2017-06-16 / Faith

Keeping the faith when all seems lost

By Caitlin Trude


ROCK OF STRENGTH—The Rev Duncan Filmer is inspired by the life of German evangelist George Müller, who ran an orphanage in the 1800s. 
ACORN FILE PHOTO ROCK OF STRENGTH—The Rev Duncan Filmer is inspired by the life of German evangelist George Müller, who ran an orphanage in the 1800s. ACORN FILE PHOTO The Rev. Duncan Filmer believes faith is trusting that God will provide, even when all seems lost.

“Believing is not a head thing, it’s something in the heart,” said the pastor of Grace Harvest Ministries in Moorpark. “I don’t consciously believe one thing and subconsciously believe another.”

Though exercising faith is a task far easier said than done, Filmer finds solace when he rereads about the life of German Christian evangelist George Müller in the biography “George Müller: The Guardian of Bristol’s

Orphans,” by Janet and Geoff Benge.

“It’s been very dear to me and close to my heart,” he said of the 1999 biography. “If I’m going through a difficult time, I’ll go back to portions of that book that I have underlined just to remind me of the faithfulness of God. If (I’m) faithful to him, he’s faithful to me.”

During the 1800s, Müller established and oversaw the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England, which cared for more than 10,000 orphans in his lifetime.

“The most interesting thing is that he never asked anyone for money,” Filmer said. “His whole life was taken up with him asking and believing in God. He was able to believe God (would provide) for the beds, then the sheets, blankets, the food, the staff . . . everything came by prayer.”

What Filmer found most compelling was that Müller relied solely on unsolicited financial support to help run the orphanage.

“Here was a man who trusted God implicitly and God came through for him,” the pastor said. “Not that (Müller) didn’t go through many difficulties . . . (but his needs) always came through on time. This man was willing to lay down everything else and put God first in his life.”

Filmer said there have been incredible moments in his own life when, like Müller, he had to rely on trust in God’s plan.

One such leap of faith was when he left his homeland of Australia in the 1980s for the United States to pursue ministry.

“I had a wife and four children (and no financial) support,” he said. “That was a desperate time in many ways because I had to be totally dependent on God.”

Filmer said he also looks to a passage found in Colossians 1:27 (NIV) for encouragement, which reads: “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

For the pastor, that means being thankful in every circumstance— good or bad—and trusting that God will come through for his followers.

“My . . . mind would say, ‘I wouldn’t put my child through something like this,’ but not understand that in the difficulties that I’m going through, that’s God encouraging me to (trust) and I’m going to come out so much stronger.”

His advice to those seeking to exhibit more faith in their lives?

“Whatever I am yielded to in life, whether it’s things of the world or to God . . . just (ask) for (his) help and intervention in whatever it is and (trust) in him,” he said. “My encouragement to anybody else who is going through a difficult time is that it’s temporary, it’s going to pass.”

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