Posted on September 28, 2015
After I Became a Christian – My Testimony Part 2
This is the second of two posts that I have written about my testimony as a Christian, in the hope that it will be a blessing to others. If you would like to read How I Became a Christian, please click here.
As I said in my previous post, when I was a new believer in Jesus, I was very keen for other people to have the assurance of salvation in him too. This was good, as it meant that I wanted others to have their sins forgiven, and the blessing of a relationship with God. However, my immaturity also meant that my overenthusiasm about sharing the Gospel was sometimes counterproductive, and was not always appreciated by everyone else!
In the years that followed, I was learning a lot about doctrine, (what the Bible teaches), pretty much from zero upwards. My husband and I were married the year after I became a Christian, and I learned that God’s ways for marriage and family are better than man’s ways, and through a miscarriage, that becoming a Christian does not mean a difficulty-free life, .
‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’ John 16:33
I am sparing you all the details in this, but let’s just say that I am not a fast learner! At the right time for each circumstance, God graciously provided me with friends whose fellowship and encouragement also brought me on in my faith, and sermons which developed my understanding of God and His word a little more. As I enjoy reading so much, I also learned from books written by mature Christians.
What I did not know then, was that the Lord was using all this to prepare me for a huge trial that was yet to come. I have written about that time in my post When the Wheels Fall Off Your Life. That painful time in our family showed me how much I had, (and still have), to learn about the Lord, and living the way He wants me to live. I also slowly grasped that, as Christians, we should not think that we have ‘arrived’, or that when we receive God’s gift of salvation, it is OK to trundle along as we are, not wanting to be changed, or to make sacrifices in our lives.
In order to be prepared for answering questions from our children, I have recently been re-reading the booklet ‘Believe and Be Baptized’, by Victor Jack, and he gives a helpful picture of the Christian life after someone begins to follow Jesus, as a series of stepping stones across a river, and points out that if we stop moving forwards in our faith then we will be stranded in the middle of the river, in terms of maturity, and effectiveness, in the way we live for God.
During the time our family was separated, it was a time when I began to realise something of the power of prayer. This has been confirmed to me again, even over the last few weeks, as I opened some boxes that were still left over from our move, and I had to deal with all my diaries, written prayers, Bible studies, letters and cards that had been sent to me during the time that my husband was away from us.
It was a difficult task, yet God used these things to remind me that He answers prayer. Again and again, as I read through the contents of the boxes and disposed of them, I found prayers that I had written down that have now been answered, even ones that have only been answered within the last few months since we moved.
‘Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective’. James 5:16
It was a blessing to be reminded of just what a huge praise it is to God that He had answered all these prayers, and also to be able to move on from that time, and to mark this new chapter in our lives by getting rid of some things which cause more pain to hang on to, and have as a detailed reminder of the very difficult details of that time.
Since our family has been reconciled, we have faced other trials, such as the death from cancer of a close family member, and health challenges and career changes within our own immediate family, but God has been faithful through all that has happened, and we have been able to trust Him because of who He is, not dependent on outward circumstances.
It is my sincere hope and prayer that this post, and my previous one on How I Became a Christian will be a blessing and an encouragement to someone who needs it. I do not want to generate attention or praise for myself, but only for Jesus, who is my Saviour.
Please feel free to download this PDF printable of the John 16:33 quote, from the download page here.
If you can relate to any of my experiences, or would like to ask for prayer, please leave me a comment below, or send me a private email via the contact form.
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