|A Purpose for Living|
|Hope Stories - Stories|
I was one lost sheep and at a point in my life, at 44 years of age, in which I found myself in a constant state of anxiety, suffering anxiety attacks on a regular basis. I was in deep financial debt, was diagnosed with mild depression, and basically I had lost my focus on living. Though I had a good job, it felt like I was walking around without a purpose in life. My inner spirit was dead and I had lost all hope. I was in a 12-year relationship with a wonderful woman whom I loved very much and was hoping one day we would get married. Getting remarried was a priority in my life and my hearts desire. I knew deep down in my heart that marriage was most probably not on her agenda. This, too, played a role in my anxiety.
The Reason for Hope
One weekend, while talking with a dear friend and ex-wife about some of my problems, she witnessed to me about the grace of God and the love of Jesus Christ. She also gave me a book to read about the reason for hope. After going home, I started to read this book and I felt the hand of God, the very love of God, touching me as I was reading. When I came to a paragraph about how God knows each of our exact circumstances and that He will allow you to experience spiritual maturity when He knows you are ready, I finally accepted Jesus Christ into my heart as my personal Savior. There was a transformation that started to take place. Within a matter of a few hours, Jesus Christ had delivered me from all my anxiety and depression and had restored my mental and physical health. I knew that this change in me could only come from one place, one person—God. I felt peace and inner strength that I had not experienced before. It felt like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders!
I didn’t know what to do from that point. All I know is I had a keen desire to read the Bible. I suddenly had a new reverence for God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Later in the week, I knew God was laying on my heart to have the discussion with my girlfriend that I had been putting off for many years. He gave me sufficient grace and strength to express to her my desire that for our relationship to continue we would need to seriously consider marriage. She told me she never wanted to get married. I remember that as I walked out her door, I realized that God had given me the grace He knew I needed.
My life has changed dramatically. I now have a purpose for living. God led me into seminary and I'm serving the Lord in my local church. God is so real, it’s as if I could reach out and touch Him at times. I have committed my life to Him, to spending time with Him daily, and to try and live my life as a witness to His love for me that it might bring Him glory and be a blessing to others.
I still fall flat on my face, but He just reaches down, picks me up, and washes me with the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. My faith in God has led me to believe that whatever happens in my life, no matter how bad my circumstances become, I know that I will always have His joy and peace available to me and that He will guide me through and around every road block along the way. What better way to go through life than to have someone as great and almighty as our Lord Jesus Christ watching over me and leading me into a plan that He had set out long before creation. God’s Word says that He can’t fail in unfolding His plan for me. He will continue this good work until the day of Christ Jesus.
Stephen M., 54