« For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. » (Jeremiah 29:11)
Mordecai Ham was born in 1877 on a small farm located in southern Kentucky. From the early age of 9 he felt that he was called to preach the gospel. Mordecai was poor and not highly educated, but he was a firebrand of a preacher. Mocked by an atheist at one of his meetings, Mordecai said, « Sir, I pray that God kills you. If there is no God as you say, then you have nothing to fear. » Three days later not only did the atheist accept Christ, 40 of his family members did as well! Mordecai was not like the fancy preachers from the big cities. He did little advertising, and his style was all wrong for a population looking to overturn prohibition and simply enjoy life. Later in his life, his meetings drew only a handful of people each time. During this period, Mordecai seriously considered giving up the ministry … but a skinny young teenager named Billy Graham walked into his meeting and met Jesus.
Jeremiah prophesied at a difficult time in the history of Israel. The northern 10 tribes of Israel, decimated by Assyria, had been taken into exile. Babylon was arising as the new super power in the middle East and threatening the security of its neighbors, including Israel. Furthermore, the people of Israel played spiritual harlotry. Jeremiah is not known for his encouraging words, to say the least!
Yet we find in this book one of the most encouraging texts in the entire Bible regarding the future. This should teach us all a great lesson as we look into our collective future. Though the days of Israel looked bleak, there was a hope. It wasn’t a logical hope; but then true hope rarely is logical. It was attached to the belief that God was still with them and that He’d somehow, at some point, despite difficulties, trials, and failures, turn things around for His glory.
Mordecai Ham could have given up any number of times, but he kept on moving forward for the Lord, even when the majority of people were leaving his ministry to look for something a little more sophisticated and pleasing to the eyes and the ears. There are, however, in heaven today a lot of people who are glad that Mordecai didn’t give up. More than 300,000 who came to faith through his ministry, but beyond that, there were millions who came to faith through the ministry of Billy Graham are as well.
As we come to the end of the Daniel Fast 2020 and look forward to this New Year 2020-2021 we may not know what path the Lord will place us on, or where that path will lead us. But we know that as long as we don’t give up, the Lord will be with us and will bring us to the place He wants us to be.
ACTION POINT : Write down all directives the Lord has given you during the fast, and begin to carry them out.
PRAYER TARGET : Ask God to release His grace as you do His will.