Today as we look around at our world, it looks like it is ready to implode. That word “implode” means the forces that are raging within are pulling us apart. Outside ourselves, everything we thought we could trust to give us comfort, in the end are only empty promises; while inside, for many, there are dark forces which enslave millions. Let me qualify what I mean: there are millions of people who have spent their lives in the pursuit of riches, who once they obtained what they hoped would give them stability, find out that money cannot give them real peace internally; they also soon find out that it is just as hard to keep hold of their hard earned money as make it.
As for myself, I found the one power that alone can give me real peace, which is a peace that you can feel in your deepest emotions and mind; that was when I found the greatest love found in Jesus Christ; 31 years ago I found the one power that can sever the cords of frustration and death. I have been a Christian for 31 years, and I can honestly say that having the greatest power of God’s love residing in my heart and emotions, means I have always had a Rock which I can lean on when my life implodes and every other strength crumbles; and since I gave my life to Jesus in 1987, I have never looked back.
Although as a young pre-teenager I had attended Church, it was only on the pretense of earning some pocket money as a choir boy. I had never heard about the real radical power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, certainly not in that high Anglican Church.
But my real journey of faith began at the age of 19 when my brother invited me to Church he had been attending for around a month. It sounded radical because it looked like it was taking over my brother’s life, but I reasoned if it gave him some peace of mind, it was doing his health good.
So I decided to take up my brother’s invitation, and on that first visit when the worship service started, I noticed that the congregation were singing these songs with such a passion that attracted me to them and this Church – what struck me was the way they were singing with all of their heart as if they believed the words that were coming out of their mouths; I realized these people thought about Christ as the Lord of their entire life, not just so called “Sunday Christiantwhich I subsequently realized is a misnomer.
And then during the worship, one of the elders at the front said that they felt somebody was here who might want to know more about this Christianity, and if that was me, to speak to one of leaders after the worship service.
So after the service, I met with another elder and his wife, and she said to me “If you ask Jesus to come into your heart, this Christian life is the greatest adventure you will ever live!” I had gone into that Church thinking Christianity was just another religion among many with a list of “Do’s” and “Don’t’s,” but only when I actually decided to try Christianity did God begin to blow away all my misconceptions.
I decided to attend Church with an open mind and I thought that if this Christianity really has power to make me a new person with a new hope that can never leave me, then I will give my life to Jesus. Therefore, I decided to keep attending that church and listening to the sermons; and the message I heard was that Christianity and the life of faith was all or nothing, I had to make Jesus Lord of all my life, or he wasn’t Lord at all.
It meant I had to give Jesus my life and every life decision so that I had to surrender my driving seat and let him sit in the driver’s seat of my life – which was scary because everyone likes to be on control; but it made sense because if Jesus was all knowing and all powerful he would do a much better job than me. Whatever words you use to explain it, “Give my life to Jesus” or “Let Jesus come into my heart” – the jargon is not important so much as your sincerity of trust (faith), but only when I was ready to give everything to Jesus, was the time that I knew that Jesus would be all or nothing – I realized that the Gospel according to Jesus was, “Follow me”, totally, or nothing; it took me a few months of attending that Church and listening to sermons but I knew that if I was to really be a Christian, I would follow him completely.
One day, a few weeks later, I woke up and said to myself, “Today’s the day, I am finally ready.” I was ready to hand over the reins of my life to Jesus. And when I did, it was like a huge weight lifting from me. When I gave my life to Jesus this huge weight of oppression lifted from my shoulders – it was incredible – you have to experience it to believe it.
And that day that I actually gave my life to Jesus was when I felt I had started all over again – like a fresh, new baby, which spiritually I had become because my spirit inside me had been miraculously brought to life through the Holy Spirit reviving my dead spirit, which had laid dormant all my life. My life had been reborn and given a new lease of life. I had been reborn and now I knew what Jesus meant when he said, “You must be born again.”
After my prayer of repentance, and giving God the reigns of my life, I opened my eyes and this new-found joy and amazing peace just welled up from within, and inside me I felt so clean and fresh, and outside everything felt so clean and fresh -like a newly born baby – it felt like I was starting my life again with a fresh, clean slate, wiped clean. And I noticed this huge burden of worry I had been carrying around with me suddenly lifted and I felt so light and worry-free. And for the next, at least, two years I felt like I was walking on air. And so began the greatest adventure of my life.
And spiritually, this is what was happening because in fact, my spirit had come to life – what is called having a born-again experience – I also felt gone were all the disappointments and trying to work out everything in my own strength – my healing had begun. I noticed other wonderful things too:
I noticed I had the most strongest love in my heart or emotions which I could love my enemies with, because this love was the same love God loved me with, which is an unlimited love.
