"But honor the Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you." 1 Peter 3:15, HCSB
Constantly fearful—that’s how I describe my life before trusting Christ. The fear was an overshadowing, consuming fear that enveloped and surrounded me; it was my constant companion.
I was no stranger to church as a child and had actually "walked the aisle" at six-years of age. I had no idea what I was doing. It was only as I grew older and the Holy Spirit began to deal with me and convict me of the sin in my life did I realize something was missing. I had no inner peace, joy or hope in my life. Through the prompting of the Holy Spirit I began to realize I was desperately in need of salvation.
As I moved into adolescence, my family’s church attendance became sporadic. But when a new pastor and his family came to minister at a church near my home, my younger sister became friends with one of the pastor’s daughters. My sister began to attend church regularly and I followed her lead.
The summer I came to know Christ as Lord and Savior I was 15 years old. That summer my sister and I attended a church camp in East Texas. I remember all week long the weather had been terrible; one severe thunderstorm after another. The stormy weather just served to exacerbate my longstanding anxiety.
One night in particular during that week I was deeply convicted of sin. My pastor’s wife stood beside my bed, counseling me and praying over me. As she walked away from my bed that night I begin to pray, very urgently, "Lord, I know I’ve done wrong things; I know I’m a sinner. Please forgive me, Lord. I need You. Please come and live inside my heart forever."
I don’t recall if the weather cleared but I do know this; the storm within me disappeared. When I gave my life to Christ, the peace that passes all understanding came into my heart and life, (Philippians 4:7). I gained inner peace and joy that I had never experienced before. You too can know the hope, peace, and joy that only Christ can give. Won't you invite Him into your heart today?