NOT GUILTY!

notguilty.gifAs I write this with tears of joy, I’m reminded of Peter’s words to a suffering people of God:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:3-9, KJV) [emphasis mine]

After fourteen months of a trial that took a family I love to the depths of sorrow and anxiety at times, a judge, a minister of God, declared what they had so longed to hear “NOT GUILTY!” to each of the criminal accusations made against them.  God was gracious to exonerate the reputation of a faithful family who have dedicated their lives to reach people in needy countries over the last 22 years.

Of course, God didn’t have to do that.  He could have allowed imprisonment and further trials into their lives.  Many men of God have suffered for His name, even to the point of death.  But, as the wife relayed to me this morning, “God is good.”  He was good to bring relief to this dear family.  He fulfilled His promise that He would not permit a trial of their faith without making them able to bear it.  He also made a way of escape. 

Praise God for His goodness and His grace!  Praise Him for vindicating a man of God!  Praise Him for protecting His name and His church!  Praise Him for the trial and all that was learned through it!  Praise Him for answering the prayers of countless saints on this family’s behalf!

Rejoice with joy unspeakable because we serve a Savior who died for us, who cares for us, and who is waiting eagerly to give us the end of our salvation!  For this family, His grace was sufficient.  His strength was real.  His test produced patience and faith.  He was faithful.  So were they.

If you would like to share in this celebration of God’s goodness, feel free to post your thoughts directly to the family here.  They will be reading.

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Joe Roof on January 19, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    Praise the Lord Brian!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Lyn Marshall on January 19, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    We have been praying for you from the first prayer request that Pastor McCrorie posted at Sharper Iron. We are so grateful to our Heavenly Father for these answers to prayer–not merely the “Not Guilty” verdict (although we are thrilled by it), but also His sustaining grace and peace through this fiery trial. Though we do not profess to know why He has allowed such trials in your lives and ministry, we are confident that He will use it in His sovereign plan to mature you, purify you, and further conform you to the image of His dear Son. May those who have observed you in this saga know that we serve a faithful, prayer-answering God!

    Reply

  3. Posted by Dawn Gearhart on January 19, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    Brian,
    God is so good! It is wonderful to hear a direct answer to prayer for this family. I too, know them, and am thankful for this ruling. Thanks for keeping us posted!
    Dawn Gearhart

    Reply

  4. Posted by Melinda on January 19, 2007 at 7:25 pm

    We praise the Lord with you, as we have been praying for you over the last several months. We are thankful for the judge’s ruling, but we are also thankful to know that the grace of God is sufficient to enable us to glorify Him even in the most painful circumstances. Surely He is good.

    Reply

  5. Posted by Christy on January 20, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    Just a simple thank you to all of you who kept our family in your prayers.
    Speaking to my parents yesterday and today, you can hear the happiness in their voices and feel the weight (14 month long) lifted off their shoulders. Again thanks for your thoughts and prayers. We continue to rejoice God is great.
    –the youngest daughter.

    Reply

  6. Posted by patricia beach (pat) on January 21, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    I have watched this dear family suffer for the last 14 months; I have seen them continue to serve our precious Lord, unselfishly; continue to praise the Lord daily for His goodness; They are truly examples of the believers, in season and out of season-I have experienced their cou’nsel, prayers, encouragement-for my own needs; I too saw the happiness restored to their eyes the day the “not guilty” verdict came in-she said to me “let us not look back but continue on to serve our blessed , loving, gracious Lord.” I can not say enough about this dear, loving family; I am blessed to be their friend. Thanks to so many from coast to coast who prayer re. the trial.

    Reply

  7. As you know, we have been praying, and we heard the news of the verdict at my mom’s on Friday! We were so elated and thankful that God worked this situation out in this way! Much love and many hugs to this faithful family!
    Jenny, Tony, and Abby

    Reply

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