“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” (Acts 20:24)
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. ” (1 Peter 3:15)
Last week I was asked the question, “why do you believe” for the first time since I was saved in 2014 so, as a result, I wanted to take a few minutes to share my story of God’s great grace in my life and why I believe in Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
I can look back the past several years and see all these dots connected which led me straight to Jesus.
Eight years ago I was at a point in my life where I felt numb, I felt sick, I had no desire to live. I was hopeless and had no vision of a future for myself. I can with quite certainty say there’s a large possibility I wouldn’t be here today had God, full of love, grace and mercy, not intervened when He did. I had reached a point of being sickened with where I was at. I felt stuck and I no longer wanted to be doing what I had been doing. I wanted it to all end. I felt completely hopeless.
When I found out I was pregnant I knew I couldn’t stay where I was. I hadn’t been able to break free for myself, but I could do it for my child. Getting pregnant was the first dot in the story of God leading me to Him. I moved to a new state and this was another dot. I got a job in this new state when my child was 11 months old. Another dot. This job was a pretty miserable work environment, but I learned a lot of job skills I did not previously possess. At this miserable job, someone persistently invited me to attend church for over a year. After a series of events and my child having illness I decided to try the church. Another big dot.
At this church I was taught about Jesus – that He came to this world and died a terrible death by being crucified on a cross, dying in place of me, and that He rose from the dead and is seated at the right hand of God. I learned that by believing in Him I could be saved. I learned that if I was repentant, by His great grace, He would forgive any sin I’d committed and release me from it.
“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” (Acts 3:19)
“ ‘Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.’ ” (Isaiah 1:18)
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)
So at this church, after three weeks of pondering within myself as to if God would really forgive every sin, I repented and I surrendered my heart to Jesus and I believed in Him as my Lord and Savior. Kaboom, majorly huge dot – the biggest one in my story!
God didn’t stop there though. Even after being saved I have seen dot after dot leading me to where I am today. That miserable job? No more. There was a dot that led me to a great job in a wonderful work environment that I wouldn’t be able to have had I not learned the job skills at the miserable job and accepted the invite to church at the miserable job. Shortly after becoming a Christian, my life scripture became Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will direct your paths.” I have learned that in every situation I have faced this scripture holds true. I am at a point now in my faith where I have seen the way God directs me and I have seen His faithfulness time and time again in my own life and in the lives of people God has placed around me. His Word has proven true. As I said, I have seen dot after dot connecting and these dots represent a caring God who is real and who loves me, who didn’t just create me and leave me wandering aimlessly, but who leads me and heals me and strengthens me and upholds me, who gives me joy and peace and life.
“The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” (Isaiah 58:11)
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My loving eye on you.” (Psalm 32:8)
“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.” (Psalm 37: 23-24)
I have this thought, “how couldn’t I believe?” The belief I have in Jesus is more real than things I see with my own eyes in this world. So often when I see things in this world I see a facade. I see falseness all around me – people trying to appear as something they’re not or seeking in places that will never fulfill, finding security in things that cannot stand (and I used to fit in this description before knowing Jesus). What I have with Jesus is a love I never thought was possible for me, but now I know it is. It is real and true, not based on anything I have done or have not done — unconditional love. I don’t just know of Jesus, I truly know Him. Knowing Him, I believe in Him. I am in love with Him. Jesus is my Savior and my Lord. He truly is the reason I live.
Glory to God for His great love, mercy and grace!