The Real Story – Judith Jackson’s Testimony
My life before Christ Jesus I can sum up in one word, FEAR. I was afraid of the future, crowds, death, celebration. Afraid to live.
I was in church one Sunday; this was about 10 years ago. I still remember where I was sitting. The word was about finding freedom in Christ.
I was going to church, I loved the Lord, but I did not understand freedom in Christ. As the pastor spoke, I could relate, I was checking all the boxes:
• Are you anxious about tomorrow?
• Do you lay at night thinking about the what if’s?
• Do you feel the cloud of darkness over you?
• Are you living the life Christ dies on the cross for you to live?
1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast your cares upon Him, because He cares for you.”
Philippians 4:6-7 says, ”Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
I really did not fully understand what all this means. But I knew that I did not want to be afraid anymore, things will happen in this world to which I have no control, why should I be afraid? I then came to an understanding that it is not God’s will for me to be afraid, there are so many verses in the bible that command me not to be afraid.
I cried out to God, I told Him my fears. I told him I wanted freedom, whatever that looked like.
I wrote scriptures down, I read them, I asked the Holy Spirit to speak to my heart. This did not all happen overnight. I know we are all looking for quick fixes, but this was a new way of life, changing my thought process. Instead if pondering the world news, I ponder the word of God. I listened to praise and worship songs and read verses like “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul (Matthew 11:29). My soul needed rest. Being afraid is so unhealthy for your body.
My favorite scripture is Joshua 1:9 which says, “This is my command, be strong and courageous, do not be afraid for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” This is my source of strength when I must fly.
LIFE AFTER ACCEPTING JESUS
It has been a journey, but with each passing day, the circle of panic, anxiety and fear has gotten smaller and smaller.
During the depth of this pandemic, I happened to be a leader in a Long-Term Care Home. I can tell you I was not afraid.
Many people, including staff, expressed to me how afraid they were. I was able to pray with them, encourage them and I told them how God had delivered me from fear.
Reading God’s word and listening to sermons have cause my mind to change; the way I think and react to fear has changed.
In closing, I want to leave you with these words from the Bible with you, “And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as member of one body you are called to live in peace and always be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15)
Today, I am thankful for God’s peace. When I hear about disasters in our world, instead of panic attacks, I cry out to God, my Saviour, our savor to help us and we are completely lost without him.