
Vietnam war who saw a little 7-year-old girl
carrying a 2-year-old baby on her back. As he passed
her trudging along a dusty road, the G.I. said to
her, "Honey, it looks like you're carrying an
awfully heavy load."
But that little child had learned part of the
secret of the easy burden. She replied, "Oh, no,
this is no load -- this is my brother!"
And it is true -- the load of egotism and self-pity
is tremendously heavy. No one can stand up under
it for long! But if our burden is for others... for the
lost and unreached, it can become a burden of joy.
We are reminded of Jesus, who for the joy that
was set before him endured the cross, despising
the shame, and is set down at the right hand of
the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).
For the joy set before Him, Jesus endured the
cross! What joy? The joy of seeing you and me in
heaven! He carried the cross for us. He died that
we might live. And now, His work completed, He is
at the right hand of God.
Oh, I want to see Him! I am so homesick for
heaven. And I believe it will not be long until our
Saviour comes for us -- perhaps today!
Until then, I know I can carry the easy burden
He has for me. And so I can truthfully say that
every suitcase I pack, every song I sing, every
television program I help to host, every article I write,
and every letter I answer -- the workload is not a
depressing or oppressing burden. I can do it -- I'm
glad to -- because of the joy that is set before me
...the joy of knowing that I am doing it for the
Lord to reach souls for eternity.
Stepping-stones to higher ground
I have no way of knowing what kind of burden
you have been asked to bear. But I urge you to
catch sight of the joy set before you. If it is to be a
good mother to your children -- do it with joy and
blessing. If you are a father who gets up at 5:30
a.m. to go to work and earn a living for your family
and to help support the work of God -- do it with
joy and a blessing.
My father got up at this hour almost every day of
his adult life and yet always found delight in
driving to every meeting that my husband and I or
my brother Bob (who also is an evangelist) might
have within a 100 mile radius of my parents'
home. Dad found strength in the Lord and got
hold of the easy burden and made it a stepping-stone
to higher ground. May you also, as mothers
and fathers, find stepping-stones to higher ground.
The day will come -- and soon, so soon -- when
you will stand before God and lay down your
burden for the last time. What a thrill, what
unspeakable joy, to hear the voice of your Father
say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant!"
And now abideth faith, hope, charity [love],
these three; but the greatest of these is charity
[love] (1 Corinthians 13:13).
There are unseen forces in the world that are
vitally important in the course of human events.
These forces shape individual lives and even influence
Recognizing that these forces exist can be
intimidating. For some people, the idea that they
might not be in control of what happens in their
lives can actually be emotionally crippling.
As Christians, we need never feel intimidated by
anything. As the old gospel song suggests, we may
not know what tomorrow holds, but we know who
holds our tomorrows. Ultimately, God is in control
of all things to come.
We do have the power to make many
life-controlling decisions. Every individual has the
opportunity to perpetuate good or evil... to uplift
Christ or approve the works of Satan... to show
love or hate, joy or sorrow.
When faced with the fateful forces of life, we
have an arsenal of divine forces at our disposal
that can help us withstand any storm and overcome
any adversity. Faith. Hope. Love.
Too often these forces are just words to us and
we fail to fully understand the explosive power
that is ours. God, in His unchanging Word, gives
unprecedented value to these truths. They are the
key to unlimited power and spiritual wealth in
your life and mine.
The baby who fell in the well
Some time ago our attention was focused on a
tiny little child in Midland, Texas, who had fallen
into an abandoned oil well. Only 18 months old,
plucky little Jessica McClure captured the heart of
the whole nation. Students, business people,
workers, housewives, even the first lady -- we all
showed our interest and concern for her plight.
People across the country prayed, sent cards and
letters, offered assistance, telephoned -- whatever
they could do. And the people in the Texas
communities nearby dropped what they were doing
and went to help. They labored without being
asked... not asking for pay... around the clock
until the ordeal was over.
I was so impressed with the actions of Jessica's
family and close friends. I'll never forget seeing
the TV news pictures of them standing in a circle,
holding hands, praying for God's help. The
strength of their faith was transmitted nationwide
It never wavered!
We all can have this kind of faith, which
Hebrews 11 defines as the substance of things
hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. I
believe faith is an inner stability produced by the
Holy Spirit that enables us to trust. And it is trust
that dispels doubt, fear, and uncertainty.
