I was recently affirmed and accepted into membership and I’m thankful for the opportunity to share how I came to faith and how God has been working in my life.
What was life before becoming a Christian?
God has blessed me with loving Christian parents and they have constantly shown God’s love for me throughout my childhood, and even now into adulthood. But as we all know, being born into a Christian family doesn’t make you a Christian. And that was truly the case for me. More than anything else, I found value in what my friends thought of me, especially throughout high school, as all I wanted was to fit in. I didn’t prioritise reading God’s word. I wasn’t depending on God through prayer when I was struggling through my failed expectations of myself. I was continuously burdened by my expectations to excel in my studies whilst trying to be popular and having close friends at school. I always tended to look inwards at myself and outwards to my friends and family whenever I was in distress. Whilst that’s not entirely wrong, the problem was that I never really looked upwards to God for help or comfort first and foremost. I still went to church every week, however, it was more of just a ‘Sunday’ thing as I was not living every day for God. My gaze was fixed on achieving high grades in my studies, maintaining close friendships by conforming to their lifestyles (gossiping, following what they were doing, and idolising relationships), and living for myself.
How did I become a Christian?
Every year in high school, our church’s youth group called Extreme attended a Christian event that gave opportunities for us to invite non-Christian friends to come along and hear the gospel. Every year that I attended, I left with a spiritual high. But, it was only temporary – I would read my Bible everyday for maybe a week and then I wouldn’t touch my Bible anymore after. It was a continuous cycle that always seemed like it got the best of me. However, one of those times I attended the event, I was challenged to not leave without committing to God and my faith in him seriously. I was determined to not let it be another cycle of temporary spiritual high but to have a permanent spiritual devotion to God. From then on, I was convicted to read and meditate on God’s word daily, to pray to Him as my Heavenly Father and listen deeply to the sermons on Sunday. It truly felt as though God was slowly yet surely empowering me to truly live for him and recentre my life towards him only, reading his word and submitting to him in prayer daily.
What is life after becoming a Christian?
God has continuously shown me his grace whenever I stumble in my sin of idolatry and has shown me that living for him is so much better than living for myself. In Romans 6:23, it says “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. I’m blessed that God has given me this inheritance so that I can live for him and bring him glory. This renewal of my spirit has especially flowed into how I value my studies. I’ve learnt to glorify him through it and not value my marks so much. Even more so, God has helped me to become more loving and patient towards my family and friends, sacrificing my own interests to help their needs. God has revealed to me his loving grace and mercy, teaching me that my salvation is not based on my own efforts because it’s already accomplished for me in Christ Jesus. I’ve been constantly amazed at how God has been working in my life, bringing me through tough times where I feel as though there is no end to the dark tunnel – when I’ve failed a subject, when I am deeply stressed about my relationships and when I think about the uncertain future. As I look back, every time God has indeed held my hand and brought me through it all.
I am thankful that God has also saved me into a community of believers. I am blessed with loving brothers and sisters in Christ that I can share the struggles and joys of the Christian life together with. As I continue to grow in maturity in Christ, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, I hope that my faith and love deepens in God and that in everything I do, I will do for the glory of God, our heavenly father. In 1 John 2:17 says, “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever”. I hope I keep this truth deep in my heart as I continue to live for God. And my hope for you who is reading this, is that you are deeply encouraged by my story of God working in me and that you too will write your own story of how God is working in your life. May you see God’s faithfulness, kindness and comfort in your struggles too.