Psalm 103 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them. The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all. Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul.
Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
Luke 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
Romans 3:4 … yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
I remebering being at church and hearing people testify how their loved ones were saved. I would hear people say “I turned my plate over” a phrase used to signify that they fasted for their loved one and as a result had a clear testimony that their loved one was saved. I don’t doubt those wonderful testimonies but things don’t always turn out that way, and when they don’t we may be left wondering why. Our faith is tested. This happened to me.
Sometimes, as Christians, we are faced with situations that we don’t fully understand. We pray and witness and do all of the things that Scripture tells us to do and yet we are left with questions. Our loved ones may die and we are left without the assurance that they were true believers. They may have been, they may not have been. We’re just not sure and we are left wondering. Not a good feeling for sure. I asked the Lord to give us a sure testimony from my father before he died. It was not to be. The Lord has taught me some things throughout my ordeal. I have asked Him what I could learn from the events I experienced.
One thing I learned is that we must trust that the Lord, in His Sovereignty, always does the “right thing” and that He is always faithful.
Second, the Lord hears every prayer and every petition, and is fully involved in our situation even though it may appear He is being silent, or if the answer does not align with our expectations.
The third is that, yes, prayer and fasting are important and good, and people do come to the Lord afterwards, but we must always remember that Salvation comes when a person responds to the Gospel and that all the fasting and praying in the world cannot override a person’s freewill.
Fourth, I don’t know if I can explain this well but I’ll try. Existence is continuing. People go to “their place” when they die. If they knew the Lord in this life they will continue on and go to be with Him when they die. If they didn’t know the Lord in this life they will continue on in the next world and go to “their place” (John 14:2,3 & Acts 1:25).
And last, I learned that part of following the Lord as a believer is accepting His ways and His truths no matter what, and loving the Lord and His Word above all else, even those who are the most dearest to us in this world.
Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?