Although we might tend to think of the older hymns that are birthed in times of testing, there are, of course, hymns and songs from more recent hymnists that have come via difficult circumstances. One such song is “What A Faithful God Have I.”
Robert & Dawn Critchley joint authors of this song were involved in leading worship at Niagara Community Church, Niagara, Canada. During their time there they were blessed with 4 children: Bethany, Noah, Gideon and Elijah. Gideon John Critchley died just days after his birth because of multiple health complications.
Robert and Dawn testify that it was the eternal love and grace of God that gave them both hope and comfort through this difficult time of their lives. They know that Gideon was not a mistake and that he was “fearfully and wonderfully made”. The presence of the Lord was especially evident to both of them in that difficult time.
Through the comfort that they received from God (that Gideon was whole and in the arms of Jesus and that one day they would be with their son again) they have had the privilege and consolation of comforting others in life’s sufferings. Out of the suffering of that time came the song “What A Faithful God.”
In this week’s episode I was reunited with my erstwhile co-host Gadi Taub. We discussed the successful Flag Parade in Jerusalem in the context of the Muslim Brotherhood dominated Israeli government, and the previous Netanyahu-led government’s decision to cancel last year’s parade in the face of mass Arab Israeli violence and Hamas’s missile offensive.
We discussed the increasingly palpable atmosphere of rebellion among Arab Israelis in the face of Israel’s elites who refuse to defend the country. As Gadi put it, “If you look at the project of the new elects, what they really mean when they say ‘populism’ is hat they hate the populace. That’s the heart of it.”
From the threat of Israeli Arab rebellion and the betrayal of Israel’s elites, we moved to the state of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ongoing trial for bribery. Over the past six months, the prosecution has brought some 15 witnesses to the stand to make its case that Netanyahu received bribes for regulatory favors. First the claim of bribery fell apart. And over the past month, the claim that he provided regulatory favors has fallen apart. We summarized the state of play in the trial and what now hangs in the balance for Israeli democracy and the criminal justice system.
The inspiring story of former Muslim Nabeel Qureshi you will never forget. If you have Muslim friends with whom you have been sharing the Gospel; I pray that many of them would be open to watching Nabeel’s incredible story.
I followed the ministry of Nabeel Qureshi for years. He was a Muslim who sought truth and found Jesus Christ, to be his Lord and Savior. Our Lord came to him in a dream and then another dream. His friend in college shared the Gospel in the spirit of love with Nabeel. He searched for truth and found it in the One who IS Truth.
If you never saw Nabeel speak of his conversion, and of his love and devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ – you missed such a blessing. But Nabeel leaves a rich legacy and you need only to go to youtube.com and type in his name. His brilliance, charisma and his gift of teaching will grab you. I guarantee that you will have to watch each video in its entirety.
After his diagnosis of stage 4 stomach cancer, he began doing vlogs to communicate with others his thoughts and his progress of his treatment for the cancer.
WND.com did a beautiful piece on the life of Nabeel:
Ex-Muslim, author, evangelist Nabeel Qureshi dead at 34
As a former Muslim who boldly, with a passion rooted in intellectual rigor, declared through speeches, campus talks, debates, New York Times best-selling books and digital media that Jesus Christ – not Allah, or Buddha or any other name – is the only way to salvation, Nabeel Qureshi wanted to make sure before he left this life at the age of just 34 that his listeners understood he was motivated by love.
Qureshi, who died Friday in Houston, Texas, loved even the Muslims who wrote to tell him the stomach cancer that began to take his life one year ago was punishment from Allah.
His ultimate aim was not to condemn, but to see Muslims come to faith in his savior, Jesus.
“When we talk to people about our beliefs, we should do it through a lens of love,” said Qureshi, who until his cancer diagnosis had been an itinerant speaker with RZIM, the organization founded by renowned Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias.
Qureshi was a protégé of Zacharias, who wrote Monday that his heart is “broken at the loss of one who ran with spectacular passion to do what filled his soul.”
“In like manner, Nabeel came like a streak of lightning, brightened the night sky, and has returned to the One who gave the power to do what he did.”
A celebration of Qureshi’s life will be held Thursday at 10 a.m. Central Time at Houston’s First Baptist Church. The service will be livestreamed at the church’s website and its Facebook page, as well as on the website and Facebook page of RZIM.
He leaves behind his wife, Michelle, and his daughter, Ayah.
The cancer diagnosis, he said, was “something a lot of Muslims are going to see and say, ‘This is the one who’s been making a big deal about having left Islam for Christ and, look, Allah is cursing him.’”
“So my prayer, really, is that through all this, the testimony of what Christ has done in my life won’t be dishonored,” he said.
Stuart McAllister, RZIM’s global support specialist, told WND the whole staff is “grieving but rejoicing in who he was.”
“Nabeel was larger than life and loved life,” McAllister said. “… He was bold as a lion and yet very compassionate.
“Everywhere I have traveled this year, from New York to Chennai, in Europe or Asia, I was asked how [Qureshi] is doing and told stories of how lives had been touched and changed by him,” he said.
On Monday, McAllister said, an Indian friend told of how her Muslim friend came to faith in Jesus Christ after reading one of Nabeel’s books.
“He had an all-too-short life but an impact far beyond what most would have in their lifetime,” McAllister said. “I was proud to know him and serve with him. He is missed.”
Qureshi’s first book, which has sold more than a quarter of a million copies, “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity,” became a New York Times best-seller and was awarded the Christian Book Award for both “Best New Author” and “Best Non-Fiction Book” of 2015.
In March 2016, “Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward” was published followed five months later by “No God But One: Allah or Jesus? A Former Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam and Christianity.”
Qureshi lectured to students at more than 100 universities – including Oxford, Columbia, Dartmouth, Cornell, Johns Hopkins and the University of Hong Kong – and took part in 18 moderated debates worldwide. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Old Dominion University, an M.D. from Eastern Virginia Medical School, an M.A. in Christian apologetics from Biola University, an M.A. in religion from Duke University, and an M.Phil. in Judaism and Christianity from the University of Oxford. His work on a D.Phil. in New Testament studies at the University of Oxford was cut short when he began cancer treatment.
“This is an announcement that I never expected to make, but God in His infinite and sovereign wisdom has chosen me for this refining, and I pray He will be glorified through my body and my spirit,” he wrote, noting he and his family were going to “pursue healing aggressively, both medical and miraculous, relying on God and the fact that He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.”
He said that although his spirits had “soared and sank” in the previous days, “never once have I doubted this: that Jesus is Lord, His blood has paid my ransom, and by His wounds I am healed.”
“I have firm faith that my soul is saved by the grace and mercy of the Triune God, and not by any accomplishment or merit of my own. I am so thankful that I am a child of the Father, redeemed by the Son, and sealed in the Spirit. No, in the midst of the storm, I do not have to worry about my salvation, and for that I praise you, God.”
In December, the cancer diagnosis still fresh, he gave the fall commencement address at Biola University in Southern California, where he earned an M.A. in 2008.
When Biola’s president, Barry H. Corey, introduced Qureshi, Corey mentioned the battle with cancer.
Qureshi said he wasn’t going to bring up the cancer, for which he already was being treated, but decided that since it was brought up, he told the graduates he would go “a different direction” with his address and “let you know what’s on my heart.” – source
God gave the world Nabeel Qureshi for a time; knowing full well that He would bring His child, Nabeel, home at the age of 34. It brings me such peace and comfort to know that Nabeel is in the arms of His Savior Jesus at this very moment: No more pain or suffering. No more tears.
I believe that it will not be long until we meet this precious brother in heaven.