I am 20 years old attending Ryerson University studying Early Childhood Studies. I was born and raised in a Christian family, so I always had somewhat of an understanding about Jesus and Christianity. I always believed that Jesus existed. I don’t recall a time in my life when I didn’t believe that He was there and that He died on the cross and resurrected on the third day to save the whole world from every single sin. To me, Jesus was very real and a huge presence in my life.
Although I had the knowledge of Christianity, I didn’t take it very seriously and I took it for granted. I had the mindset where I thought, “Oh, I’m Christian. I know the basic Bible stories. I know God saved me. I go to church every Sunday and I help out and participate in events. I’m pretty much set for life.” This prevented me from really knowing and understanding Jesus as I almost undermined His power and His existence. As I said before, I was raised in the church, so I had the feeling that it was a privilege to have Jesus in my life.
I never understood how important it was and how much I needed Jesus until I was 16 years old when I attended Youth Kosta. I came from a small church, so it was a huge shock to be in a room full of so many young people like me. There was one night when a pastor was leading the prayer session and he said, “Pray for someone close to you who you want to believe Jesus.” At that moment, I immediately thought of my aunt. While I was praying for her, I realized how much of a blessing I have had to know Jesus Christ. I realized how important and amazing it was and how sad it would be without Him in my life. I think that this was the moment when I truly accepted Christ into my life as Lord and Saviour. During this time, I realized that although this is a great blessing, I also realized how much I didn’t deserve it and what a sinner I am. I am undeserving of His great love and blessing of eternal life. The only reason I am getting into heaven to live eternal life with Jesus is because of Him and His act of pure unconditional love, the greatest sacrifice.
Before truly becoming Christian, although I had the knowledge of Jesus and what He did for us, I lessened its value. I felt that since I had it, my life was set and I didn’t have to do much else. Now, however, I understand how important Jesus is and how just accepting Him is not enough, but you must strive to become more holy and like Christ. I also discovered how important a local church is to me and how much I value Christian community as I learned that we learn and grow through fellowship with one another. When I first came to Young Nak, I felt very distant with the people there and didn’t feel like I was a part of the community. However, recently, I have gained much more community as I began to talk with more people and go to events. I also feel that God has changed my heart and allowed me to accept Young Nak. I feel much better knowing that I have Christian friends with whom I can talk.
A verse I love is James 1:2 which says,
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
Often, we blame God for our hardships saying things like, “God, why would you do this to me?” and we almost never think of our troubles as joy or something to be thankful for. However, we should know that God loves us so much and would never give us anything we couldn’t handle.