George Müller is well known for his great faith, but have you ever wondered how he came to possess it? Of course, the primary answer is that he prayed according to the Word of God and watched the Lord keep his promises again and again. But a secondary answer is that he observed the faith and generosity of others and emulated what he saw in them.
Early in his ministry, Müller was in need of some money, and thus wrote to a wealthy woman to ask for a loan. When her reply did not arrive by the time he expected, he went into a bit of a tailspin and even began to doubt the Lord and wonder if he should ever have become a Christian. In his melancholy state, he went out to a local establishment and spent money he didn’t have on things he didn’t need, after which he felt all the worse. But the Lord was gracious to him, showed him his sin, and helped him to turn his face up again.
At 2:00 p.m. that day, he received a parcel containing the exact amount he had requested. The Lord was working for Müller even while Müller was doubting the Lord! At first, he didn’t see a letter in the parcel, but after a quick search he found one and discovered that his benefactor was not the wealthy woman but an unknown donor who was giving rather than lending him the money.
The letter reads in part: “I send you the enclosed small sum, for which you may thank, not the unknown giver, but the Lord, who turns the hearts like rivers of water. Hold fast the faith which God has given you by His Holy Spirit; it is the most precious treasure in this life, and it contains in itself true happiness. Only seek by watching and prayer more and more to be delivered from all vanity and self-complacency, by which even the true believer may be ensnared when he least expects it. Let it be your chief aim to be more and more humble, faithful, and quiet. May we not belong to those who say and write continually, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but who have him not deeply in their hearts. Christianity consist not in words but in power. There must be life in us” (Autobiography of George Müller, Westminster Literature, page 18).
The letter was signed “An Adoring Worshiper of the Savior, Jesus Christ,” and it inspired in Müller a heart “full of joy, shame, and gratitude. Truly it was the goodness of God that brought my heart into this state, and not the money.” Müller then prayed and thanked the Lord for about half an hour, forever etching this experience into his mind.
George Müller was a man of great faith, but he learned it from others. Let us now learn from him and put all our faith in the God who supplies all our needs!