How wonderful to know we have a counter-force
that can work in our behalf when we're faced with
those unseen, uncontrollable forces and circumstances
of life. The force of faith will help us trust
God for peace and victory -- even in the face of
seemingly insurmountable obstacles like Jessica
McClure and her family faced.
The force of faith
The silent force of faith is indescribably
powerful. With faith, a shepherd boy takes five stones
and a slingshot and defeats Goliath, the military
champion. With faith, Moses stretches out a
wooden stick over the Red Sea and the waters roll
back to provide a path of safety for God's people.
You may well be facing conflicts, disasters,
heartaches, and darkness as deep as a well. But as
you rely on the unseen force of faith, trust will rise
up inside you and sustain you until deliverance
comes -- for the Lord will bring you through.
Most important of all, the force of faith even overcomes
the fatal curse of sin and helps us receive
Christ's salvation and everlasting life. For by
grace are ye saved through faith (Ephesians 2:8).
The force of hope
The second silent force you can use is hope.
What a devastating thing to feel utterly hopeless
-- to believe there is no remedy for your desperate situation!
Without hope, life cannot long endure. With
hope -- even the tiniest spark -- we can keep
holding on, keep waiting and watching until
Just as faith produces trust, hope produces joy
and peace. Surely it was the hope and peace of
that precious little girl in the Texas well that
helped save her life.
Can you imagine her cries of fear and distress?
"Mommy, I'm hurt, I can't move. It's so dark and
I'm afraid. I'm cold. I'm hungry. Please help me!"
And she listened for a voice at the top of the well --
her mother's. That voice so filled her with hope
and encouragement, I'm told little Jessica cried
very little. She had peace -- even joy. Down in her
dark, cold trap, she could even sing!
Oh, my friend, here's a truth that is absolutely
overwhelming. You and I can have hope in the
wells of life. Down in our prisons of darkness and
pain, we can hear a Voice from above -- the voice of
our Father saying, "Fear not! Lo, I am with you
alway, even unto the end of the world
There is hope! And there is joy and peace for you
today. Are you trapped by emotional needs? Hear
the voice of the Lord saying, Come unto me, all ye
that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give
you rest (Matthew 11:28).
Are you so buried by financial and material
needs that it seems you'll never again see the light
of day? Listen! God's promise is sufficient for you.
My God shall supply all your need according to
his riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
Are you worried, troubled, depressed? Oh, hear
the voice of hope -- Casting all your care upon
him; for he careth for you (1 Peter 5:7).
I tell you, there is no hole so deep that hope
cannot reach. And no place so low that God
cannot lift you out. Use the silent force of hope
God has given you... and let joy and peace change
Remember, Jesus has experienced every
emotional temptation or physical pain that we could
ever experience. He was in all points tempted like
as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus
was not tempted to see if He would sin, but to
show that He could not sin, for He is God.
He understands your need. He is greater than
your need... and He cares about your need. So
you can have hope.
The force of love
The third and greatest unseen force you have at
your disposal is love. Love is so powerful -- and so
Faith produces trust. Hope produces joy and
peace. But love produces manifold blessings.
The newspaper headlines reporting the drama
in Midland, Texas, said: "USA Opens Its Heart to
Jessica." Why? I believe one reason people loved
this child so much was that they saw faith in her
family and hope in her -- qualities America needs
so desperately today.
And remember how their love was expressed --
in action. That's because love, being the essence of
God's divine nature, is not just a noun -- it's a
verb, it is action. So in loving Jessica, people
helped, worked, gave... they poured themselves
out. And they didn't stop loving until she was
rescued and brought out of that well, alive and safe.
In a thrilling, exciting way, they started living the
Bible and producing the manifold fruits of love
described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
I know you've read these familiar scriptures
many times, but let's think about them in terms
we can understand without question. The silent
force of love that God pours through us is
This love produces an uncomplaining spirit that
cares for others. It is not jealous, pushy, conceited,
or ill-mannered. This love does not try to advance
itself, does not pout or become hurt easily. It does
not think the worst of others, and is not happy
when someone falls into sin but is happy to hear
good things about him. Love bears all things and
helps others with their burdens. Love endures...
and refuses discouragement.
Do you have that kind of love? Oh, it's important
to have faith. It's important to have hope. But
God's Word declares that the greatest force of all is love.
