Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Forgiveness is Given

Leslie Basham: Here’s Sarah Krause.

Sarah Krause: Continually, through everything that is taught on Revive Our Hearts, there is a thread of revival that seems to run through it. I just am overwhelmed thinking what God might do.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Tuesday, May 15.

Yesterday we were introduced to Sarah Krause. She stopped by our recording session and began talking with Nancy about her cool job. She manages the process of reading and answering letters for Revive Our Hearts. She really sees what God is doing to heal and restore the lives of real women in real situations.

Today we’ll get back to that conversation between Sarah and Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Some people may wonder what kind of people write us. Is it a certain age group? Is it more a certain background? And as you look at the emails and the letters, how would you describe the demographics of our listeners?

Sarah: Everything. We hear from young people; we have a young lady who wrote us at 13 years old: “Dear Miss DeMoss, I just wanted you to know that God has used this ministry in so many ways to draw me to Himself.”

She’s now 16, and she wrote us just a few months ago and thanked Nancy. “About three years ago, I read A Place of Quiet Rest. Through that book, my church, and parents, God drew me to Himself.”

We have a young single who wrote this summer and said, “I want to surrender my life completely to the Lord Jesus on a daily basis. How do I do that? All I want in life is to know Him intimately and love Him with all that’s in me.”

We have a woman who wrote and said, “I’ve just heard your Becoming a Woman of Discretion series, and I realize that I’m the woman in the church that has caused others to fall, and I want to change my ways. But as the words of my favorite hymn put it, I’m so ‘prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.’”

We have a young mother who wrote and said, “I have four little children around my table in the morning. I am using The Attitude of Gratitude for our devotional. This ministry has been such an encouragement to me, and God has over and over again taught and convicted me through your teaching. I’m thankful to you from the bottom of my heart.”

We have people in jail that write us—people in prison that listen daily to Revive Our Hearts—who love the calendar and depend on that thought that’s on their wall and that Scripture to give them hope. They’re just like all of us. They’ve come to the place where they realize that the real answer in life is the Lord Jesus Christ and following Him, and so they do that.

We hear from people who are sad, people who are happy. We have one lady who wrote us from down in Texas who is homebound and stays in bed. But she had gotten the Power of Words booklet. And she said, “My words needed to be changed, and I have changed.”

We have an 84-year-old woman who just sent us a contribution and said, “I want the message of Revive Our Hearts to go out to women everywhere.”

People who are free from bondage and people who are in bondage, people that are saved, people that are unsaved who want to know Christ, people that are churched, people that are unchurched—we just hear from everybody.

Dear Nancy, I want to thank you so much for your radio broadcasts. I can’t tell you how many times the Lord has used your program to help or encourage me just at the right time.”

Nancy: And then we hear from some who are really in desperate straits.

Three years ago, I found out that my husband was on his second affair.

Sarah: When we read those, it’s a sense hopelessness. You think, “I don’t know what in the world we could tell you that would help.”

He seemed to be repentant. Our relationship seemed to be better throughout the next year. When our youngest child was six weeks old, I found out that my husband had continued his affair, and he had gotten this other woman pregnant as well.

Sarah: The situation is too deep; the situation is too dark; it’s too involved. I don’t know how in the world you can ever find any hope in it. And it seems like the Lord gives a Scripture or one place in truth to start, and then as He always does, He begins to unfold.

I just finished your book, Choosing Forgiveness. I want to thank you so much for writing that book. It was life-changing for me.

And situations that we have thought were hopeless—God has come in and completely changed them. When we hear back from them, our jaws drop, and it’s like, “I can’t believe God did that! I can’t believe God could do that!” We just rejoice in it because there is absolutely nothing that is too difficult for Him.

Through reading your book, I realized that since I hadn’t expressed a lot of anger, I was letting it build up inside, and it was turning to bitterness. I had lived with this dull ache in my heart for so long that I had forgotten what it was like to live without it. I was a prisoner in my own heart, and I was looking at everything through the eyes of hurt.

I’m just praising the Lord that my heart wasn’t too hardened to be able to feel the Lord’s conviction. I prayed and asked the Lord to forgive my bitterness and told the Lord that I forgave my husband and that I was releasing him from the bondage of my own unforgiveness.

