Faith is not a feeling. When danger comes, fear is inevitable. When our bodily chemistry sets up a sense of impending disaster or we suffer heavy blows and our circumstances are oppressive and dark or when pain and illness sit with us at the fireside—fear and alarm come as a natural cause and effect. What then does faith do? It takes the shackles from our ankles, and we challenge their paralyzing grip and go ahead anyway. With God, fear will not stop us. We overcome.
Tonight, the First Lady of Uganda opened the final meeting of this Gospel Campaign by professing her faith in Jesus Christ and encouraging the thousands in attendance to surrender their lives to Him. Then a very full program began.
As you know, we have struggled this week with the weather here in Mbarara, Uganda in almost every meeting. Tonight was no exception. As we gathered on the field, the rain began to pour. I could see that people were starting to scatter looking for shelter, anticipating another deluge. I decided that we could not let another opportunity pass. I quickly ran to the platform, took the mic, and prayed against the rain. I then began to preach, knowing that I may only have a few minutes before we were rained out once again. But amazingly, as I started preaching the rain turned to a sprinkle, and then stopped completely! A few minutes later, the skies were clear and the sun was shining through. We finished the whole service without an interruption. The crowd kept growing the entire night, and after praying for the sick, we heard amazing testimonies.
As I sit in my room after tonight’s service here in Mbarara, Uganda, completely soaked to the bone, what is most pronounced in my heart is what an amazing honor it is to minister to these precious people. I experienced a couple “firsts” here tonight. For one thing, it’s the first time I’ve preached in a hat! Also, although I’ve preached in the rain many times, it’s the first time that it poured the entire length of a service.
Today has been an interesting day. It began this morning as the first meeting of our Fire Conference was rained out by a cold, unrelenting, torrential downpour. It was the first time I can remember this ever happening. I sent a message to you and asked for prayer. Tonight, the skies were clear and the weather was perfect.
After nearly 55 hours of travel, we’ve finally arrived in Mbarara, Uganda for our Gospel Crusade that starts tomorrow night. As we drove for several hours through country, we stopped for a photo op at a monument indicating that we were just passing over the equator.
The New Testament usually uses only one Greek word for fear, phobeo. Jesus said, “Do not have phobia, have faith.” Jesus had no room for cowards. He said, “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
Mbarara is the main municipal, administrative and commercial center of Mbarara District. It is also the location of the district headquarters in Western Uganda, besides being the largest urban centre in the area.
Nobody adds anything to his or her life by unbelief. It is a dead negative. Faith particularly acts against the fears that populate the future and cause a thousand other fears to haunt us. We either fear God or we fear everything else.
The essence of fear is being faced with something greater than ourselves, some greater person or Being or intelligence or power. Our fear lies with whatever we see as the greatest thing. If we see God as the greatest, we will fear God more than the devil or men. If we fear the devil the most, we think of him as being greater than God.