Joshua Goodling: Terminal Cancer Survivor, Speaker, Author

In Times Like These

By Joshua Goodling

With the economical outlook more bleak everday, the price of gas and other items in flux, homes in foreclosure or close to it, and the world crazily and madly trying to fix its many problems it is easy for people to become discouraged, depressed, and worried about the future, which of course, is to be expected. Well, that is to be expected among those who do not personally know the King of Kings. As to those whose lives are trusting in Him, nothing has changed - He is still the same, and He is still in control of EVERYTHING!

I'm reminded of the song, "In Times Like these" by Ruth Jones;

In times like these you need a Savior
In times like these you need an anchor;
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

In times like these you need the Bible,
In times like these O be not idle;
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

In times like these I have a Savior,
In times like these I have an anchor;
I'm very sure, I'm very sure
My anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

This Rock is Jesus, Yes, He's the One;
This Rock is Jesus, the only One!
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

The Bible tells us in Luke 12:22-23; "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you."

God is not dependent upon the status of the stock market, the current price of oil, or the world's economy. He has more than enough provision to meet all of our needs and has promised that He WILL do so if we trust Him and obey His Word.

I have mentioned many times in my newsletters and writings a man named George Muller. He lived in England from September 27, 1805 to March 10, 1898, and built orphanages that cared for over 10,000 children. The thing that impresses me the most about Mr. Muller, is that he NEVER asked anyone for a dime, nor told anyone about his needs, yet he simply trusted in God. God provided all of his needs and the needs for all of his orphanages. I can share many stories about him that prove how great God is. There were times when all of the children in the orphanage would gather for breakfast, yet there was not a scrap of food in the house. Most of us would be wringing our hands wondering what to do, but not Mr. Muller, he simply would have the children pray and ask God to bless their meal, and a knock would come at the door with someone from the local bakery who would provide all they needed for breakfast, because they woke up early in the morning feeling the "need" to do that. If you have not read his biography, I highly recommend you do so.

Mr. George Muller's secret was that he simply trusted God! He didn't follow the "latest religious movements", or put a lot of stock in the opinions and thoughts of men, he relied completely upon the Word of Almighty God, and God blessed him greatly and provided all of his needs for doing so.

If we are truly trusting in God - we also do not have to worry or even be the slightest concerned about the economy or "state of the world". The problem is, a lot of people who claim to be Christians do not really trust in God - they put their "faith" in their bank accounts, their status in life, and the friends they have. Money, status, friendship - while all part of life, cannot provide for your needs the way God can.

I recall when I was a sophmore at college. It came time for the final exams of that semester. The school policy was that if your bill was not completely up to date, you couldn't take your exams. My parents had sent the payment for my bill, but due to their own financial struggles had sent it a little late - thus incurring a late fee of $5.00. I didn't have any money back then, and I didn't even have the $5.00 necessary to get my account up to date in order to take my final exams. I simply went to God in prayer and told Him about my need, trusting Him to supply as He promised He would. The night before my first exam, I went back to my room, and there on my pillow was a blank envelope with a $5.00 bill inside of it. To this day, I do not know who put that envelope there, but I know God was behind it. And I could share many other stories of how God has provided.

Whether supplying the needs of an entire orphanage, or helping to get a $5.00 fee paid - Almighty God can do exceedingly abundantly above all we could possibly ask of Him.

Trust God completely, give Him your entire life, and watch Him work!

I've been trying to think of an appropriate way to more simply illustrate what it means to give one's self to God, and while this may not be the "perfect" illustration - I feel it get's the point across.

Take for example a soldier in the Army. Now, there are thousands of soldiers in the United States Army, but how many of them are officers? Not all of them. There are a LOT more "soldiers" than there are "officers". Anyone can join the army (there may be a few exceptions, but most anyone can join), but to become an officer - one must study harder, give more, and obey orders completely. There are a lot of people who join the army, yet never become officers because they don't want to do what it takes. There are exceptions, some people who perhaps don't really deserve to become officers get appointed as one, but for the most part, it takes discipline.

The same is true with the Christian life. Anytime I write about trusting God and Him supplying our needs, I can almost hear the cries and arguments; "But, I've prayed and God didn't answer my prayer or meet my needs." Well, anyone who wants to accept Christ as Lord and Savior can become a Christian - but if you really want to experience the TRUE Christian life, you MUST give Him all, you must give up anything that is contrary to God's Word and you MUST completely trust Him. There are an awful lot of people who lay hold to the Christian faith - yet they have no faith in God, and cannot even list on one piece of paper the way God has answered their prayers and met their needs. The reason - they don't want to do what it takes.

If you as a Christian live just like everyone else in the world does, putting yourself first, not obeying God's commandments, etc., God is not in any way obligated to answer your prayers or meet your needs. Now, He may choose to do so sometimes, but He is under no obligation to do so. There are many passages in the Bible which say to us something like; "...if you will obey, trust, etc.,...I will do this..." Like the passage above in Luke - "If you seek first God's Kingdom (in other words, obey His commandments, put Him first in your life, and trust Him) - then He will supply all of your needs.

One can place all of their hopes and dreams for the future in this world's economy and face mostly disappointment, or one can place everything in the hands of Him who created all things and find true peace, true joy, and true happiness no matter what the circumstances of this world may be.

Why anyone would choose the world's way is beyond my imagination.

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