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How do I encourage people to trust in God?

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
How do I encourage people to trust in God? The story of Job shows us how to trust God in difficult times. If we believe in God, in the end things will be better. Paul tells us to comfort each other with the hope in life beyond this world. Pray for your family, share information, and be a good example.
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Caller:  I’m trying to help out with my family.  My sister has been struggling with heart problems since she was 21, congenital heart disease.  My parents and sister don’t really have any kind of relationship with God, above a certain level where they can actually believe they can trust what the Bible says is literal and trustworthy and things like that.  And what I’m trying to do is figure out how do I comfort people – how can I find a tract or something that helps them trust in God, when they don’t really know God as their friend – and especially when they’ve been praying and the problem doesn’t go away, and they just have a hard time believing that God cares?

Pastor Doug:  Well, one thing is the Book of Job is an excellent example of how God is still there in the midst of suffering when we don’t know why something is happening.

Caller:  Right.

Pastor Doug:  Job sort of lifts the veil and lets us see that there are Spiritual things taking place behind the scenes that we’re not aware of – and we must trust God – and that if we trust God like Job, in the end, it will be better.  That’s one of the central messages.

Caller:  Doug I’ve offered that, and he just doesn’t want to…he wants to have – which I know he can’t always get – he wants to have an answer that comforts him, and that doesn’t comfort him.

Pastor Doug:  You know, one of the things is, if you read in 1st Thessalonians chapter 4 verses 16 on [to 18] where it talks about the Second Coming and the Resurrection, it says, ‘…wherefore comfort one another with these words.’ In other words, this life is not it.  This life is a very minute part of living for the Christian.

Caller:  Right. Right

Pastor Doug:  The big picture is Eternity.  Any suffering in this life is not even worthy to be compared with Eternity.  That’s what Paul tells us.

Co-Host:  Right.

Pastor Doug:  So you could share that with him and encourage him not to be discouraged that if you’ve got God, you have life.  ‘He that has the Son has life.’  Do they believe in the Bible?

Caller:  No – not in the sense of trusting it as God’s Word.

Pastor Doug:  Would they be willing – are they open enough to let you study the Bible with them a little bit?

Caller:  I’m going to try it though the big part is they live 3,000 miles away, but I’m going to try.

Pastor Doug:  You can send them a video.  I’ve got a whole series of video where I introduce people to the Bible.  That’s what I do normally as evangelism and TV.  You can send them a Bible study lesson, a cassette tape.  There are three things you can do Jeff, and this is for everybody listening.

Caller:  Ok.

Pastor Doug:  If you have loved ones you’d like to reach, there are three things you can do:

Number one, pray for them.  Sometimes I’ll hear a person say, ‘all I can do is pray.’  Prayer is actually quite a bit.  It’s very powerful.  Pray for them.

Secondarily, if they will listen, share information.  That would mean talking to them – that would mean giving a tape, a booklet, a video – share information with them.

Caller:  Ok.

Pastor Doug:  The third thing you can do is be a good, consistent example, a Christ-like example and that is a very powerful tool.

And so those are the three things – the only three things that any of us can do to reach our lost loved ones.  Sometimes, I’ve had to pray for friends and family.  They’re far away.  The Lord will use someone else to reach them.

I’d been praying for my dad* for years.  He lives in Miami.  I went out to visit him a couple months ago and lo and behold, there’s several Christians working in his office who were seeing our TV programs.  I thought, ‘well Praise God!  The Lord is working through these other people.’  So prayer is very powerful but those are the three things we can do.

Caller:  Ok.  You have any tracts I could send him?

Pastor Doug:  Oh do we have tracts!  Amazing Facts has got a hundred booklets and three Bible study courses, or two Bible study courses.  We have our Black Belt in literature ? I’d recommend that you send them the number one study guide in our series.  It’s called Is There Anything Left You Can Trust?  And it’s that resource number that Pastor Dick has been sharing. 1-800-835-6747.

*At the time of this taping, Pastor Doug’s father was still alive.

Amazing Facts’ Resource Number:  1-800-835-6747

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