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Stuart Briscoe Learned to Trust God in His Preaching

Stuart Briscoe preached his first sermon at age 17. He didn’t know much about the topic assigned him by an elder. But he researched the church of Ephesus until he had a pile of notes and three points, as seemed proper for a sermon. Then he stood before the Brethren in a British Gospel Hall and preached.

And preached. And preached. He kept going until he used up more than his allotted time just to reach the end of the first point and still kept going, until finally he looked up from his notes and made a confession.

“I’m terribly sorry,” he said. “I don’t know how to stop.” Briscoe recalled in his memoir that a man from the back shouted out, “Just shut up and sit down.” That might have been the end of his preaching career. But he was invited to preach again the next week. And he continued preaching for seven more decades.

In the process Briscoe became a better preacher, discovered he had a gift, and was encouraged to develop it. He ultimately preached in more than 100 countries around the world and to a growing and multiplying church in America.

When Briscoe died on August 3, 2022, at the age of 91, he was known as a great preacher who spoke with clarity, loved the people he preached to, and a had deep trust in the work of the Holy Spirit.

He once wrote,

My primary concern in preaching is to glorify God through his Son. I’ve worked hard to preach effectively. But I’ve also learned to trust as well. Farmers plow their lands, plant their seed, and then go home to bed, awaiting God’s germinating laws to work. Surgeons only cut; God heals. I must give my full energy to doing my part in the pulpit, but the ultimate success of my preaching rests in God.

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