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Who among us has not had trouble at one time or another? Some of you reading this letter are in trouble right now and you do not have the answer as to your way out. Believe me, I know what trouble is! Jan and I have had our share over these past 34 years of pioneering our blessed TBN. But we are a witness that our God is a deliverer from trouble — praise the Lord!

But there is a most blessed story in the Bible (1 Samuel 7:7) that better illustrates the subject of troubles as well as God’s deliverance. As was so often the case, the children of Israel had, as we would call it, backslidden! They had returned to the worship of idols — Baal, Ashtaroth, and other heathen gods. As a result, God withdrew His blessings and protection over His chosen people, the children of Israel. They had forgotten the many mighty miracles: the crossing of the Red Sea and the deliverance of the bondage of the Egyptian forced labor; the provision of the manna; the water from the rock by the faith and hand of Moses; as well as the deliverance from many enemies, even after crossing the Jordan River under the leadership of Joshua.

Their mortal enemy was the Philistines who had actually captured the Holy Ark of the Covenant that had the tablets of the Ten Commandments placed within it. As a result, God smote the Philistines and eighty thousand of them died by the hand of God! Believe me, the Philistines were only too glad to return the Ark to the Israelites, which they did, but that is another whole story.

Samuel was the judge and prophet during this period. Would you believe that after a period of time the Philistines decided to invade and conquer Israel yet again? They heard that Israel had repented and returned to the God of Israel — the One who had killed eighty thousand of the Philistines for violating the Holy Ark of the Covenant. So here they came to conquer Israel!

“When the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together in Mizpeh [to repent], the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines.” (1 Sam. 7:7)

So here comes the trouble brought on because of the backsliding and sin of the children of Israel. Even though they had repented and God had forgiven them, there was a price to be paid for their sin. That principle continues to this very day, but this is another whole teaching for us today.

Now it is getting very serious. The Philistines are approaching and the children of Israel are in great fear:

“And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the LORD our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines.” (1 Sam. 7:8)

Most of us would call out the National Guard or the Marines or the police — somebody to save us! But what did Samuel do? Now, here is another KEY, another SECRET to God’s deliverance from our troubles:

“And Samuel took a suckling lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the LORD: And Samuel cried unto the LORD for Israel; and the LORD heard him. (1 Sam. 7:9)

How strange — the enemy swooping down upon them and Samuel gives an OFFERING to the Lord! Our military leaders would say he was nuts! Ah, but how different are the ways of OUR LORD! That little lamb offering was a type of our precious Lord Jesus who would later be the Lamb of God that would ultimately deliver us from our enemies if we would but put our trust in Him! Praise the Lord!

So, now the “rest of the story.”

“And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited [confused] them; and they were smitten before Israel.” (1 Sam. 7:10)

Don’t you want to know and serve this God who alone can deliver us from trouble? I sure do and have proved Him over and over. I am here today, and TBN is here today, only by the hand of the God of Israel who has raised we Gentiles and made us sons of the promise to Abraham and the prophets as the apostle Paul declares:

“And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3:29)

Praise God — WE can call upon our God in times of trouble, just as Samuel did, and know that God hears us just the same. But don’t forget the KEY! Samuel first offered God an OFFERING and God then gave them a great victory over their enemies! Did the offering buy the victory? No, a thousand times NO! It simply acknowledged to Israel that God was now their God and that their trust was wholly in Him.

Do you have any trouble? Do you need a deliverance from something that has been troubling you? Are enemies swooping down on you as they were the children of Israel? Why not do what Samuel did? Offer God an offering — tell Him that He is your God and that you will love and serve Him the rest of your life.

Our great Fall Praise-a-Thon® begins on November 4, but you can make your pledge by mail or on our secure website: www.tbn.org.

Jan and I love you, lo, these 34 years and will join you in making this the greatest Praise-a-Thon® ever — and as we do, the proceeds will allow us to add more satellites, stations, cables, and now internet streaming to reach the rest of the world for Jesus!

God did it for Samuel and He is no respecter of persons! Let us hear from you — you will be on our prayer list forever!

Join your worldwide TBN family for a glorious time of REVIVAL Praise-a-Thon®, November 4-9!

Completed earlier this year, TBN’s new Manila, Philippines satellite uplink station now broadcasts the Gospel to the great “10/40” window of the world—home to more than half the earth’s population! Completed earlier this year, TBN’s new Manila, Philippines satellite uplink station now broadcasts the Gospel to the great “10/40” window of the world—home to more than half the earth’s population!