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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Those Happy, Fearless Christians

I went to a watch night service at church this weekend to ring in the new year with prayer, rather than partying.  I believe it was a very beneficial experience to spend that time in prayer and reflection over my life, analyzing the direction I've taken and trying to make plans for 2012.

One other great thing I took home from the experience was the testimony from a friend who grew up in a strict Hindu family in India, but recently converted to Christianity.  I had the pleasure to listen to her fresh perspective on Christianity and being Christian, having "known that deep darkness," as she put it.  She spoke of meeting Christians who seemed to be happy all the time, and wondered how that was possible.  She had gone to the temples and prayed to idols, but always felt sad, because she didn't know how that prayer was supposed to work.  She didn't feel secure or certain in anything, not even her ritualistic righteousness (even her own family said that she was more religious than they were).  Now, according to her, she feels joyful all the time, because now she is sure she is praying to a God who is alive, and listening.  She knows without doubt that He hears her, and has seen proof of answered prayer.

That's a testimony we all need to hear!

Even when things are rough, we should remember what this new convert has pointed out: We have joy and peace in Christ that the world lacks.  We Christians have a living God, who is faithful to hear us and to answer us.  The world does not know Him, or comprehend the peace we have in knowing Him. They don't know what they are missing.  Do we who are in Christ fully appreciate what we have?

Speaking of fear and uncertainty, we who are in Christ don't have to dwell on these emotions, which can shut us down and prevent us from being useful.  We need not feel alone or exposed to the darkness of this world, because we have God, our protection and shield (Genesis 15: 1; Psalm 33: 20).  He is always with us, and we can always depend on Him (Joshua 1: 9).  When we walk with God in the plans that He has made, we can walk forward with confidence.  What a promise!

Let's learn from this young convert, even those of us who have been Christians for decades, and don't forget to be joyful and positive in our thinking and living.  This is a serious and far-reaching challenge for 2012.  Can we remember Who exactly we are serving?  Can we be fearlessly happy in Christ, no matter what comes our way this year?


Kamal Singarapu said...

Thank you for the post Rachel.