DEAR DR. GRAHAM: Over the years, my doctor has given me dozens of different pills, hoping to find something that will give me inner peace. But nothing really lasts, and my neighbor says I ought to try God. But what difference would that make? — Mrs. M.R.F.
DEAR MRS. M.R.F.: God made you, and He knows all about you and your needs — far better than you know yourself. Wouldn’t it make sense, therefore, to turn to Him for the peace you’re seeking? Of course it would, and I pray you will.
What difference will God make if you open your heart and life to Him? First, you’ll discover that you’re never alone; He is with you every moment of the day. You see, when we give ourselves to Jesus Christ, God Himself comes to live within us by His Spirit. Even in the midst of life’s uncertainties and fears, God will never abandon you. Think of it: We are never alone when we know Christ, for God has promised: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
Not only will you know God is with you, but you’ll also discover another great truth: He loves you and welcomes you just as you are. How do I know this? I know it because God sent His Son into the world to give His life for us. Would God have done that if He didn’t love us? Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends” (John 15:13-14).
By a simple prayer of faith ask Christ to come into your life and commit yourself to Him. Then thank Him for loving you, and ask Him also to help you find a church where you’ll feel accepted and can grow in your faith.
DEAR DR. GRAHAM: How long can a person keep resisting God until He finally gives up on them and it’s too late for them to turn back? I’m afraid my cousin has already passed that point, whatever it is. I even wonder if it’s worth praying for him. — L.J.
DEAR L.J.: I certainly hope you won’t give up praying for your cousin. Occasionally, I receive letters from people who’ve prayed for someone (such as their spouse) for many, many years — and finally their prayers were answered. God’s timing isn’t necessarily ours.
Does God ever give up on someone? We don’t always know what God is doing in someone’s life — His ways are often hidden from us. But we do know this: When someone truly turns to God — even after years of rebellion — God always forgives them and welcomes them into His family. I’m sure the prodigal son’s father must have wondered if his rebellious son would ever return, but he kept watching, and one day his concern was rewarded.
The Bible says, “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and... ran to his son” (Luke 15:20). No matter how rebellious we’ve been, God yearns to welcome us home.
At the same time, the Bible solemnly warns us not to assume we can leave our repentance to the last minute. The more we resist God, the easier it becomes to keep on resisting Him — until suddenly it is too late. The Bible warns, “Disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed — without remedy” (Proverbs 6:15). Continue praying for your cousin, that God will convict him of his sin and his need for Christ. In addition, ask God to give you opportunities to express your concern to him, and to urge him to give his life to Christ.
DEAR DR. GRAHAM: We’re already planning the annual Christmas pageant at our church. While it’s always cute to see the children dressed up in white angel costumes with halos and wings, I wonder sometimes if we’re misleading them, since we don’t really know what those angels looked like. — Mrs. K.T.
DEAR MRS. K.T.: You’re right; we aren’t told exactly what the angels who appeared to the shepherds that first Christmas night looked like, but I honestly wouldn’t worry about it. The Bible says their appearance was glorious beyond description, and that’s all we really need to know (see Luke 2:8-14).
Hopefully, the children at your church will realize that angels aren’t just like us, but are heavenly beings sent from God. I hope you’ll also help them realize that the angels who appeared that first Christmas were sent to deliver the greatest message the world has ever known: God’s only Son had come into the world. Their message still echoes across the centuries: “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Make Christ the center of your Christmas this year — beginning today. In the midst of our world’s upheavals, find your peace in Him. He offers us peace — peace with God, peace with others, and peace in our hearts. May this be your experience, now and forever.
Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-877-2-GRAHAM, or go to www.billygraham.org.