Confident Faith in God Stories
Introduction and Story #1: Prayer for Housing
This new Musing series will focus on God’s gracious intervention in the lives of people today. Each story is an excerpt from In Search of a Confident Faith which I co-wrote with good friend and colleague, J. P. Moreland. I hope these records of real experiences will illustrate the power of testimony to build God-confidence. Although we cannot directly change our beliefs by will alone (as discussed in the previous Musings series: “Inner Heart Formation”), we can change them indirectly, and one important means is by seeking to expose ourselves to accounts of God’s miraculous actions for his children. And, despite our tendency to be skeptical of such reports due to our “naturalistic” leanings, it may be rational for one to pursue growth and exposure to these things even if one is not yet in a position to say he or she is rationally justified in believing that these things still happen.
In our journey, there is one principle we learned from Chuck Kraft that far and away has deepened our trust and confidence in God: the principle of the credible witness. A credible witness is someone we trust who is stable, reliable, informed enough to be qualified to testify to something, who has no reason to lie or exaggerate, who is respected in the broader Christian community or among those whom you know well. You will have to judge if we are, for you, credible witnesses. J.P. and I selected items from our own life or those we know well enough to vouch for that these event actually happened. The stories will alternate—some from J.P.’s experience and some from mine. Note that if two of us have seen happen such things to follow, can you imagine how incredibly active God is today if even only half of all Christians in the world today have had such encounters?
 Charles Kraft, Christianity with Power (Ann Arbor, MI: Vine, 1989; reprint, Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock), pp. 72, 93.
Story # 1: Prayer for Housing
JESUS: “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.’”
(Matthew 21: 21-22)
In the early months after my conversion, I (J.P.) learned a lesson about answered prayer that has stayed with me for thirty-five years. Here’s another event that happened to me at the beginning of my ministry. In 1971 I was assigned to work with Campus Crusade at a campus in Golden, Colorado. I began to pray specifically that God would provide me and my roommate with a white house with a white picket fence in the front yard around 2-3 miles from campus costing no more than $115/month (this was 1971!). After two weeks of daily prayer for this, I arrived in Golden and looked for three days for a place to live. I must have seen fifteen different places. I found nothing at all in Golden, but there was a two-bedroom apartment 10 miles away in Denver for $130/month. Frustrated, I told the manager I would take it. She informed me that the apartment was the only one left, a couple had seen it that morning, and had that day to decide to move in. If they did not take it, it was mine. She called me around 5 pm, informing me that the couple had moved in. I was back to square one.
That evening, I received a phone call from a fellow Crusade staff member, Kaylon. Keep in mind that no one, not even my roommate, knew anything at all about my prayer request. She asked if I still needed a place to live and proceeded to tell me that that very day, she had gone to Denver Seminary, looked on their bulletin board, and spotted a pastor who wanted to rent a house in Golden to Christians. I met the pastor at the house the next morning around 9 am. I drove up to a white house with a white picket fence that was two miles from campus and rented for $110/month! Another staff member and I lived there for the year and had a home to which we could invite students for ministry. By meditating on this, my faith to believe God has been strengthened over and over again.
“True faith is never found alone; it is always accompanied by expectations.
The man who believes the promise of God expects to see them fulfilled. Where there is no expectation there is no faith.”
A. W. Tozer
God Tells the Man Who Cares
(Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications, 1970), 37.
© J. P. Moreland and Klaus Issler, 2008. In Search of a Confident Faith: Overcoming Barriers to Trusting in God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity), pp. 141-142.