From personal experience, I have come to believe that every one of us, as believers, will come to a point when we reach rock bottom – reach the depths of hopelessness – when there is absolutely no way out of the situation we are in. God has a plan even in these times. He knows our full potential, and He knows us better than we know ourselves. It is because of this that He deliberately makes us undergo this trying time. It is only when we hit rock bottom – hard! – that we stop looking around and look up, reaching out for divine help and guidance.
It’s kind of funny that we sometimes think we are strong and big and all these materialistic aspects just creep into our lives. When we reach rock bottom, however, none of these things seem to matter. When we look up at this great, awesome, mighty God, we realize that we’re actually Nothing compared to Him. We’re smaller than a speck of dust that makes up the entire universe. The most amazing part, however, stands in the fact that this great, awesome, powerful God actually cares about us, and actually takes the time to talk with us and feel our pain and provide us with comfort.
I felt internally compelled to share my testimony today, and it is out of personal experience that I say almost every believer goes through a point in their lives when they hit rock bottom and finally turn to the Lord. It is at this point of time when we indulge in a bond and relationship with the Lord like never before. It is at this point of time that we reach the most humble peak in our lives (if you have probably been through this situation, you know what I am talking about – You’re completely broken and in the depths of weakness and depression and you’re just bracing for what’s going to hit you next). And then we just cry out to the Lord in total surrender, “Lord, I just can’t do it anymore, it’s more than I can handle. Lord, I am so weak, don’t you see? I can barely move another step forward, and I see this huge mountain in front of me. I’m expected to cross that mountain, Lord – how can I? I barely have enough strength for another step! Lord, I’m broken, down to nothing, but I’m still holding to the One thing – that You are God and You are strong when I am weak. This Life – this battle – this mountain that I have to climb, Lord I can’t! Carry me, Lord! Carry me…”
And that’s what the Lord does, He just carries us over that mountain – the next moment you know, you are on the other side of what appeared to be a huge, un-climbable mountain. When we humble ourselves to nothingness, the Lord gently lifts us up, out of the depths of our sorrow and pain and struggle, and He just takes us to greater heights that we could never even have imagined before. It’s in our weaknesses that He shows Himself to be Strong. Stronger than we could ever imagine.
And there is so much comfort in His presence; God is so loving, tender, merciful and patient. He remains with us every step of the way, no matter what we go through. And we can always call out to Him in all our times of needs. He never fails us.
It was when I was going through a trying situation as this, that I felt God speak to me through Matthew West’s song – ‘Strong Enough’. That’s when I realized that God sometimes makes us go through trials and hard times, only to reunite with us in a closer way than ever before.
“Maybe, maybe that’s the point,
To reach the point of giving up.
‘Cuz when I’m finally, finally at rock bottom,
That’s when I start looking up and reaching out.”
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength,
I don’t have to be strong enough, strong enough…”
During my baptism, God miraculously spoke to me through His word. At that point of time, I was so weak and emotionally broken, I was ready to give up the fight. But I just put my Hope in God and asked Him for the strength to continue. I wanted to surrender everything to Him, because I couldn’t take it any more. I felt like I had to handle this burden on my own, like I was alone in my battle. And I knew I couldn’t do it on my own. That’s why I took Baptism. I told God, “Lord, I’m willing to do anything for You. I would even lay my life down for You, but I need You now, more than ever. I need you to carry me through this mountain and get me to the other side. I need You to be the Strength in my weakness. I need You to show Your power through me…”
And after my Baptism, at the Service, God miraculously spoke to me through His word. He gave me a wonderful promise. His words were:
Isaiah 41:10 (KJV) –
“FEAR THOU NOT; FOR I AM WITH THEE: BE NOT DISMAYED; FOR I AM THY GOD: I WILL STRENGTHEN THEE; YEA, I WILL HELP THEE; YEA, I WILL UPHOLD THEE WITH THE RIGHT HAND OF MY RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
For anyone else reading this now, it may seem like just another promise from the Bible – nothing significant. Or you may even think that it was probably just a well-timed coincidence. But I beg to differ. I had never come across this verse before. And at that moment when I was completely broken and was begging God to take over and be my strength, these words were such an amazing miracle in my life. I cannot express the joy I felt in words. It’s something you can only experience to realize its intensity.
I was completely overwhelmed. I always had fears and doubts to the extent where I would question God. And even before I was given the promise, I had been praying exactly that: “Lord, I am very weak and so afraid. I can’t do anything on my own, and I am a big sinner who is in no way worthy of speaking to You. Yet, with your awesome power and tender mercies, You have given me this chance… God, I need Your help – so bad! I am completely, totally, entirely dependent on You, and yet I am so afraid! Lord, help me! Please, help me…”
And that verse was like an answer to my prayer! It was so amazing! I’m so happy that first, God chose to speak to Me – an insignificant, tiny human being, and that He would use such choice words. Honestly, more than my baptism, or a clean slate to start over on, that unforgettable verse is what made my day, and changed my life.
Baptism is a wonderful chance to start out on a clean state as you are burying the “old man” (Romans 6:6) when you are immersed in the water. It is an outward display of the change brought upon you when you accept the Lord into your heart. It is a way of displaying your decision to the world. Baptism gives one the qualification to partake in the Holy Communion, additionally. It is a wonderful process and Jesus himself set an example when He took Baptism at the hand of John the Baptist.
Jimmy Needham’s “Yours to Take” best portrays the feeling that accompanies Baptism.
This is my second chance, This is no song and dance:
You came in and renewed a right spirit!
This is grace at its best,
This is taking a restless, messed up heart and having you clear it
I can feel the weight is lifting, I’m barely staying on the ground
And I can feel the wait is over, Finally the lost is found!
>> So, this is what it feels like to live life
So, this is breathing air for the very first time
The Son of man, He came here to give life
And in return He asking for mine.
Well, I’ve Been captured by grace, I’m not going away,
I’m Yours to take.
I was down for the count, I was all but knocked out,
When I heard pardon for the interruption.
Then like out of blue, Out came glorious You,
You picked me up with barely any introduction,
You won my heart by a landslide, You tend to do that every time;
So, everything I have is Yours now.
Even my very life!
Your kindness leads me to repentance,
Leads me to the cross, which leads me to forgiveness
So, I’m counting it all as loss…
The Change Inside of Me >> Mercy Me
[This YouTube video has been uploaded by user ‘livin4Jesus]
Pardon me, If I’ve been acting strange,
I haven’t been myself lately.
What you see, Is a person rearranged,
Someone affected me greatly.
And I’ve got so much to say,
Ever since Jesus looked my way.
Your life You gave for mine to save,
Its nothing less than a miracle.
Your name I praise, because the change inside of me is so beautiful.
“…So many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death… Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life… our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.” (Romans 6: 3, 4, 6-9)