I urge you to examine yourself to be sure you
have the silent force of faith, hope, and love --
especially love -- within. The only way to have it is
to go to the One who gives this perfect gift -- Jesus Christ.
I challenge you to join Dr. Van Impe and me in
trusting, rejoicing, hoping, and loving in Christ.
Using this silent force together, we can change
ourselves... and make such an impact on our
world for Christ that it will never again be the
On the closing night of our citywide crusade in
Rochester, New York, I went down front after the
service to greet people, sign Bibles, and just enjoy
a time of fellowship with our friends there.
As always, several children gathered around me
-- we seem to have a special affection for each
other. The photographer who was covering the
crusade for us asked if I'd pose for a photo with his
two children. When he finished taking the shot,
one of the youngsters, a little boy, crawled up in my lap.
"I'm tired," he said, "I need a nap." Then he
nestled inside my arms, laid his head trustingly on
my shoulder, and started to go to sleep.
In a few minutes his dad came and took him
from me, but as I sat looking down at that
beautiful child resting in my arms, I remembered how
Jesus taught that we must receive the kingdom of
God in simple, childlike faith and trust... and rest
The Lord invites us to come to Him when we are
tired and worn out and "take a nap," secure in His
care. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are
heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).
Why, then, are so many plodding along, worn
out and exhausted, loaded down with burdens
and care? For these people, life almost seems to be
an endurance contest, each day providing another
Could it be because we haven't really learned to
trust... or have gotten our eyes on the frailties of
men instead of the everlasting arms of the Lord?
A lesson in trust
When my brothers and I were quite young, Dad
sometimes would take us swimming in a
beautiful fresh water stream. There was a little
waterfall that dropped into a natural pool, and my
older brother would plunge over that waterfall and
splash into the water below.
It looked like such fun... but I was afraid to try it
myself. I was four years younger than my brother,
and when I climbed up above the falls, the jump
down took my breath -- and my courage -- away!
No amount of coaxing or wheedling by my brother
could convince me to try it.
Finally, my father went into the pool below and
looked up at me. "Jump down here, Rexella," he
said. "I'll catch you!" And he held out his arms.
Immediately I jumped into the waterfall, down
in and under the torrent, deep into the water
below. As I came up out of the deep, half laughing,
half crying, Dad's strong arms caught me and
lifted me up.
After a few more jumps, I was ready to try it on
my own... and I was never afraid to go over the
What made the difference? Trust! I knew my
father would take care of me and never allow me to
be injured. So if he had said to follow him through
fire, I would have put my hand in his and started walking!
How much more should we trust our Heavenly
Father? When the burdens and troubles of this life
are wearing us down, we should come into the
presence of God and say, "Lord, I need a nap."
Then, casting all our care upon the One who
knows and understands all things, we can put our
heads upon the bosom of Christ and rest in Him.
Dare to trust God
But we can relax and rest only when we trust
God and turn loose of our load of care. It is possible
to come to Jesus and present our problems, then
go away just as burdened and weighted down as
when we came.
We sometimes think we're the only ones who
understand just what's at stake. We can't turn
loose and fully trust the Lord or anybody else. So
we go away sorrowful, trying to worry our way through.
Perhaps you are carrying a heavy load today
that has you exhausted, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Dare to trust God.
He sees your concern for those loved ones.
He knows the financial needs you are facing.
He understands the anxiety and indecision that
has stolen your peace of mind and kept you awake
so many midnight hours.
What would happen if you really trusted the
Lord with all of your life? What if you threw
yourself into His arms and said, "I need a nap," and let
Him take care of you? Would He let you fall, or
turn His back on you?
Of course not! He will not -- cannot -- fail. So
cast all your care upon Him for He careth for you
(see 1 Peter 5:7).
But we must trust Him, yield to Him, wait for
Him. How often do we get too impatient, even in
prayer? Do we kneel to pray, and instead of
allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us, blurt out our
frustration and tell God how we think He should
meet our need?
In the beautiful words of the poet --
He knows, He loves, He cares,
nothing this truth can dim.
God gives the very best to those
who leave the choice with Him.
The beautiful old gospel song, "What a Friend
We Have in Jesus," reminds us of the help that is
ours when we come, trusting, into His presence.
"Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God... in prayer."
Trust God, my friend. Hear His invitation to
come to Him and find rest. Join me in looking up
into the wonderful face of Jesus and saying, "I've
come to You, Lord, because I need a nap!"