We Christians are not exempt from life and the many challenges that come with being a human. If you are a human being, you are destined to go through seasons of hardships, seasons of peace, seasons of joy, and seasons of great sorrow. Even so, we read in the Bible how we Christians are supposed to be different from the rest of the world. The way we respond as Christians to the many different seasons of life can become our most exceptional testimony.
I came to Christ in 2001, and one of the reasons why I decided to repent and trust in Yeshua was a Christian colleague of mine. He and I worked together on a job in the winter of 2000; he never said anything about his faith. Even though he never told me he was a Christian, I knew he was by the way he responded to things at work, and I saw in him something I lacked something I wanted. Because he was conscious of his faith, his testimony at work for a few months in 2000 is part of why I became a Christian.
The way we respond to the many different changing seasons of life can make someone decide to repent and trust in Yeshua. If your friends, family, and co-workers see something different in the way you respond to life, they will see something they need and decide to repent and trust in Yeshua.
One of the first things I learned when I became a Christian is that being a Christian equals being an overcomer. If I just confessed to believing in Christ as my Lord and Savior, grace would be given to me, and I would be guaranteed to overcome whatever happened to me. The second thing I noticed was how many Christians were struggling with depression, anxiety, worrying, desperately trying to find a way to handle life. What I was told and what I saw did not match up, and this is where it gets dangerous. When we bring someone to Christ, we Christians tend to make false promises we can’t keep. We promise them peace, God’s excellent plan, and that now they have become overcomers. What they see is a group of people confessing to be Christians who are just as troubled, neurotic, and filled with fear as any unsaved person in the world. This becomes a dangerous thing because when people’s expectations are not met, they will choose to leave and walk back into the world.
When I came to Christ, it was because I saw myself as a sinner in desperate need of forgiveness. I did not come to Christ because I wanted a perfect life without any problems. I wanted forgiveness, and I wanted to learn how to live righteously. I soon saw in my Bible the way to righteousness was through Torah obedience, and I soon discovered in the Bible how Torah obedience would guarantee me God’s help in every situation. I read about people in the Bible who lived in obedience to the Torah and got see how God fought for them, helped them, and walked with them. I wanted that life, not the glory and glam of mainstream Christianity.
When I first joined a mainstream Christian church, I was told how my perception of the Bible was wrong. They told me the Torah did not apply to us anymore, because now I am under grace and not law. So the only thing I had to do was to believe passively in Christ dying for my sins, making sure to tithe, and I would have no problems at all. What I saw in my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ did not match up with what my pastor told me. They were just as worried, stressed, filled with fear and anxiety as any other unsaved person.
We need to have a consistent testimony something we can only achieve if we decide to walk in obedience to the Bible, and not in obedience to our pastor.
I did not walk away from the faith because I did not come to Christ to have a perfect life. I came to Christ to be forgiven, and I was forgiven the day I repented and gave my heart to Him. As the years went by, I tried like any other Christian to get a handle on life and to learn how to walk out my Christian faith. As with any other Christian, I listened to my pastor and not what the Bible said. So for years, I tried to live “under grace” as an “overcomer in Christ” faithfully “tithing my money” to achieve victory. But truth be told, I was just as stressed out, worried, fearful, and filled with anxiety as any unsaved person in the world.
How can we expect anyone to want to live as a Christian if Christianity can not provide answers to their here and now problems?
Even though I did not come to Christ for a perfect life, I needed answers on how to handle life. For years I lived as a Christian, confessing faith in Christ but being just as stressed out, worried, fearful as any other unsaved individual. I confessed faith in Christ, I had my “ticket to heaven,” but I had no answer on how to handle life here and now.
A few years ago, my wife and I overspent our money. Since then we have repented of our sins, we know we are forgiven, and we have learned to make due on just a small amount each month. We dont have any desire for the things of the world we used to have. So even though we are still in the process of paying off our debt, people around us see what Yehovah has done in our lives and how He has saved us from chasing after the things of this world.
Even though we know we are forgiven, we have a deep desire to be free of the consequences of our sins and become debt-free again. In August 2018, we were both approved for debt settlement, but this was dependent upon our income at work. If we had a steady income, we would be able to pay off all our debts within five years. From the moment we were approved, strange things started happening to our paycheck at work. The payroll office started making odd mistakes, refusing to correct them, even though we could prove what they had done wrong. For about a year, we managed to make do with cash advances and pay the agreed sum of the debt settlement.
In October of this year, the payroll office at work made a huge mistake again, and our paychecks got messed up. This made it impossible for us to make the agreed payments on our debt settlement for November and December.
Right now, as I am writing these words, I have no clue what will happen. I have contacted our creditors, told them about our predicament, but I have not yet heard back from them. We could end up losing our debt settlement, which would mean we would have to go back to having our wages garnished, and it will take a long time before we can be debt-free. And of course, if that happens, it is not caused by something we did it will be caused by what the payroll officer at work did and his unwillingness to correct his mistakes.
A few years ago, before I came to the Torah when I was still a mainstream Christian, something like this would have stressed me out and filled me with fear. Now I have peace; I have a supernatural peace that I can not understand. I have no idea what will happen, but for the first time in my life, I am not worried, not stressed, not fearful, not filled with anxiety.
So what is the difference? What am I doing differently now than when I was a mainstream Christian?
Now I am obeying Torah, and one of the things the Torah teaches us is to have Yehovah and not Yeshua as the object of our faith. Yeshua even says this Himself in John 14, the goal of His ministry was to bring people back to Yehovah (the Father). If they obeyed the Torah, He and the Father Yehovah would give a supernatural peace and help. This is what I am experiencing right now, supernatural peace, knowing Yehovah is working on my behalf.
Being a Christian does not exempt us from the trials of life. Christians will die, Christians will get sick, Christians will see their loved ones die, and Christians will run into financial difficulties. Even so, the Bible promises that Christians who are obedient to the Torah will have Yehovah’s help in every situation, and He will save them out of everything. The Bible is not just about getting your ticket to heaven; it has solutions on how to handle til life as well. If we will obey the Bible and not our pastors or our denominations, we will get to live the Bible, and our testimony will be consistent. The world around us will see how the Bible is a living reality in our lives, and how their lives can be changed by repenting back to Torah and faith in the cross.