Sometimes the most comforting thing is to realize that everyone around you is just as lost as you are. Most of my most honest discussions with fellow Christians have been humbling in understanding that we all lose that fight, that we all need second chances, that we all have something to learn. I think every true believer has a moment in their lives when their faith changes them, where it challenges them to be bigger than they have been and they rise to meet God half way. For me, it was learning to be bold in my faith. Part of realizing that the Bible was the only faith and foundation I could trust was learning to stand firm on it as well. It put me at odds with several groups, because we so rarely learn directly from it, preferring interpretations or sermons. I wanted to know that I had the actual word of God behind me and that empowered me to actually defend myself and my faith.
Jesus made a point to change the lives of those around him. Many were miracles, but a few were just through his acceptance and love of people just as they were. Often, he would pass through a town and in talking with the locals, sinners and religious leadership alike, his fair treatment of everyone around him would change the people he came into contact with. Peter has always been my favorite story of the difference Christ makes in our lives. He was one of the first called into the ministry as a disciple. He was outspoken and bold, like when he spoke for the group and called Jesus the Messiah. But the same man dealt with doubt, famously telling Jesus he’d never leave but denying Christ in his time of need. Peter was known as one of the truest believers and Jesus’ closest companion, but when he was alone, maybe fishing or walking and praying to God, would have looked lost and doubtful of everything he had experienced thus far. When Peter is finally and truly changed by Jesus, after his death and resurrection, he finds the faith he needed to stand firm in God and to defend Jesus and preach the word, free from doubt. I fought for a long time to find my moment. He took my fear and my doubt in arguing the Word and in teaching with any authority and changed me to help those who need to hear his message. Once I was bold enough to argue solely on God’s words and to teach free of their doctrines, my shadow was never to darken the door of my church home in the Message again. I’m here speaking now because God gave me the power to do so. What has God changed in you to better use you for His plan?