If you were asked to justify your faith in Jesus Christ, could you do it? What would you say? Would it take you a few minutes to get your words together? Or would you instantly answer a question WITH a question? Perhaps your reaction would be, Well, why don't YOU justify your faith in Jesus Christ to ME. In an effort to avoid the question, you might go into a nervous explanation of Evolution vs. Creation. Perhaps, you'd start comparing Christianity to other world religions in order to justify your faith. But if that's what you do, then you've still misunderstood the task at hand. Remember, you've been asked to justify YOUR faith in JESUS CHRIST. In other words, what would you say if someone asked you why you chose to believe Jesus IS who you say He IS. Why do you believe IN Him? Why do you choose to follow Him? What makes you believe in all of this Jesus stuff in the first place?
The reality is most of us who grew up in the Bible Belt could spout off a ton of Biblical facts on Jesus. We could tell you about His birth, His life, His death, and His resurrection. We could recount Bible stories and may even be able to throw out some memory verses. But if you asked us to tell you how Jesus is involved in our personal lives, we'd quickly start to skirt the issue. You'd see some of us start to squirm. Many of us would have blank looks on our faces. It would be downright hard to tell you how Jesus is part of our personal lives. And why would that be hard, you may ask? Well, the answer is easy. It would be hard to explain to you how Jesus is part of our everyday lives because He just plain isn't. Of course, we know many facts about Him. But relationally? We'd have nothing. This is the sad truth for many self-proclaiming Christians.
How do I know this? Because I was one for many years. It was quite easy for me to tell you Biblical facts on Jesus or any other major Christian theme - Creation, Faith, The Trinity. But to confirm and explain how Jesus was in my life, controlling my life, and driving my life....I just wouldn't have been able to do it. Because He wasn't. He just wasn't.
It wasn't until just a few years ago where I had a realization about Jesus Christ. And so it goes that everything before that moment, I like to label as Pre-Realization so that everything after that moment can be accurately labeled as Post-Realization. My entire life, through college and into my young adult years, I simply lived my life for me. I knew many facts about the Lord, but facts without commitment mean nothing. I wasn't committed to the Lord. I had no idea what it meant to truly NEED Him in my life. I knew what history said He did for me. I knew He had made atonement for my sins when He died on the cross. But for me, that knowledge didn't make an impact. It didn't make an impact, because I kept making decisions over and over that spiritually spit in God's face. Jesus wasn't enough for me to honor Him in my relationships. He wasn't important enough for me to honor Him with the things I chose to put into my body. I sure wasn't convinced that He was worth telling others about. That would've been too risky.
I remember in college I sensed the Lord calling me to step out of the life I was leading. I was making some VERY poor choices in a relationship I was in. I was aware of God's voice. I heard Him telling me to leave this lifestyle behind. So, for a short while, I did. I left the relationship I was in. I made some drastic decisions that took me out of the social scene I had been apart of. And for the first time, in a long time, I felt free. The weight of my dark lifestyle had lifted. For once, I felt like I was heading in the right direction. One evening, I attended my weekly sorority meeting. Some of us were discussing our plans for the week, and as several of my sisters were making plans to attend a very big fraternity party scheduled that week, I will never forget what one of my closest friends said about me to the group. She said, "Well we know Lindsey won't go with us to the party. She's going through another one of her religious phases."
You see? Total and complete surrender to Christ brings many risks. People will not understand your decision. They will see the change in you and will be offended by it. You will make them uncomfortable. They will judge you and criticize you. They will mock you and make fun of you. They will call you names. And some will do whatever it takes to defame your new found Christian character. It took me years to figure that out. As soon as my friend made that claim against me, that was all it took for me to return right back to my old ways.
Years later, after running from the Lord became too hard, it was during that time when I FINALLY realized how desperate I was for Jesus. It wasn't until then that I truly and literally surrendered my life. I finally gave the Lord ALL of me. Not just some parts but the whole package now belonged to Him. There were many circumstances (some good, some bad) that brought me to this realization. I could share them with you, but what I've come to know is that it's never about our circumstances. It's always about what God does through our circumstances.
I can justify my faith in Jesus Christ by acknowledging that I simply would not be who I am today had it not been for what Christ did in my life. There are things that have happened that no human could explain. The peace, the joy, the restoration that has taken place in my heart is nothing short of a miracle. There's only one way to explain it - Jesus. He did that. For me. And it is now up to me to share with as many people as I can what Jesus has done for me. And what He wants to do for them. For you.
In my life, He's turned my trash into treasure, my pain into praise, my fear into faith, and my story into a song worth sharing. All of it points to Him. He is so worth it, friends. Now, it's your turn. Can YOU justify YOUR faith in Jesus Christ? What has He done for you? Or better yet, what hasn't He done?