Living By Faith Blog


Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

How my grandmother fought the fight of faith

Financial struggles

In 1931 my grandfather faced financial ruin.

Before the Depression he had successfully invested in orange groves and land.

But when the Depression hit, his creditors could not pay him, his bills were piling up, and he was going to lose everything.


Here’s what my grandmother wrote in her journal — 

“Bills are piling up on every side … 

“The financial strain is great and we may lose everything …

“Charles is very anxious about finances …

“We lost the 50 acre orange grove.”

Fighting the fight

So what did she do?  She fought to trust God’s promises.

Here’s what she wrote –

“I am writing this Sunday, [Nov] 29th [1931], that when God has undertaken for us, I may look back and read of our terrible plight, that we may give all the glory to Him, our Deliverer.

“Truly we are up against a stone wall.  We are at the Red Sea.

“We know not which way to turn, having reached our extremity, and our expectation is from Him alone.

“Our home is attached and may be put up for auction, unless the A. grove is sold soon. 

“$3,000 crop money is tied up by Mr. A.  $10,000 fertilizer bill.  $25,000 owed at banks. 

“Orange prices below the cost of production the first part of the year, and the jeweler is pressing Charles for payments on this terrible [wedding] ring.  I almost hate it!

“Cannot meet insurance premiums.  If only we had not gone into the Kettleman Hills deal.  If only we had prayed more and been more cautious …

“Charles says only a miracle can save him from financial ruin, but I believe God will perform a miracle, thought we do not deserve it …

“All the early part of this diary [the early months of 1931 — are full of] self, ease, pleasure, neglect of prayer and Bible study, and that is why we are in such a fix.

“[But] God has forgiven us, and I know He heard our prayers for deliverance …

“He may lead us — is leading us — right up to the Red Sea, dipping our toes in. 

“Surely the waters will part.  Surely He will not forsake His servant and let it be said by the unrighteous, “He does not pay his debts.”

“He will undertake marvelously and miraculously in ways we know not of. 

“Bless His name.  We stand on Isa 50:10; Psa 62:5-8; Psa 25:9; “yielded man”; Phil 4:6-7.”

Hard years

God did not intervene immediately.

My grandfather lost some more orange groves, and money was tight.

But God did provide.  My grandfather did pay all his bills.

And he started a radio ministry during this season which ended up bringing thousands to Christ.

(From Daniel Fuller’s Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: The Story of Charles E. Fuller, pp.90ff.)


Here’s what my grandmother’s diary teaches about the fight of faith —

  • No sugar-coating.  She is brutally honest about their problems and how she felt.  She laments like the psalmists and Jeremiah.
  • Faith not sight.  She saw their impossible circumstances.  But she also saw the God who does the impossible.
  • God’s past faithfulness.  She saw that they were like Israel at the edge of the Red Sea — and that just as God delivered Israel, He would deliver them.
  • Heart-felt confession.  She confesses her specific sins to God — with no excuses.
  • God’s grace.  She admitted her sin and their unwise decisions — but she did not despair.  She knew God had forgiven them through Christ, and that therefore He would fulfill His promises, even though they did not deserve it.
  • Specific promises.  She does not relying on vague generalities about God.  Instead, she stands on specific promises in God’s Word — like Isa 50:10; Psa 62:5-8; Psa 25:9; Phil 4:6-7 (read them — they are powerful).
  • Battle.  She fought — with prayer and meditation on God’s Word — to trust God’s promises.
  • Victory.  The result was that God gave her rock-solid confidence that He would fulfill His promises.

Feedback?  Comments?  Thoughts?

I’d love to hear them.  Feel free to leave a reply below.  Thanks.

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Category: Stories about Other People, Strengthening Your Faith


3 Responses

  1. Nikki says:

    Thanks for sharing Pastor!
    I found this helpful and encouraging!
    I still find it hard to swallow that God ordaines our trials! I am so disappointed and so sad and its hard for me to believe God enjoys this:(

    Best regards,

    • Steve Fuller says:

      You are so welcome, Nikki. And I’m glad you found this story helpful.

      I understand how hard it can be to think that God ordains our trials. But I have seen that taught over and over again in God’s Word, and that is what has persuaded me that it’s true.

      But I do not think it’s entirely accurate to say that God enjoys bringing trials into our lives. Or maybe it’s better to say that He does — and at the same time He doesn’t.

      He doesn’t — in the sense that he does not enjoy bringing us pain, because He is our loving Father. But He does — in the sense that He knows the wonderful joy and fulness that will come to us in and through each trial.

      I wrote a blog post on this called “How To Sanctify Your Sorrows.” That might help.

      Here are two posts that give some of the biblical foundation for thinking that God ordains our trials —
      Does God Ordain Every Trial?
      Spurgeon’s Take On Trials

      In Christ,

      Steve Fuller

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am so happy to have found this and keep up the Good work. The word of God surely works. Thanks

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