I can’t believe how much peace that I have had since.

We had an email come in one day, just among the other emails. It was a lady who was desperate for help. She said, “Help! I feel myself falling, and I want to contact a man. I’m in a relationship and want to go further with the relationship. I know I shouldn’t, but how do I not?”

Nancy wrote back and said, “Tell her that it’s just like being in a house on fire. You’re just playing with fire, and it is the devil’s lie that this would bring you happiness.”

Then, through a series of events, Nancy contacted her, and the Lord just seemed to open some doors that we don’t ordinarily get to do. Her marriage is restored. They are really in love for the first time in their marriage.

Nancy: Of 30-some years.

Sarah: Of 30-some years. And it’s just unbelievable.

Probably one of my very favorite Revive Our Hearts stories is a lady who has been married to her husband almost 50 years, I believe she said. They’d never really had much of a relationship because she was a Christian, and he was not. They didn’t have much to talk about in that area. They didn’t communicate in really any area because they had grown apart over the years.

She was just seeking the Lord and His direction on how she would make it in this life without ever having any of that fulfillment. And I remember reading the letter thinking, “You’re just going to have to place your affections somewhere else.” It seemed hopeless.

And over the months since she wrote, her husband now reads the Bible with her. Her husband goes to church with her. He is not saved—and she puts yet with an underline under it. So in even the most hopeless situations, God intervenes. God works.

Dear Nancy, I just wanted to tell you and your staff at Revive Our Hearts what a blessing it was to hear today’s broadcast program.

I thought one of the saddest things was correspondence we received after the series Abigail: How to Live with the Fools in Your LifeWe had such heavy response to it. 

I want to live a godly Christian life at home and in the world, but living with an emotionally abusive husband does not make it easy.

And I thought, “Isn’t it sad that among believers—and it seemed like most of them were church women who wrote us out of that series—that this topic would be popular: Abigail: How to Live with the Fools in Your Life?

And the fact that I’m a Christian does not change his behavior. And unfortunately, sometimes it doesn’t change mine either.

We are really in a battle to give them the tools and the strength and the hope to stand against the enemy and fight for their marriages, to stay committed to their marriages, and to live a godly life before people—even in difficult situations.

I just would like to say to those that wrote: If you just knew you had company out there. You are not alone. You have people that are enduring the same troubles, the same trials. And God is seeing them through; God is helping them.

It may not be the outcome that you would desire. But therefore, do not lose heart, because these present afflictions are working for us an eternal weight of glory (2 Corinthians 4:16-17, paraphrased).

One day, God will reward those who have stayed the course. And for those who have endured the trials of life and the pain of life and yet remain godly—steadfast to His cause, committed and loyal to Him and His ways—then He has a reward for them. So we do not lose heart.

Your program really encouraged me to remain calm when it really counts—always. Keep up the Lord’s work, and God bless.

Another letter:

I was listening yesterday to Nancy DeMoss as I was driving around in my car. I often listen to her and get such encouragement. Yesterday was on forgiveness. How timely.

Nancy: I think one of the amazing things about the ministry is the way the Lord times series that are aired. Sometimes we record them months or a year in advance. And then when it airs, someone is listening who has exactly that need.

A situation happened earlier in the week when someone responded in a difficult way toward my son with disabilities. It was such a painful experience. I struggled all week.

Sarah: I think that is just one of the most gracious things that God does. And I know He knows—because of His sovereignty and because of His omniscience—but He has to know that there is a lady who is going to be sitting there that day that needs to hear that very truth to make it.

Then yesterday, Nancy talked on forgiveness. I knew I needed to forgive this person. In my mind I said I would forgive her, but when I got a note in the mail from her suggesting we go out for coffee, I knew by my response that I still hadn’t really forgiven her.

Not just to have more knowledge, but something that she is asking for. These are people that have prayed for the Lord to give direction, people that have prayed for the Lord to help them to know how to deal with a situation. And every week, we get mail that says, “The program today was exactly what I needed to hear.”

Your talk really was an encouragement to me, and I’m praying that God will take away these angry feelings toward this person and will replace them with love and care despite what happened. I really need God’s help.

