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Wilhelm Busch tells of a man drinking and playing cards with friends in a bar. He was in a wheel-chair and swore terribly. Months before he was still working in a mine, when rocks fell on him and broke his back. The man told Wilhelm: “I don’t want anything to do with God. Where was He when I was hurt? Now I must sit in this wheel-chair for the rest of my life.” Wilhelm and the men in their Bible study group decided to help the man. The next time they gathered they fetched the man and wheeled him to the group. The man protested but could not stop them. They sang, prayed, read the Bible, and talked about the love of God. The next time when they came to fetch the man he protested less. A couple of weeks later he confessed his sins and gave his life to Jesus. One day Wilhelm visited the man at home. The man sat in his wheel-chair on the pavement. He then said to Wilhelm: “When I reach heaven and stand before God’s throne, I want to thank Him that my back was broken. Because had it not happened, I would have walked straight to hell.” He added further: ”You don’t realise how joyful I am. Since I have known that I belong to Jesus everything has changed, everything appears so cheerful, even the grey cobble-stones smile at me.”

The man had undergone a wonderful change. The following statement in the Word of God had been proven to be correct: He saved us. It was not because of any good deeds that we ourselves had done, but because of his own mercy that he saved us, through the Holy Spirit, who gives us new birth and new life by washing us (Tit. 3:5). God promises that his Spirit shall dwell in those whom God has forgiven through what Jesus had accomplished on the cross. The Spirit of God in us brings about joy (Gal. 5:22-23).  It is significant that the man stressed his joyfulness, but that is precisely what God promises. The joy that God gives is not dependent on circumstances. This man radiated joy although he was still confined to a wheel-chair. We rejoice because of what God has done through our Lord Jesus Christ, who has now made us God’s friend. (Rom. 5:11).

  This man found Jesus, eternal life and great joy, all because members of that Bible study group cared about him and helped him. The Lord asks us to tell others about Him: The Lord will save everyone that prays to Him for salvation. But how can they pray to the Lord for salvation if they don’t trust Him? And how can they trust Him if they have never heard of Him? Will they ever hear about the Lord if no one tells them about Him? Rom 10:13-14    


Our heavenly Father, thank You for the joy You give your children. Amen


Gert Berning