The Rev. Billy Graham recently encouraged a woman going through a painful divorce resulting from an extramarital affair to remember that God will never betray her, even when others will.
In a Q&A published in the Kansas City Star earlier this week, the 96-year-old evangelist told a reader, simply known as B.D., that God understands even the deepest of pain and wants to help those who are suffering.
"I just found out my husband has been having an affair, and now he's filing for divorce," B.D. wrote. "I guess I'm supposed to be emotionally devastated (like some of my friends have been when they've faced things like this), but in reality I'm just very angry. Is this wrong?"
In response, Graham wrote, "A happy marriage isn't based only on the love a husband and wife have for each other, important as that is. A happy marriage also needs to be based on mutual trust, and when that trust is broken it almost always yields a bitter harvest of anger, heartache and despair. The Bible warns that adultery's consequences are 'bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword' (Proverbs 5:4)."
The evangelist, who was married to his wife Ruth for 64 years, said that the "most important" advice he can offer is to remember that God understands such pain and anger and wants to comfort those suffering.
"What your husband has done is wrong, and he is accountable to God for what he did and the brokenness he has caused," Graham emphasized. "But God loves you, and he wants to assure you of his love and help you get through this, and he will, as you turn to Christ in faith and trust. Invite him into your life today. Others may betray you, but he never will."
Graham compared divorce to a major surgery: it takes time to heal from it, and one may wonder if the pain will ever end.
"Begin by asking God to help you focus on the future instead of the past. Focusing only on the past is like picking away at your surgery's incision, delaying recovery and risking infection," he advised.
"Don't let your anger or anything else poison your soul," Graham concluded. "Instead, ask God to take it away and replace it with his love and trust. The Bible says, 'Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord ... is the Rock eternal' (Isaiah 26:4)."
As reported by the Gospel Herald, Graham has made very few public appearances due to physical complications related to Parkinson's disease. However, his son, Rev. Franklin Graham told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren in September that while his father's body may be weakened, his mind is as sharp as ever.
Last week, the renowned preacher penned a commentary that is slated to appear in the November edition of Decision magazine, according to the Christian Post.
In the magazine, Graham argued that the American church is unfamiliar with persecution, writing that this "immunity to persecution that Christians in our country have experienced in the past two or three centuries is unusual."
"As a whole, our nation does not know what privation is. We do not know what sacrifice is. We do not know what suffering is. Suppose persecution were to come to the church in America, as it has come in other countries," wrote Graham.
"Since we have experienced little religious persecution in this country, it is likely that under pressure many would deny Christ. Those who shout the loudest about their faith may surrender soonest."