Here’s an inspiring sermon by the late healing evangelist, Kathryn Kuhlman:
I received a letter from a woman who chanced to tune in one of my radio programs. For more than four years she has cared for her ailing father, who was a consecrated and godly man, having served in the pulpit most of his life. Now the daughter is having a running battle with massive self-pity. As a result, her life is a total wreckage, stripped of value, and her heart is filled with questions about ultimates – what purpose there is in anything. All she can feel is a great aching void and emptiness, and a sense of futility about almost everything. She asked me the question, “What can I do?”
My first reaction to this woman’s question was this: Does she actually believe what her father taught and preached for more than sixty years? If her father preached the truth, if she believed what he preached, then she need not be living a life of defeat, for there is victory in the Lord Jesus Christ.
God’s Word in Philippians 4:13 states, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” And God’s Word cannot and will not fail. Know that! I can do all things. You can do all things. No man or woman need ever be defeated, and this daughter, whose letter touched my heart so deeply, need know no defeat whatsoever unless she consents to be defeated. Her father preached it. He believed it. Does she believe the Word of God? If she will believe it, she will do something about it. She is going to act like it and she will gain the victory.
First of all, I’m going to say something that you may not have considered before. The writer of this letter is perhaps waiting for some miracle to happen on the outside. It is a mistake for any of us to wait for some miracle to be performed from without, lifting us above our self-centeredness, above our fears and doubts. A person helps God from within by turning with outgoing love to others, and then miraculously all fears, doubts, and self-centeredness vanish. But not until then. The miracle starts from within and not from without. You must throw your will on the side of outgoing love, and all the healing resources of the universe will be behind you.
Neither God nor man, however, can help you if you remain bottled up in yourself, in your own self-pity, and in your own self-centeredness. All the medicine that you can take, all the advice that I might be able to give you, all the sermons you may hear, everything that you might know mentally, will never help you until you start doing something yourself. Neither God nor anyone else can help you if you remain closed up in your own self-pity. I urge you to get out of yourself or you will perish. Get out of yourself or you will remain a defeated person.
Do you want to know something? I have learned that victories that come cheap are cheap. Only those are worth having that come as a result of hard fighting, and sometimes the fighting becomes mighty hard and relentless. But those are the victories that are worthwhile victories. I know from personal experience that this is so. It was the stones that bruised my feet that made me strong. It was the Gethsemanes in my life, those hard battles and testing times when I felt I was almost crushed and the waters almost overflowed , that fashioned the qualities of courage and trust deep within me. Those victories that came easily were worth little. But there will never be a dungeon in your life where the Master is not able and willing to give you grace and victory in your darkest hour.
Think with me for a moment. Did you know that Milton wrote Paradise Lost when blind? He did not allow affliction to rob him of the victory. Then there was a man who was set aside with a broken hip, and while lying in bed, continually looking at the wallpaper around him, he conceived the idea of becoming a sketch artist, and became a very successful one. He, too, found grace in his darkest hour. These two men could have been defeated in their dungeon, but they gained the victory.
A poet failed miserably on his first night of a public reading, and felt the scornful shame of his audience laughing at him. But instead of accepting defeat, he went home and wrote his greatest inspirational work on the ability to take it in spite of failure. His poem came to the attention of a man hospitalized, one who had lost both arms and feet. He was so inspired that he became a successful public reader. Yes, all of these found grace in their dungeons.
I once learned of a doctor who was totally paralyzed in her lower limbs as a result of infantile paralysis. When she applied for acceptance at medical colleges here in America, they refused her, saying she could never practice medicine in her condition. Was she defeated? Not on your life. No one can disagree that she had reason to be defeated and discouraged, but this is what she did. She went to China and received her medical degree there, where she stood at the top of her class. Not only that, she returned to one of the very cities where she had been refused acceptance at their medical college, passed her state exam, and is now practicing medicine from her wheelchair in an institution for handicapped children.
No man or woman need ever be defeated on a single score unless they consent to be defeated. You may lose both feet and yet there is victory. You may lose both arms and yet there is victory. You may lose the sight of your eyes, or the hearing in both ears, and yet there is victory. Victories that come cheap are cheap. Only those that come as a result of hard fighting are worth having. The rose-strewn paths the weaklings creep, but brave hearts dare to climb the steep.
Give us courage,
Give us faith;
Give us victory,
For Jesus’ sake!