The Christian Broadcasting Network

The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

Anne Graham Lotz

Founder, AnGeL Ministries, 1988, a non-profit organization that holds Just Give Me Jesus revivals

Second daughter of Billy and Ruth Graham; husband: Danny; mother to three grown children


Anne Graham Lotz: Faith and Our Suffering

By The 700 Club Why?

Anne Graham Lotz addresses perhaps the most universal question in the Christian faith, "Why, God?" She points to life events that can rock the faith of even the most devoted among us. And in every case, the answer is the same. Our response to God must be to trust Him. Not for a specific answer that we are sure would be perfect for us, but because He loves us and is always working in us and for us. His answer is to trust Him because He is trustworthy and He knows the big picture. Anne says, "When the pain is sharp and the doubt is deep and it's impossible to see the sense of it all, the only response that will carry you through is to trust God."

Personal Experience

Anne's encouragement to other believers is not made up of empty platitudes. She refers often to an 18-month period in her own life not long ago when she "went through a cluster of storms that left [her] emotionally gasping for breath." A hurricane downed 102 trees in her yard, a fire consumed her husband's dental office, her oldest son was diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery, the health of both of Anne's parents faltered, and a contractor made off with all the remodeling money from the Lotzs and did NONE of the work. Not only were all these negative circumstances occuring, but Anne's three children were each being married during the same time frame. Anne was on what could have been a deadly spiritual and emotional roller coaster ride. She learned afresh how to look into the face of the One who loves her and trust.

Anne's understanding of real trust in God started early in life. Unanswered prayers that she and others had poured out before the Lord for long seasons caused her to begin asking the big "why" questionsof God. She found that the path led her to ask God about those painful and difficult questions related to all types of suffering.

The Importance of the Word and a Promise

A gift from Anne's mother has been used repeatedly over the years to help her through the painful times. The book called Daily Light is a collection of Scriptures on each page, one for each day of the year. Since age 10, Anne has used this daily collection as part of her daily devotions. Anne knows that to get through the fiery, painful times with trust in the Lord, you need to know what His promises are to you. Often the Scriptures on a given day have been just the ones to encourage her to trust for that day. However you go about it, getting into the Word to hear and know God's promises is crucial to living through times when you simply don't understand. On the day of her son's cancer surgery, Anne read the promises of God and was overcome with His presence and peace regardless of the outcome.

Answering the Tough Questions

Anne offers a compassionate and scripturally rich explanation of how we are to live through and even grow through the bad times in our lives. She uses the accounts of Lazarus' death and resurrection and the Hebrew boys in Nebuchadnezzar's furnace to teach and challenge us at the same time. "Don't you think those boys begged God to deliver them out of bondage and send them home? Don't you imagine they were doing everything they knew to do and doing it right? And still God didn't answer. Instead He allowed them to face the fires of the superheated furnace." She asks, "Are you facing a superheated furnace? What God wants is for you to look full in the face of Jesus. Get your focus off whatever it is that appears to be unanswered and focus on the Son."

Whether God delivers you as He did Shadrach and his friends or resurrects the death in your life like Lazarus, or whether He, by His own intimate presence with you, provides grace to endure, He does it all with your best interest and spiritual wholeness in mind.

An Ailment in the Church

Anne believes our churches give refuge to a large number of saints who have allowed a pattern to overtake their lives. She says unanswered prayer gives way to hurt, hurt to resentment, and resentment to taking up an offense against God. That offense leads to anger, and anger finally results in bitterness. This is a barrier then between the believer and his or her God. At the beginning of such a cycle, you must get your eyes off "self" and get them on God and who God is. Believe there is a greater purpose, and as it is best for you, He will reveal it to you.

When it is finally all about Him, peace will come, and along with it, real freedom. She says that when you are in this downward spiral, "lay down" before God and give yourself up to Him. Anne says she experiences a great sense of personal security when at last she "lays down".

Anne pinpoints our tendency to doubt: doubt in God's love, doubt that He would intervene in our lifes, doubt that He personally cares one-on-one for us. And she speaks to the doubt when she encourages us to hear God's answer -- not "because!" but "I AM…". "I am with you. I know what I'm doing. I love you with an everlasting love. Trust Me!"

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