I think that is just the grace of the Lord. But even more exciting than that, I think, is the way God has orchestrated series to come at a particular time when national events, national disasters, have come.

I remember, with Hurricane Katrina, there were several truths that Nancy taught at that time, when people were desperate for help, asking, “Where was God? How does God respond to His children? What happened?” And they would hear the truth, and they would think, “That’s the hope I have.”

The way the Amish community who had the school shooting responded allowed the national media to handle it in such a way that God was honored. God was glorified by their lives and their commitment to forgive no matter what. And God orchestrated for Revive Our Hearts to be airing Complete Forgiveness.

Nancy: That week.

Sarah: That very week. On those very days. So we had a very heavy mail response from people who had found hope in that.

As the world was questioning, “How can you forgive? How can you completely forgive?” Nancy was dealing with, “How do you forgive? How do you completely forgive any circumstance, any situation?”

It was as if God said, “This is what the nation is going to need. This is what Christian women are going to need to hear. This is what they will be searching for on these very days.”

So it’s not like Nancy puts out a survey and says, “What are your needs?” and then she speaks to the needs. But over and over and over again, Nancy is teaching on a subject, and it touches people right where they are—right where the need is individually and as a nation.

Nancy: We’ve also seen people resonate with the message of revival.

Sarah: Oh, my goodness. I think it is my favorite of everything. It’s one of my very favorite things. I just am overwhelmed thinking of what God might do. I know that Life Action Ministries—which is a parent ministry of Revive Our Hearts—has had a heart for revival. And Nancy—for 25 years or more—has prayed for, has longed for, has sought for revival.

Continually, through everything that is taught on Revive Our Hearts, there is always a thread of revival that seems to run through it. The first series for me as a correspondent was Evan Roberts on the Welsh revival.

Man (from the 1904 Welsh Revival series): And what was fascinating about it was that it not only started there with Evan Roberts, but it simultaneously broke out all over Wales.

Sarah: We were all excited, because we knew that God had that series for this time in America, for this place. As I heard that first day, I just could not wait to get on my knees and just weep.

Evan Roberts: Thirteen miles away northwest, in a place called Ammanford, a prayer meeting was held there that God would visit them in a special way. It’s exactly the same date. And in North Wales, on that Monday, another prayer meeting was held. And on that same date, three different chapels were praying that God would intervene. Revival had broken out in each place.

Sarah: I just thought, “God, could this be it? Would You do it again?” And by the end of that day, emails had come in from people all across the land. One lady said, “As I heard the program today, I was in my kitchen, and I fell to my knees, and I wept and wept.”

Evan Roberts: The bonfire was ready. And God ignites three different places, which slowly but very, very surely—in, let’s say, two and a half weeks—become a national bonfire of spiritual warmth, which warms the nation and begins to flood across the country.

Sarah: And then there would be another testimony that said, “As I heard the program today, as I’ve heard the programs this week, I have just been saying to the Lord, ‘Maybe this is why You’ve put it in my heart to pray for revival. Maybe this is why I go to a prayer time weekly.’” Some of them are on Wednesday mornings. Some of them are on Saturday mornings.

People who had met with groups of women, or in churches, say, “We’ve been meeting for a year calling out to God, seeking Him for revival, begging Him to do it again.”

You can’t help but feel that, if God is doing that in people’s hearts all across the nation, it’s not like He’s going to say, “Oay, I just wanted to see if you would seek it.” He must be up to something.

And I think the anticipation of that—as we see world events, as we see even our nation’s events—causes our individual lives to come into order. We get our lives straight, and we confess our sin, repent of our sin, and seek God’s face. I just believe He’s going to do something.

We had Henry Blackaby on the program. And we had just had that tough kind of mail weeks before. Some of them were from the Modesty series and the For Better or Worse series. Then after several of those types of series we thought, “Whew. Henry Blackaby is coming up.” And we knew it would be good, but we thought it would be refreshingly good and that it would be kind of a lift from all of the . . .

Nancy: The crises now.

Sarah: The crises now. Right. And then Henry Blackaby (We Need Revival):

Dr. Henry Blackaby: And I’ve had people say, “Well, how large do you have to be before you can start a new church?” I said, “You’re asking the wrong question. How large do you have to be to be obedient?” It’s a matter of obedience, not whether you can do it or not. God will do it.

