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Out of darkness, into the light...
Written By Bobby Schuller
"Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance." -Psalm 66:8-12
I remember the first day that I realized how important the Hour of Power was to people around the world.
I was in Israel when I met a man who, because of his lineage as a descendent of King David, had been given a special plot of land by the Israeli government. During our time together, he shared with me the details of a near-death experience where Jesus came to him, revealed himself as the Messiah, and this devotedly Jewish man became a Christian.
After we prayed together on this mountainside, he told me that he wanted me to talk with his wife. So, by satellite phone, her first words to me were, "Are you a Schuller?" When I said yes, she continued, saying, "It's been one of my life dreams to talk to a Schuller, to tell you this story. Twenty years ago, I was married to a pastor who would beat me repeatedly. In front of everybody else, he would be nice, but with me, he was legalistic, angry, and mean. I felt trapped like a slave for years. Then I started to watch the Hour of Power and it gave me hope that maybe God could change my situation. One day, I sent money to the Hour of Power and received a little cross necklace that said, ‘God Loves You and So Do I.' But, when my husband found it and realized that I had sent money to your ministry, he beat me so badly that I was hospitalized. However, I held onto that cross, it gave me hope to believe that there could be a new tomorrow, and there was." She told me how she left her husband and created a new life because of the Hour of Power, and now has a ministry to battered women.
Do I think that God sent a pastor to beat her so that she would have a ministry to battered women? Absolutely not. But, in the midst of an evil world, God can bring hope and healing, turning bad situations into good.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me never to lose the vision of your hope and healing in the midst of darkness. I trust that my suffering will end and a new day will dawn according to your loving and positive will for my life. Amen.
Reflection: Have you experienced a season of stress where you felt trapped by the expectations of others or abusive treatment? When did you begin to feel hope in the darkness? How did the Lord bring you into the light?
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"Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance."