I Hated the Christian Life

Note: Due to her request, the person’s name who told us his life story has been withheld.

I hated the Christian life. I was born into a Christian family in a mostly Muslim country, and felt that I was continually being judged for my behavior, by both Muslims and Christians. It seemed like the Christians that I knew loved rules more than they claimed to love God!

I never did extremely well in school, but I always passed all my courses. However, just before I made it to high school, I failed one of my subjects. This was a disaster, because I would need to go to school during the summer to make up the course. I felt terrible about failing the course, and my mother started harassing me all the time to study more often.

I was angry at God for letting this happen to me. I also felt an unusual heaviness in my heart, and spent a lot of my time alone in my room.

One day I was invited to attend a special meeting at my mother’s church. I didn’t really feel like going but I went anyway to support my mother. The speaker that day was not our normal pastor; he was a visiting speaker from another country. I was encouraged by this speaker’s words, and fascinated by the fact that although he was obviously blind and had other physical handicaps, he also seemed brimming with confidence and hope. “Where did this hope come from?”, I wondered.

He started talking about happiness, and I grew very interested. Suddenly, as he spoke, he pointed right at me as I sat in the church (although of course he couldn’t see me because he was blind) and said “If you have a bad life, or are upset with God, then God has asked you to be in this situation because he loves you, and will give you good news, rebirth, peace, and love, if you come to Him.”

I had planned to quietly leave the church early, but now I knew I needed to stay to hear the entire message! What else did this man have to say to me? He gave five main points of advice:

1) Come to God regardless of your situation
2) Trust that He loves you
3) Whatever you did & whatever you do, He will forgive you if you honestly ask for forgiveness and sincerely pledge to trust Him to turn your life around
4) Your life will change if you start walking with Him
5) You will have a secure life, both here & life eternally

As I heard these things, I thought, “Why not try coming to God?” And so I prayed. I thanked God for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross as payment for my sins so that God would forgive me. And when I did, I felt the unusual heaviness in my heart lifting. I cried and knew that these harsh circumstances in my life were so that I would turn to God truly for the first time. After the service ended, the speaker came right up to me and hugged me and congratulated me. Somehow he knew what had happened.

I started to pray more often after that day, and that same night I prayed for help for my upcoming exam (for the course that I failed). That night I had a dream about my exam. When I took the exam a few months later, it was exactly as I saw it in my dream. How the room looked, the tables and chairs, the people, even the exam questions! And so I was able to pass my exam.

Now I understand that the Christian faith is not about rules. It’s about relationship with the God who gave Himself for our sins, who came in the person of Jesus Christ, because He loves us and wants us to know Him personally.

Sometimes we go through harsh circumstances in our lives. If you’re going through rough times right now, maybe this is God trying to catch your attention, and bring you back to Him?

Take a look at your life. How would you describe it? Contented? Rushed? Exciting? Stressful? Moving forward? Holding back? For many of us it’s all of the above at times.

There are things we dream of doing one day, there are things we wish we could forget. We all yearn for peace. In the Bible, it says that Jesus came to make all things new. What would your life look like if you could start over with a clean slate?

Living with hope

If you are looking for peace, there is a way to balance your life. No one can be perfect, or have a perfect life. But every one of us has the opportunity to experience perfect grace through a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer. Praying is simply talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Here’s a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? You can pray it right now, and Jesus Christ will come into your life, just as He promised.

Is this the life for you?

If you invited Christ into your life, thank God often that He is in your life, that He will never leave you and that you have eternal life. As you learn more about your relationship with God, and how much He loves you, you’ll experience life to the fullest.

Image credit: .Habeeba.

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