This One Only Comes Out After Three Years

Photo by jean wimmerlin on Unsplash

This week I heard more fully about Harry*, a friend from our former city whom I thought had fallen away from the faith. Three years ago he left our fledgling church plant, furious that we insisted on Jesus being the only way to God and that true believers must also hold to this truth. His mother was very sick at the time, which added personal fuel to the fire. Harry’s departure, full of anger and insults and personal attacks, was so extreme that I thought he was gone for good. Or at least that he had demonstrated his faith to be a farce. But I kept praying for him over the last three years, helped by the example of George Mueller and his simple, persistent records of prayer requests and answers. Nevertheless, I was shocked and then excited this week to hear that Harry had not only started coming back to the church again, but had actually repented to my teammate in tears for his conduct and words three years ago. He confessed that since then, God’s hand has been heavy on him. This is a stunning confession. In our context, it almost seems harder for a professing believer to repent of his sin and reconcile than it seems for someone to come to faith. Harry’s remarkable about-face has encouraged me afresh to keep on praying for my friends who have fallen away or flamed out. As John Piper has said, we always resist the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit is powerful to overcome that resistance anytime he pleases. May the Spirit continue to be pleased to overcome Harry’s resistance – indeed, my own resistance – to his glorious work.

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