A close friend asked me this recently. Theologically it’s simple – the Holy Spirit drew me. But that’s not what he was after.
He’s a believer living in a difficult world – just like you and me. He was going through a difficult time and needed a friend to be honest and heartfelt. Perhaps that’s you.
Here’s what I told him…
“My faith is pragmatic: I believe God created me and all the guiding principles that govern the universe. I want to enjoy life to its fullest. Therefore I will trust what He says. I will believe Him when He says ‘Don’t’ and when He says ‘Do’ because I’d like to be healthy, happy, and active. Plus, experience has shown that when I violate His commands – I suffer. I don’t enjoy suffering.
I have confidence that He is in control, so I’m free to enjoy living in Him. Life is crushingly uncertain. If success or failure were up to me, I’d be tempted to put a bullet in my head and remove the anxiety. But with God in control – I can relax. I can take my hand off the wheel. And even when He allows suffering I know that it’s from a God Who is Good – and that the ultimate end of suffering is also for my good.
I believe that the Creator of all is perfect. And I don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see my own glaring imperfections. I have serious sin. If God held me to account I’d have no hope. I need for Him to treat me the exact opposite of what I deserve. I deserve His judgement, not His fatherly kindness or love. So I trust Jesus Christ’s work on the cross and His resurrection as the means by which God can be kind and loving – by treating me with the same approval and glory He does His own Son.
I know what this life holds. I’ll work for 40 more years as my body slowly dies. I’ll retire (maybe). There will be fun times mixed with sadness. Eventually I’ll fade away and die. And while I hope to exit this world quickly and in a blaze of glory – the likelihood is that my death will be inglorious and painful.
This is reality. And if that’s all there is – then it’s truly meaningless.
But I don’t believe that. I believe in God Almighty who loves us – and gave us His Son Jesus Christ as our substitute. He is redeeming it all to Himself, so that the end will be even better than the beginning. And I believe I will live with Him forever. This is not just pie-in-the-sky. I and countless others far more more brilliant have researched it. I’ve looked at the holes (there are holes in everything). But there are far bigger and far more holes in other belief systems – in my humble opinion.”
Some may accuse me of being too pragmatic – others of being too childish.
How about you – Are you a Christian? Why or why not?