And since that day 31 years ago, I have never ever looked back with regret. God has always proved to be faithful and pulled me through some of the most difficult and painful set of circumstances.
I now had a very present help residing in my emotions and heart that has proved to be the greatest source of comfort, healing, peace and joy for my life. And I invite you, today, to invite the greatest power of God’s love to come into your life, too, and give you a tangible feeling of peace which will dispel all your fears.
Maybe, you are thinking, “But I like to be in control of my life, and I definitely don’t want to be one of those, ‘born again’ religious freaks!”, but, please, before you reject it, please experience for yourselves and see if Christianity is very real. You will never know unless you try. God says in his word, “Taste and see that the Lord is good! Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” (in Psalm 34:8, in the New Living Translation) and Jesus said, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world yet forfeits his soul.” (Mark 8:36)
Many people today have tried to find stability through riches and materialism – many politicians have promised us wealth by the pursuit of riches through Capitalism, but in the end these are just more empty promises, which are empty when we find all our hard work and investments have just run away with the wind of recession. In the end, we are just more messed up and full of worry and we need to hear Jesus words who said, “Come to me all you who weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest for your souls.”
Only when you actually experience God’s love for yourself, when you invite God into your heart, then the Holy Spirit will fill you with such an amazing peace, which alone can reach your deepest pain and hurt.
Do you want to receive this greatest comfort and hope in your life, which will be the greatest source of strength and joy in your heart and emotions? Then, If you do, tell him you want to follow him because you are fed up with being so disappointed by following the world’s way and your own thinking. Can I invite you to pray the following prayer:
“Dear God, I heard that you love me more than anyone, and that your love is so powerful, it will heal my every hurt and grief, and give me the greatest comfort and joy in the deepest part of my life; please come into my heart and life and let the power of your love – the Holy Spirit – wash away all my pain, my sins, my griefs, which you bore on the tree of Calvary.”
“I am sorry for following the world’s way, but I decide to follow your way, please help me to believe in you by giving me your revelation and message that I am loved with an unlimited and unconditional love, by which I can love others who have hurt me and forgive them, and release them and me, forever.”
“I want your greatest peace so I can finally have this peace with myself, my life, other people and peace with you, God. Thank you. Amen.”
Now bundle up all your guilt, shame, worries, hurts and sins, even the unforgiveness and hate you may feel for other people, and place them into a rubbish bin (I don’t mean you have to search for a literal rubbish bag, but imagine you are doing that – the important thing is that you decide to give up and surrender all your negatives at the greatest rubbish tip, called the cross) and pin those onto the back of Jesus at the cross, and release them to the greatest rubbish tip which is Calvary, and Jesus will release the greatest peace, love and comfort you will ever experience – maybe not instantly – but as you show him your faith and sincerity, a miracle will be born in your heart.
God’s love for you is like a river which will wash away all your dirt and give you a peace and joy which comes from within – in time you will come to see and experience that – it will be your greatest source of joy and strength for you, everyday.
Jesus promises you from the Bible, in John, 7:37-39, ‘”If anyone is thirsty, come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, streams of living water will overflow from within his belly.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.'”
When you ask Jesus to take over the Throne of your life, he will give you a joy and peace, nothing or no one can take away. Remember: God always has the power to pull you through every and any situation, if you invite him into your life and trust him to take all your emotional pain and sin at the cross of Jesus Christ.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RECEIVE REAL COMFORT IN A COMFORTLESS WORLD?
As we look around at this world, one thing is sure: it’s getting darker and more desperate – people have placed their trust in politicians and those politicians have grossly disappointed them. For me, Jesus is my only comfort and hope in this comfortless and hopeless world. Place your trust only in him, who can never let you down. Maybe you feel as if God has let you down – maybe you have been through such intense suffering you wonder how can a loving God can love you and allow such pain, but remember, his vision for us is so much wider than ours, and many times he uses suffering to make us more trusting of him.
Remember, when you feel as if life is too tough, God always has a purpose for everything you are going through; every seemingly trivial and painful trial is making you a person of character as you learn to trust his unfailing power and love. God’s word tell us in Romans 8:28: “And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Also, God’s word tell us in Romans 5:4-5: “We rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces patience, and patience produces character; and character produces hope; and hope never disappoints us because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
This is how to receive the greatest peace, comfort and peace for your life. God’s love for you is like a magnet that will draw you to him, and in time you will experience it as the greatest source of strength and healing for your life.
By Chris Briscoe