In this day and age and the kind of situations we find ourselves in – addiction, sickness, loneliness, feelings of being unloved or guilt stricken – I’d like to share with you how I found ‘hope, happiness and health.’
I guess it all started when I had my first ‘panic attack’. I remember it well as I was in town with my son, and my hearing just went. Then my eye sight and I started to sweat terribly. A lovely lady helped us onto the bus home and after a while I felt well again. I thought nothing of it for a while, but now and again it would be there in the back of my mind.
As some of you may know I then began to feel ‘fear’. I would make excuses so I didn’t have to go out. I could only go to my ‘safe places.’ My children were of school age then and some days I couldn’t take them to school. It gradually got worse until I wasn’t able to go to town, or family gatherings, which caused problems.
I kept what was happening to me to myself as I thought that people would laugh at me, but soon realised that I needed help. About a year later I went to the doctor who was very good to me. I got tablets and saw a psychologist, but it wasn’t helping and I was soon sleeping downstairs as I was afraid to sleep in my bedroom.
I was at the stage when I didn’t think I could take any more, as I would wake up every day and just wait for nighttime so I could sleep, so I didn’t have to think and experience another day of fear! My heart would race non stop thoughout the day – it was just sheer panic.
One day my dad came and shared the Gospel with me. He said that there was hope in Jesus! That JESUS LOVED ME! That I did not have to live like this anymore.
You may know this scripture, John 3:16 – “For God so love the world, (you and me), that He gave His only begotten Son, (Jesus) that whoever believes (puts their trust) in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
My dad showed me from the Word of God, the Bible, that I was on my way to a lost eternity (Hell) that my sin had separated me from God. That Jesus had come and taken the punishment that I deserved for my sin on the Cross. “For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) and Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Jesus wanted to forgive me to take all my guilt and shame of the things that I had done wrong away from me. You may think this was harsh being told I was a sinner, buts it’s what God says, we all have done things wrong, and He only wants the best for us, and wants to give us “life in all its fullness.” But we have to follow His instructions to gain this.
I had gone to church as a child and went occasionally to a fellowship near my home. I thought that I was a Christian, based on my attendance at the fellowship and my trying to be good. I thought that I knew God but I didn’t, I just knew about Him which is completely different. I thought that when I died I would go to Heaven, again based on what I believed at that time. How wrong I was!
Continuing my testimony, God, I believe at that time, got me out of the house to attend a Christian meeting and there it was where I made my commitment to God. I knew that there and then something had changed in my life. I had an overwhelming peace which I hadn’t ever experienced!
The very next day I had a desire to go to town for the first time in a long time! My husband came with me and I got to the place not far from my home (where I would start to feel very sick and panic stricken and have turn back) but this time I heard Jesus say, “Carry on!”
I did, I trusted Him and 20 mins later I was in town. I can’t tell you the joy it gave me, I cried, and praised God for His faithfulness. My husband took me out in the car also, as I couldn’t do that either, and that year we had our first holiday.
All because of Jesus and His great Love, my life has been changed dramatically. I am no longer bound by fear and anxiety. It doesn’t mean that I don’t get fearful and anxious, but I can deal with it now because of Jesus, He shows me how to respond to it.
Many of you are probably car drivers, you have the Highway Code which is to be followed because if we just did what we wanted as we know it causes trouble, injury, death even. There are rules in it to follow for our own good. The Bible is our guide to life.
I admitted to God that I was a sinner, I repented of the way I was living, (to turn from everything I knew that was wrong). I asked God to forgive me, and declared that I was now going to put my trust in Jesus, I was going to live by His standards and rules. I asked Him to come into my life which He did by giving to me His Holy Spirit, who would give me the power to live a righteous life.
I made the decision to have Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I asked Him to save me, and He did! Acts 2:21 “And it shall come to pass that whoever calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Even in the current climate, where work hours have been lessened we have not had to worry as God has provided all our needs, He is greater than the credit crunch and greater than Brexit!
I have a purpose in life now. As Jeremiah 29:11 says: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord… plans to give you hope and a future.”
I want to finish off by quoting: Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, (Jesus), all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I an gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
So today, if you feel like giving up, STOP! THERE IS HOPE IN JESUS! He is the Living God who knows all about us, nothing is hidden from Him, He can deal with anything.
This article was written by Caron Beverley Riach
Learn how to be healthy Body, Mind, and Spirit through this HEALTHY AND FREE e-course by Bethel Church’s Beni Johnson.