It was one of the biggest crusades that I have ever held. People were flocking from all directions and it was evident that the lord was on my side, and I was going to win as many proselytes as possible. Every time I stood to preach on the pulpit, I could see many people attentively listening to my sermons. People were leaving their business and daily works just to come and listen to me.
“Pastor Kiasman is truly a prophet, his words are very encouraging. His sermons are real food for thought and a healing for our souls.” I once heard a woman say. Many troubled people had found peace and tranquility after listening to my encouraging sermons. Truly, God was on my side. But the real test for my faith was on the way.
The call for conversion
After a whole three weeks of non-stop preaching, I decided to make a call to the people who were willing to accept Jesus Christ as their savior. The call was so solemn and I could see many people meditating upon the call. The crowds got a bit agitated and I thought I was going to have very many converts. I knew I had taught people all the ways of salvation and steps to Jesus Christ. I had taught people what faith is and how to have faith. I had taught and convinced people the importance of putting God first in their lives and I was very sure that they had understood. But my expectations, and mostly my faith was about to be put to the greatest test I have ever had since I got saved and become a pastor.
The test of Faith
I made the call of salvation hopping that the turnout would be very big. To my surprise, no one came forward. It was evident even my helpers and council of elders were disappointed, and their faith was subjected to a great test. How could I preach so hard yet fail to get even a single convert?
I made several other calls of salvation. When I was about to despair, a mad man came towards the pulpit pushing people, uttering incoherent words of insults, throwing the objects he was carrying and hitting anyone on sight. He reached where I was and said, “Pastor, I want to be saved.” Then he continued with his madness on the dais, scattering objects and pushing people away. One elder proposed that we chase him away or call the police for help. I also was very disappointed but did not want to show to the whole public that my faith was shaken to the bone.
I ignored the mad man and continued preaching but deep inside I was crying and asking God, “Of this entire crowd, this is the only person you have saved?”
A Prayer of Faith
On our way to the hotel we had boarded, we chatted freely with my helpers. They were suggesting that we ignore the mad man and continue with our work of preaching and calling people for salvation.
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Back at the hotel in the evening, I made this prayer, “…God, you are the one who knows the reason for everything to happen, and thus I am confident that you know why you brought this mad man to me. May the blood of Jesus Christ save this mad man, and may your name be glorified in his madness….AMEN!”
My fellows were deeply touched by my prayer for the mad man and they all volunteered to pray for him and his healing. Our faith was about to be put to the greatest test we ever had in our ministry. We believed that even if it was for the sake of one sinner, God would have sent Jesus Christ to die for him.
The struggle against the powers of darkness
Even at the end of the crusade, the only proselyte we had was the mad man who told us his name was Paul. We took Paul with us and took him to a mental hospital where he could undergo some counseling, therapies, rehabilitation, and receive some medication as it was apparent he was suffering from myriad maladies. It also emerged that he used to abuse drugs and hurt himself physically.
We continued to pray for Paul, who was in turn very co-operative with the doctors to our surprise. It also turned out that his madness was partly related to drug abuse. As doctors struggled with Paul during his rehabilitation, we struggled in our prayers beseeching God to heal Paul.
God indeed answered our prayers and after a whole 5 months, Paul was not just healed, but was quiet sane and had enrolled in one of our theological schools as a bible student. It turned out that Paul was a very bright man who due to life’s difficulties, he had degenerated to his previous state. Many mad people in our society as it is are not really mad, but are like that since the society did not heed their cry for help when they were falling into the abyss of hopelessness and despair, until they got mentally tortured by difficult life and they ended up being mad.
Paul got baptized and converted. He accepted Jesus Christ as his savior and become a member of our local church. The most surprising element of God’s work was yet to come. It turned out that due to his madness, Paul was very popular in the whole neighborhood. People used to joke with him, tease him, beat him after he does some mischief and subject him into all manners of mistreatments.
After Paul regained his sanity and normalcy, he became an active member of the church and took it upon himself to tell people the extent of his marvelous deliverance from the abyss of hopelessness and insanity. People got so perplexed by the thought of Paul standing in front of people preaching! Due to that, many people started flocking to our church, not to be converted, but to see Paul the madman preaching!
The entire neighborhood got to hear of the news of Paul’s deliverance. They started comparing themselves with his previous state and would often ask, “If Paul can be delivered from madness, then who am I not to be delivered from my current problems?” The thought of a mad man becoming completely sane, and not only that, becoming successful as a human being was very strange but encouraging to every person.
When Paul took it upon himself to tell people to come to Jesus Christ for deliverance, almost everyone who knew him as a mad man came forward. It was like an invisible force was driving them towards Paul, and thus towards God. Many got converted, baptized, and completely healed from their various physical and spiritual maladies. It was evident that God was really working through Paul to reach to the people.
Paul brought very many new converts, more than anyone who had ever become the member of the church since it started existing in that neighborhood. Many got delivered because of Paul “The mad man”.
A Great Lesson
It dawned upon everyone that in our society there are those people who we continue to look down upon as rotten, useless, troublemakers, mad, and lost beyond salvation, etc, but no matter how useless they can be to the society, they can and are very useful to God. God can make a very strange and unusual occurrence to happen upon the people in the society in order to teach people a great lesson, and to use it as an opportunity to save them.
Moreover, God may send upon us some experiences, though undesirable, in order to prepare us and the society for His great work that He shall later accomplish by using us as a living testimony that what is impossible with human being, to God it is possible. We may fall sick, depressed, poor, rejected by the society, totally dejected, etc. But God is doing that on purpose, and in the end His name shall be glorified through you. Are you in a state of hopelessness and despair now, is the society looking down upon you due to that? Do you feel dejected...Don’t lose hope but give glory to God, God is doing that in preparation for your glorification and magnification.
People shall look at you and behold what God has done for you. God’s ways are marvelous ways.
Let us pray this prayer of Faith together:
“Father in the name of Jesus Christ, we come before you now thanking you for this life that we have now. Jehovah, you know what state I am as of now. I know it is in accordance to your will for me to be the way I am. All I am praying, Oh! Jehovah is that your holy name may in the end be glorified and magnified due to who I am as of now. In Jesus name I pray, trust and believe: AMEN”