Franklin Graham on Overcoming Bad News
Look to the Hope Found in Jesus Christ
October 24, 2011 - The weight of bad news can stifle the will and discourage the heart. But there is good news, and it is found in Jesus Christ.
Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land. ~ Proverbs 25:25 (NIV)
by Franklin Graham
During the height of Soviet communism, my father sat down in an empty Lenin Stadium while visiting Moscow—and prayed. He asked that God would open doors for him to preach the Gospel in that city and other cities across Eastern Europe.
In time, God answered his prayer, and my father hoped to spend the latter years of his life preaching in what had once been the European communist empire. Age and health issues, however, kept him from fulfilling his heart’s desire. We thank God that with your prayers and support, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is able to keep his vision to take the Gospel to the former Soviet bloc states in obedience to God’s Word, and one of those is Lithuania.
That’s where I am headed and will be preaching an evangelistic Crusade in the city of Vilnius. While unemployment in the United States hovers around 9 percent, unemployment in Lithuania is over 20 percent. The entire Baltic region still hangs under a despairing shadow created by 70 years of communism, but the greater darkness is a spiritual void in the souls of men, women, and children who do not know the Savior of the world—the Lord Jesus Christ.
He came into this world to replace doubt, darkness, and despair with the assurance of His love to all who will receive Him, the promise of forgiveness of sin to repentant hearts through His shed blood on the cross, and hope of eternal joy in His presence.
This is the message that most Lithuanians have not received. As the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has done for over 60 years, we are partnering with our brothers and sisters in Christ—the faithful churches of Lithuania—laboring in the work of the Lord. There is nothing more fulfilling than to follow the disciples in proclaiming Christ to all those who will listen.
When the Apostle Paul and Barnabas were taking the Gospel into places far from their homes, the Bible says, “They preached the gospel … and won a large number of disciples” (Acts 14:21, NIV). This is our all-consuming passion. We look for every opportunity to proclaim “Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2) so that those who are perishing might hear the Gospel and
be rescued from Satan’s grip.
Pray that those who respond in repentance and faith during the Crusade in Lithuania will grow in their walk with the Lord, connect with a local church, and begin sharing their new faith with others.
Then I would appreciate your prayers as we go from there to India to hold an evangelistic Crusade in Hyderabad, a city where 98 percent of the people do not know about Jesus Christ. There is great spiritual darkness in India, and they need to hear Good News. Bad news is everywhere, not just in India, but all over the world.
Newspaper headlines boldly proclaim—bad news. When we turn on the television, we see the never-ending alerts about—bad news. When we log on to our computers each morning, we’re greeted with—bad news. In America there is fear of losing more jobs and falling into another recession. Politicians make promises, yet there is a sense of hopelessness and despair created by a dysfunctional government and by greed. People are fearful of investing in a shaky economy.
The weight of bad news can stifle the will and discourage the heart. But there is good news, and it is found in Jesus Christ. He instructed His people to store up treasure in Heaven. He instructed us to go into the world with Good News. Our hope is not in things, but in truth. Our hope does not come from the world, but Christ.
That is why the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is investing in the kingdom work of God, and I want to thank you for partnering with us by investing in this ministry financially and through prayer, because doors are wide open to the Gospel today more than any other time in our history. The Bible speaks of those who support the work of the Kingdom as “generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age” (1 Timothy 6:18–19). We are grateful for all you do in service to the Lord.
May He richly bless you,
P.S. If you haven’t seen the film Courageous, it is a great movie and I would encourage you to take your family and friends. The Gospel is clear, and the spiritual lessons are excellent.
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