I did not have an answer for my faith
After a long day at work, my mind was giddy with fatigue. As I laid in bed and allowed my thoughts to flutter and fade away, an innocent yet poignant question emerged, awakening my mind: Why Christianity?
It was a question that I had asked myself before, but never really found a simple and succinct reason. This night was different — my answer rolled off my tongue so easily that even I was amazed: “Because it is in Christ that I’ve found who I am.”
A deep-seated conviction grew as I let this profoundly simple answer weigh upon my mind. It is the truth; everything I believe in, and everything that I am, is wholly based and built upon the truths of God’s Word. Christianity has showed me who I am created to be.
As much as my answer baffled me, for its simplicity did not satisfy my critical mind, and it surely failed to tackle questions like, “How do you prove the Bible is real?”, I stand deeply convinced that without Christ, I really wouldn’t know who I am today.
With my head in my pillow, my mind raced like a bullet train, as scenes of my life flashed by. There have been many situations (sometimes due to my sinful nature) where I’ve been stuck in condemnation and despair, and only in Christ and by believing in scripture that I found my identity restored.
I remember my younger years when I was prone to dwell on my every fault and weakness, self-worth became a battle in my mind. Depression and the fear of failure became difficult to escape from, even at the tender age of 12. But as I grew to read the Bible and learnt more about the truth of God’s love, it was in His presence that I found peace and hope restored into my being. It felt like every weight of self-pity and condemnation was lifted off my shoulders. Countless encounters with the Lord has served to be a reminder to me that He is real; He is my ever present help in times of need; in Christ I am safe and saved.
If not for Jesus Christ, I will not have a purpose for living.
As what the wise Solomon wrote, “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 1:14) From pursuing worldly treasures to gaining wisdom, Solomon calls this human life meaningless. In all honesty, it is a pretty depressing book to read. But after all that he laments about the purposelessness of our lives on Earth, Solomon ends with this, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” At the end of it all, we live to worship and love our God. Jesus is the reason I am alive, and the reason I will keep on living. It is in Him and through Him that I live.
Have you even wondered what would be your answer? Why does Jesus matter to you?
I’m pretty sure that your reason for believing in Christianity will be different from mine, as we are all on unique journeys toward maturity. After thinking through my answer, it also made me think about why I wasn’t speaking about Jesus as often as I should be. If Christ were so pivotal to my identity and my purpose, then why wasn’t I helping others to discover Christ in the same way?
Do people know the reason for your faith?
As I lay in bed that night with all these thoughts in my mind, I was reminded of what Peter said in 1 Peter 3:15-17 (NIV), “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”
Now that I’ve found my reason for the hope that I have in Jesus Christ, I also found my biggest hindrance towards talking about Jesus: my fear of judgement; not so much that others would think that I am weird or aggressive, but if they thought that I wasn’t living up to the expected standards of a Christian. Am I worthy enough to be talking about Jesus?
Gandhi did say, ‘I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.‘ If Gandhi were to witness my life, would he want to know the Jesus that I confess to love and live for? Is my life evidence of God’s goodness and power?
But I found that my fears were unfounded, for the foundation of my fear was a self-righteous expectation that I need to prove myself. I felt like I needed to put on a front that is faultless before men, before I could even testify of God. I felt the pressure of needing to know it all, to answer every difficult theological question, to defend the gospel with my might.
The truth is, I don’t know it all, and I am a sinful person. That is why I need Jesus, and this is why I need this hope that I profess. The gospel does not need my defense, it will always stand true whether I speak of it or not. And as much as the whole world is searching for answers to this life, so am I. The only advantage we have as Christians is that we know where the source of answers is, we know the source of Life; and we will have to keep learning and drawing from our source, Jesus Christ.
Taking the First Step
I’ve found that one of the simplest ways to get started is to simply ask: “Do you want to know why I believe in Jesus?” If they are interested, there’s your open door. If they are not, then they’ll know that in the event that they do become interested, they can always come to you!
Ultimately, we need to be clear that we are not the ones who will convict the hearts of man, but the Holy Spirit (John 6:44, 65). We are merely called to testify of the hope we have in Jesus Christ. It isn’t so much about aggressively convincing others that Jesus is the way to Heaven, but living a life convicted about Christ.
Let’s start talking about Jesus once again, involving Him in our daily conversations with people. He is worthy of it all — whether it involves our thoughts, heart’s intentions, or the words of our lips.
As I found my answer for my faith brewing in my heart, an excitement bubbled within me. “Please, someone, anyone, ask me about why I believe in Jesus. I want to tell you all about Him. Father, give me the woman at the well moment that Jesus had, that even in the face of social judgement, I want to speak of this eternal life I’ve found.”
“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:1-5 ESV)