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The Faith Promise That Almost Wasn’t

By Selwyn Hughes

Many years ago when I was a pastor in a London church, I invited every church member at the beginning of the year to make a faith promise to God. Everyone took some time to pray over the matter and then put the figure they thought God wanted them to give on the Faith Promise Card.

Selwyn Hughes is founder of Crusade for World Revival, a teaching ministry in Surrey, England, and author of the popular Every Day with Jesus daily devotional.

Later, when recording the cards in the Church Faith Promise Register, I noticed the name of an old widow woman whose circumstances with which I was very familiar. I was somewhat surprised at the comparatively large amount she had put on her card, and later I went to see her to find out if she had made a mistake.

When I raised the matter that I considered her faith promise too large and that she ought to consider reducing it, she burst into tears. At first I thought they were tears of relief, but eventually she turned to me and said, “Pastor, that is the figure the Lord told me to give. Are you trying to stop me proving the Lord? This is the amount I promised to give, and this is the amount I believe the Lord will enable me to give.”

I felt rebuked and didn’t quite know what to do. I apologized for my remarks and left the matter as it was. I watched the progress of her giving very carefully in the months that followed, and to my surprise and astonishment, she fulfilled her promise on a monthly basis until every penny had been paid.

This woman had only meager savings, and where the money came from I have no idea. On one occasion a friend of hers told me that members of her family who previously had given her very little financial help began to send her regular financial gifts.

I think of this old widow woman often. She has gone to be with the Lord now, and just days prior to her death, she withdrew her small savings and sent it to the organization I serve, Crusade for World Revival, with a note saying, “I don’t have long in this world now. This might be the last time I can give to God in this way. Use it for His work and His service.”

As I look back, I tremble to think that I came close to hindering a woman from entering into a dimension of giving that the Lord had been leading her into. Her Saviour had been drawing her into a place where he would prove himself to be no man’s debtor. I’ll never thank God enough for the lesson that widow showed me by her faith and confidence in God.

I invite you to make a faith promise to God now. Start by asking God to help you work out the right amount—an amount beyond your tithe—that will stretch your faith a little. Do not make it too large. Your faith might be very high after reading this, but start at the lowest point of your faith. There must be no strain, no anxiety, no fear. One thing is sure—your giving will open up the flow of God’s power in your life.

Some months before writing a recent book, I sat down and made my faith promise for the year ahead. I asked the lord how much I should give? The amount that came into my mind in answer to that prayer seemed astonishing. My reaction was to say Lord, “Are you sure?” I went ahead and made my commitment. Within a few weeks of making that commitment, I was offered a writing contract that gave me much more than I planned to give.

Many of my friends and colleagues tell similar stories following their commitment to the making of a faith promise. It seems God delights to enter into partnership with us in relation to giving by faith, and as we work God works. So make a start. Give God an opportunity to multiply your ability to give and increasing your faith by first committing yourself to give a certain amount to him.

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