George Campbell Biography, Evangelist to Newfoundland - 17 - GOD HAS A PLAN

 PART III

THE CHALLENGE OF SUFFERING

Five things I expect out of life:

1.  I expect joy:

Jesus said, ?I am come that you might have life.... ?Don?t be a donkey Christian-long face; ?Rejoice in the Lord" - happy face.

2.  I expect my prayers to be answered.

3. I expect success in service:

I am not asking for man?s type of success, that makes headlines and big money. I want success in the work of Jesus. I want to be used of Him to win souls to Christ, to help saints, to comfort. Not set my heart toward failure. Should set my heart toward success.

4.  I expect a happy home going:

I?d like to say with Paul, ?I have fought a good fight. I want to give my farewell to my loved ones, ?Meet me in heaven?? Bonds let loose the cage at the graveside -- they fill the air around with music. .

5.  I expect problems and difficulties.

(Found in George?s notes after his death.)

CHAPTER 17

GOD HAS A PLAN

?Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, Thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways??

Psalm 139:2-3

Excerpt from a letter:

?Francis told his testimony last Sunday night and I know it brought back many memories to a lot of people there when he told of the man in the little United School who pointed him to Christ. My mind went back to May 28, 1965, when the same man sat beside me and pointed me to the Saviour. Mr. Campbell has a special place in our hearts, not only in pointing us to the Saviour, but for instructing us in the right ways. As we look back, we can truly say, Mr. Campbell, that your faith­fulness has been unchanging, Your guidance unerring and your guidance unfailing. We know you can say as Acts 26:22, ?Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day...??

COMFORT IN CRISIS

On the seventeenth of August, 1984, I was sitting in the hospital bed. The doctor had told me earlier that the operation I was going to have would be very serious jf he had to take that pancreas out. He said, ?It?s like walking across the street; you might make it and you might not??

I read in Philippians 1:21, ?For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain?? I identified with Paul as I felt caught between two: ?a desire to be with Christ, which is far better, but knowing that to remain in the flesh would be a help to the work of God. (Paul was imprisoned, facing possi­ble immediate death.) My conclusion was, ?For me to live is Christ, and if I die, it is gain, because I am in the presence of Christ and really, that is what counts. Nothing else matters.

I lay back and had a good night?s sleep. The next morning I went to the operating room, helpless, but God was there. They never took my pancreas; I still have the cancer. God took care of me then and He is taking care of me now. I know I can really depend on Jesus Christ. He is real, He is warm, He is loving, and He is all-caring. I wouldn?t trade Him for anything.

Because I am a gospel preacher doesn?t mean that I am exempt from sickness, cancer or anything else. It is wonderful to have Jesus Christ with me. It is wonderful to know that even though the trials are hard, the harder they are, the closer He comes. My Jesus is a wonderful Saviour.

GOD HAS MADE PROVISION FOR YOU

I would like to present Him to you today that you might accept Him, not a religion, not a new philosophy, but a real person. God has given us a wonderful book. If you have never taken time to hear the gospel, go and hear it now. If you have never had a time of repentance for your sins, which are many, look to Jesus Christ, Who shed His blood and paid for them fully at the cross. God wants you to do that. God isn?t willing that any should perish. You must make preparation for eternity. God has a prov1s~on. ...

God has a provision for the salvation of your soul. It is found in the man, Christ Jesus. He is God and receives everyone who has repented and received Jesus Christ as Saviour. I would like you to do this today.

THREE ALTERNATIVES

God has a plan for the believer?s life. There are three different things that can happen to me as a result of this cancer. He can completely cure it, He can leave it with me or He can use it as His way of taking me home to heaven.

If He wants to raise me up, surely God would want me to fulfill His further plan for evangelism with a better understanding of His mind and will. I would have learned a lesson of humility in the service of the Lord. How often we serve God in pride!

Secondly, if He wants me to remain here and suffer with this thorn in the flesh, then I ask for grace and strength that I don?t have, but I believe He can give. I have learned in the school of suffering that no matter how serious the illness or disease, God is able to sustain in the fiery trial of pain!

The third alternative is that my work is finished and that my Lord is ready to welcome me at the portals of heaven. I have learned the les­son that all service comes to an end. Having served my generation, what a blessing to fall asleep in Jesus.

WE LOOK BEYOND THE GRAVE

The phone rang the other day and a voice on the other end of the line said, ?I understand you are interested in buying some property??

I asked, ?What made you think I was interested in buying some property??

He said that someone had referred me to them. Actually, the property turned out to be two feet by six feet by six feet deep. It was one of the cemeteries wanting to sell me a plot. Such is the ?subtle? approach to the subject of death.

Our family has been able to be open to the subject of death and I be­lieve are better prepared for it by discussing it together. As Christians, we are looking for a better land but some of us will be leaving our bodies behind for a while.

Related scriptures: Philippians 1:21; Psalm 46:1-5; Isaiah 43:2; Psalm 139;

II Corinthians 12:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-15; Ii Timothy 4:6-7; Philippians

1:23; 1 Corinthians 15:16-19; 1 Corinthians 15:51; Acts 13:36.