Howdy all, I’m Nathan and I’m really grateful to share of the work that God has done (and is continuing to do) in my life. If you read this and want to know more about Jesus or his work in my life, please reach out and I’ll be more than happy to chat!
Looking back on my journey to religion and Christianity, I can now see that this is not a testimony on how I came to know God but a testimony of how God has been showing his love and grace towards me even before I knew it. Growing up, I always thought that there was some sort of God or creator. With very little logic and rationale, I simply thought, “If I do good things, surely whoever is up there will sort it out when I die” and so to me, religion was simply just something that people made up as a way of teaching morals and values, and nothing more than that.
It wasn’t until I was around 15 years old that my view on religion and God changed.By God’s grace, I had somehow made friends with a few of the Christians in my grade and in my feeble attempts to make friends and meet girls, I started going to the Christian events that we had on. At first, it was nothing but a social club to me but as time went on and as life presented its challenges to little prepubescent Nathan, I started becoming genuinely curious about what the Bible had to teach.
A pivotal point for me was when I saw how seriously my Christian friends took their faith, and I remember thinking “Man… if this is all fake, then everything these guys are doing is just a big waste of time”. Unsurprisingly, the apostle Paul said something similar in his letter to the Corinthian church, he wrote “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith…if only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19). It was then that I decided, if I don’t believe any of these claims about Jesus then I’m going to stop wasting my time with all this Christian stuff. But if there’s even a slight possibility that it might be true, then I need to look into this more and potentially even change the way I live my life.
So I started looking into what the Bible really had to say. I chatted more to my Christian mates on how they became convinced that their faith was true. I looked into the other major world religions. I also looked into what the atheist worldview had to say. I acknowledged that there were plenty of people more knowledgeable than me who have already looked into these questions I had and arrived at different conclusions. As I was on this little adventure, God was working to slowly soften my heart and it wasn’t until I sat down to properly read the Bible myself that God revealed to me three simple truths:
- God is God. He is the loving Creator and Lord of everything.
- I am not God. I am a sinner.
- Jesus’ death and resurrection brings me into a relationship with this God. Not because I am perfect, but because Jesus is.
And with this, my views on study, relationships and life in general slowly changed as I put my trust more and more in Jesus. I was able to love my family and friends more because of the overwhelming love Jesus showed to me. I was no longer crushed by the weight of my sin because Jesus took it for me on the cross. I grew closer to my church community and deeper in knowledge and faith. As I began to mature as a Christian, God showed me more and more of what the apostle Paul spoke of as the eternal hope and everlasting joy Christians can experience.
So what now? I’ve been a Christian for a number of years now and I can answer this question with an honest “I don’t know”. Life has definitely not been an easy walk after becoming a Christian and I have no idea what challenges and joys God still has planned for me. But I do know that he will continue holding onto me as he has been for the past 23 years of my life. I know with certainty that he is faithful and just, and it is this God I now put my faith in.
I want to just finish off with the lyrics of a hymn called ‘Rock of Ages’ that my Scripture teacher use to quote. I honestly never paid much attention when he first said it but as I took my faith more seriously, this short verse showed me what it meant to live my life by faith.
Nothing in my hand I bring
Simply to your cross I cling
Naked come to you for dress
Helpless look to you for grace
Stained by sin to you I cry
Wash me Saviour or I die