Sarah: The very first day, it was just like the Evan Roberts program. People began to write and say, “There was such power in what he said today.”

Dr. Blackaby: A major part of revival is when God comes to His people, and they repent and are cleansed. They become a highway of holiness over which God can do anything He wants and go anywhere He wants and do whatever He wants with His people. And they’ll always respond, “Yes, Lord.” Then you see the impact of the presence of God.

Sarah: There was such truth, and for some people, it’s not exactly how they thought.

Dr. Blackaby: If you start preaching on sin and repentance and brokenness, God’s people will get upset. I’ve heard from many a pastor who comes under conviction that he needs to preach on repenting, and God’s people, they fire him.

Sarah: Dr. Blackaby is so genuine, so real in his search for revival.

Dr. Blackaby: But I think, in our generation, we’re trying to make God into the person we want Him to be, not the God He really is. And because of that, God is not honoring our activity because our hearts are far from Him.

Sarah: The Spirit of the Lord seems to come in, and the Lord begins to point out pockets of people all over the United States—and we’ve even heard from some Welsh people, some Irish people who had the great revival, who feel like God might even do that in their land again.

So it’s exciting. I just think, “O God, if You would just do it; do it again, and let us see it; let us be a part of it.

Nancy: You know, when that series with Dr. Blackaby aired, I was on a revival tour that Dr. Blackaby was leading in the United Kingdom—United Heritage Tour—visiting sites in the United Kingdom. And the program airing that week we had recorded a long time earlier in the United States. So I’d get on the Internet at night when I got to my hotel room and would read the response that had come in during the day.

Sarah: Well, I’m glad to hear that, because we knew you were there, and we were praying for you. And we would say, “I wonder if she knows what happened on that program today? I wonder if she knows what was said?”

Nancy: I was following. Then I got to get on the bus one day and say to Dr. Blackaby, “Here’s the response we had today”—or yesterday, if we had changed the time. I was very encouraged by the fact that there are people who really do have a heart and a hunger to see God in our nation.

Sarah: Absolutely.

Leslie: If you’d like to read the transcripts to these series Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Sarah Krause were just talking about, you can. In fact you can find transcripts to any program in Revive Our Hearts history. Just visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

When you visit ReviveOurHearts.com, you can also send an email to the ministry. Our guest, Sarah Krause, or one of her team members will read your letter and get back with you.

Nancy, it’s been interesting to hear from Sarah and get a glimpse of how God is using this ministry in the lives of women.

Nancy: It sure has. And I just want to say how very, very thankful I am for Sarah Krause and for the team of correspondents who serve with her. I want you to know—and I think you can tell from what you’ve heard today—that they take this ministry very seriously.

It’s always a joy to hear back from listeners saying how much they’ve been ministered to and blessed and helped in practical ways by something that has been shared with them by Sarah or someone on her team. So thank you, Sarah.

And I want to say thank you also to another very important group of people who serve behind the scenes to make this ministry possible: those who support this ministry financially. As you know, this is a listener-supported program, and we’re able to be on the air in your area and in hundreds of other locations around the country because of God’s people who share the vision for calling women to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ.

So thank you for your support, especially here at our fiscal year’s end. May 31, just a couple weeks from now, marks the end of our fiscal year. If you’re able to send a special gift to Revive Our Hearts between now and then, that would mean so much. It would enable us to move into our next fiscal year and to take advantage of some of the many opportunities God has placed before us to continue proclaiming this message to women all across this country—and even around the world, by means of the Internet.

Thank you so much for your prayers, for your support, and for partnering with us in this ministry.

Leslie: When you make your donation, ask for your free gift. It’s a Revive Our Hearts tote bag. It’s printed with Colossians 3:12, which tells us to put on compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience. Listeners have loved this design, and we just improved the quality of the bag itself.

We’ll send you one when you make a donation of any amount. Ask for it when you call 1-800-569-5959, or donate online at ReviveOurHearts.com.

We’ve all seen pictures of families sitting around together listening to the radio. It’s an image of a bygone era—or maybe not. Find out why mothers and daughters have been listening to the radio again. Sarah Krause will be back to tell us about it on Revive Our Hearts.

 Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

 All Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

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