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August 13, 2007

Trusting God

One of the principles the Forrests had to learn early and quickly was the principle of trusting God for great things. Think about it: if you trust the Lord for small things, more than like that is exactly what you will receive—the bare minimal, and enough to get by. But if we trust Him for great things we will receive His abundance—shaken together, pressed down, and overflowing. One of Dr. Forrest’s favorite passages of Scripture was Jeremiah 33:3. This verse meant so much to him that whenever he was asked to sign a copy of Achieving the Impossible with God, he always included this verse. “Call to me, and I will answer you and tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” It is a verse of greatly anticipated expectation. One that announced trust in an infinite God who had only great things in store for those who would come, trust, call, listen, wait, and walk with Him each day.

The following short story from Achieving the Impossible is a portrayal of what it means to expect great things from God. “Rev. Forrest had occasion, just before a [bank] note fell due, to go to Atlanta. He thought, “Well, while I’m in Atlanta, somebody will mention money and will come to our help.” But no one did. [He had been claiming a promise that he had read during his prayer time written by Rev. Cowper. It was also a line from a hymn: “God works in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.”] For some reason he had no supper that evening, and when breakfast time came the next morning he decided to fast through that meal praying for the one hundred dollars he needed [to pay the debt in Toccoa.]

“At eleven o’clock that morning he boarded a train for Toccoa, just to go to the bank and state frankly that he did not have the money and would have to wait a little while before paying it. He had a seat in the day coach next to the dining car. As people went into the diner, Rev. Forrest could smell the food being prepared for lunch. Having had neither supper nor breakfast, he felt so famished that he decided he couldn’t wait until he got to Toccoa for his own lunch.

“As he was leaving the diner after eating, he passed a table at which was seated a very sweet-faced old lady. To his surprise, she bowed and smiled and called him by name. He thoughts, “Now I wonder who that could be,” at the same time stopping and telling her that he was glad to see her but could not remember her name.

“‘Oh,’ she said, ’you wouldn’t remember me, but I have been greatly blessed under your preaching in New York City. I have been to California and now am on my way back home to New York. When they told me this morning that we were in the state of Georgia, you, of course, came to my mind; and I remembered that you had a school somewhere in Georgia. I was so happy when I saw you come into the dining car a few minutes ago, and I believe the Lord sent you in. I have wanted for a long time to do something to help in the work of the school, but I kept forgetting your address; and when I could have found it, I postponed writing you. Perhaps I could do something to help right now.‘

“Rev. Forrest could have fallen upon her neck, but he didn’t. He only said, ‘Well, you know that help is needed at any time and all the time for a work like the Toccoa Falls Institute.’

“‘Yes,‘ she answered, ‘that’s right. And if you’ll come back to my compartment, I’ll arrange it right now.’

“‘Oh, but we are approaching Toccoa, and I must get off.’

“‘That’s all right; I am quite through, and there’ll surely be time.’ With that, she started back to her compartment, and he followed.
“It took her a long time to find her checkbook in her handbag; it took a longer time to find her fountain pen; and he stood there, not knowing what to say. He just remained silent, not knowing whether she would give him five dollars or five hundred. Finally she got the cap off her pen, opened the checkbook—and the pen was dry. Knowing that they were already coming into the railroad yards of Toccoa, he hastened to hand her his pen and, lo and behold, it was also out of ink.

“Rev. Forrest felt he must have that check, whatever its amount might be, so he said, ‘Wait a minute, I’ll find you a pen.’ He dashed through the coach and went into the washroom. There he saw a man with several pens showing from his vest pocket. Impetuously he grabbed one of them and started out.

“‘Come back with my pen!’ yelled the man.

“‘I will in a few minutes, brother,’ Rev. Forrest called over his shoulder, as he rushed back to the old lady. By now he remembered that all trains stopped at Toccoa to take on water for the locomotives, and that it would be about ten minutes before the train would pull into the station proper.

“The lady made out the check and handed it to him. It was for two hundred dollars—twice as much as he needed to meet the loan at the bank.”

Two hundred dollars may not appear to be a very great thing today. But in the early 1900s it was. When you ask God for something, believe that He will do it and not only that trust Him for even greater things that He wants to do!

(Taken from the online book Grace in The Wilderness © 2007