Living By Faith - The One Year Christian History

Living By Faith

What would it be like to live by faith, telling your needs only to God and to no one else?

GOD LEADS different people in different ways, but he led George Müller to trust him for everything in life and to let his needs be known to God alone.

Müller was born in Prussia in 1805, and though he trained for the Lutheran ministry, he led a degenerate life of petty thievery, once spending three weeks in jail. When he was a young man of twenty, a friend invited him to a private home, where on Saturday evenings there was prayer, hymn singing, Bible reading, and the reading of a printed sermon since it was illegal in Prussia for laymen to explain the Scriptures. Just hearing about such a gathering intrigued him. The meeting both puzzled and thrilled Müller. He realized that even though he was much better educated than the others present, he could not pray as eloquently as these simple tradesmen. That night Müller went home feeling that he had found what he was seeking. God had begun a work of grace in his heart, and he went to sleep peaceful and happy in Jesus.

God continued to work in his life, and in 1829 Müller went to London for training to be a missionary to the Jews. Upon meeting some of the first Plymouth Brethren, a group of Christians who functioned without a paid clergy, Müller became convinced of their teachings. Over the next few years he ministered at several Plymouth Brethren chapels in England.

Earlier in his life, while a student in Halle, Germany, Müller had observed the orphanages that August Francke, the German Pietist, had begun in 1696. Through the years he thought about founding an orphanage, but it was on November 21, 1835, after reading a book about Francke’s life, that he felt God’s definitely leading beyond the mere idea to a firm resolve to start an orphanage in Bristol, England. He immediately asked God for a building, funds to support it, and godly people to operate it. His orphanage was operational within five months and remained the major project of his life.

George Müller continually trusted God for the daily operations of the orphanage. November 21, 1838, three years after his decision to start the orphanage, is a case in point. On this particular day there was not a single halfpenny in the orphanage’s coffers to buy bread for the evening meal. At one o’clock Müller prayed with his staff for their daily bread and told them that they must wait and see how the Lord would see fit to meet their need.

Feeling that he needed some exercise, Müller went out for a walk. On his way back, about twenty yards from his house he met a Christian brother, who gave him five pounds for the orphans. God put Müller in the right place at the right time to meet the man who made the donation.

Exactly one year later, on November 21, 1839, his journal provides another illustration of living by faith. On that day some small contributions were received at the orphanage, enough for the next day’s breakfast but not enough for the next dinner. Müller described that day’s staff meeting in his journal, “Our comfort . . . is ‘The morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.’ Matt. 6:34. We separated very happy in God, though very poor, and our faith much tried.”

Two and a half hours before dinner the next day a large box arrived at the orphanage with a generous contribution and some valuable articles that could be sold. The joy of George Müller and his fellow workers was indescribable, as God had once more provided for his orphans.

Reflection

To what extent do you live by faith? Just as we were saved by faith, so we are to live by faith. George Müller’s life exemplifies what it means to trust God for one’s daily needs. Just as we are to trust God for our salvation, we are also to trust him for the specifics of life. Examine your life to determine the areas in which you need to put living by faith into practice.

We live by believing and not by seeing.

2 Corinthians 5:7

From the Book:

The One Year Christian History cover image


The One Year Christian History
By E. Michael Rusten and Sharon O. Rusten
Tyndale
$7.99

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