NICK EICHER, HOST: Coming up next, an excerpt from this week’s Listening In.
MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: This time, Warren Smith visits with evangelist, author, and missiologist: Leighton Ford. He’s best known for his more than 30 years of ministry with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. For two decades, he chaired the Lausanne Committee on World Evangelization.
EICHER: Today, at 88 years old, he’s still active in ministry as a mentor to younger Christian leaders. Here’s a short excerpt of his conversation with Warren Smith.
WARREN SMITH: What role does failure and doubt and setback play in our lives and specifically in your life?
LEIGHTON FORD: I think that, though, is a kind of intellectual temptation that we’re all subject to. Some more than others. For me, my faith is a gift from the Lord, as faith is. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t had doubts. I’ve gotten them through my studies earlier, what can I really believe about the Bible about Christ?
But that’s…those things have made me stop and examine my heart and my mind even more. So I think we make a mistake when we say to young people: “just don’t doubt, just believe.” God can even use our doubts, to make us doubt ourselves, so that we can really listen to the God who is really there. But I think sometimes God has to shake us up a bit, to take us right back to the center—which is Jesus Christ.
Let me put it this way when, when our son died, I thought of Pilgrim and Pilgrim’s Progress. When he crosses the river, he says: “I have felt the bottom and it’s sound.” And I have to say Warren, for all of those questioning times in my life, I felt the bottom and it’s sound. That sound is the God who really is God, and who really is there. That’s come to me in Jesus Christ.
EICHER: That’s Leighton Ford talking to Warren Smith. To hear their complete conversation, look for Listening In tomorrow wherever you get your podcasts.