Sermon Illustrations

Consider Bill, who was just a young man at the time. He had tried preaching, but didn’t always feel the power of God or see any results. One of his contemporaries, Charles Templeton, got into academia and started to believe scripture as flawed and outdated. Bill wondered about all of this. A friend of his, Henrietta Mears, invited him to speak at a Christian retreat center called Forest Home. The night before, he went off alone into the nearby woods, put his Bible on a stump, and had an honest talk with God. He prayed, “O God! There are many things in this book I do not understand. There are many problems with it for which I have no solution. There are many seeming contradictions. There are some areas in it that do not seem to correlate with modern science. I can’t answer some of the philosophical and psychological questions Chuck and others are raising.”

And then he fell to his knees and the Holy Spirit moved in him as he said, “Father, I am going to accept this as Thy Word—by faith! I’m going to allow faith to go beyond my intellectual questions and doubts, and I will believe this to be Your inspired Word!”

He later wrote that, as he stood up, his eyes stung with tears, but he felt the power and presence of God in a way he hadn’t in months. “A major bridge had been crossed,” he said. The next day he preached with a new vitality. Mears noted, he “preached with authority” that she hadn’t seen before. And some 400 people made a commitment to Christ that day. A few weeks later he would preach the historic Los Angeles Crusade. It was planned to go three weeks, but ended up going eight. And the career of an upstart evangelist took off. The world found Billy Graham, as Billy found the Word of God.

[Summarized from https://billygraham.org/story/the-tree-stump-prayer-where-billy-graham-overcame-doubt/]

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