I would like to tell, as honestly as possible, how I came to Jesus. I was born in Finland in a Christian family. We had a warm atmosphere at home and we also witnessed several divine miracles during my time growing up. Additionally, we had many interesting visitors from USA, Africa and Sri Lanka.
But in my teens I drifted away from my faith and relationship with Jesus. I had been in Christian camps and I had experienced God, but still I became rebellious towards my parents, their faith and life. We lived in a large housing area in Tampere and my friends became more and more important to me.
At 12 years of age I decided that I would never be a Christian and I started smoking, drinking alcohol and even other bad habits entered into my life.
I believed in God and had respect for Him, but I didn’t want to follow and obey Him, for “It seemed so boring”… this “head-knowledge” of God didn’t made me a child of God. The truth is that at that time I didn’t understand God and His love and I didn’t know anything about the exiting life He offers everyone. I didn’t have the strength which Jesus promises all that follow Him. But this respect for God did protect me from occultism and other “spiritual” destructive living; I didn’t want anything to do with such things. Looking back, I can also see how God helped me through many things, even though I didn’t care about Him.
When I was 17 years old one guy I knew was murdered. I wasn’t that close friend with him, but knew him quite well. A great anguish and fear of death came into my life; death had come so close to us. There circulated even rumors about revenge etc. and things were a little tense between different groups.
I also knew that the Bible says, that Jesus will come and take those to Heaven (the rapture), who love Him and are ready in that moment; and I knew that I was not ready. This made my fear even greater.
I remember that sometimes I could lay awake in my bed at night and listening for sounds from my parents’ bedroom. If I didn’t hear anything I went to the bathroom, since then I had to pass their bedroom. I just wanted to hear if they were breathing and then I could go back to sleep. I was afraid that Jesus had come in the night and taken them up to Heaven.
Today I understand that God was drawing me to Himself this way. He let me live this way, in insecurity, that I might understand the difference between living for Him and living in sin, as a slave. I had tried to quit smoking many times, but I had failed every time. I was slave under sin. This insecurity and anxiety drew me to Jesus and I started to want to know more about God.
One evening, when I sat on the bus on my way home, I was thinking about my life. I felt very empty inside. My life was empty and without meaning, even though I had many good friends and my life as a whole was okay. So when I sat on that almost empty buss, I said to myself, “Jesus, do you really care about me?” As soon as I had said that an indescribable warmth and love came over me. I had never experienced anything like that before or since that day. I started to cry in that bench and I was sober that night. I understood that God had heard my wondering and answered me right away… God was real.
I started to attend a church again with a friend. I didn’t understand much about the message, but I went there anyway. One day I decided that I would try Jesus. I was studying my last year in high school and was little bit of a coward, that’s why I decided to do this when I was finished in school. I always told this to some of my friends and we had many interesting discussions.
2 days after graduation I, my mother, sister and one friend drove to another city to listen to a german missionary from South-Africa, Reinhard Bonnke, who was speaking there. I had already decided that in that service I would go forward to give my life to Jesus, and so I did. People prayed for me, but I didn’t feel anything special and was little bit disappointed about that.
But during next day I noticed that I had quit swearing. I had done that a lot when I was speaking, a bad habit, but it had disappeared. Even all kinds of fears and anxieties had also disappeared the same way. I was free! I noticed that a new Lord, a new power, had come into my life, it was Jesus. I’m not afraid that Jesus is coming back to get His own people to Heaven. He will do that any day, but I’m ready, for the Holy Spirit witnesses in my heart that I’m a child of God, just as the Bible promises.
3-4 days later I was driving my car and I said to God, “Now that You have saved me, please deliver me from smoking also”. I opened car window and throw away the cigarettes that I had on me and since that day (that prayer) I haven’t smoked one cigarette. God is real! Since that day, I have also seen many miracles and how God has been leading me.
It has been over 30 years since I gave my life to Jesus. God is more real today than then and it increases the more I get to know Jesus.
Yes, I have done many wrong things and made mistakes, but He (Jesus) is faithful and forgives our wrongdoings when we humble ourselves and ask His forgiveness. He has also helped through many dark times, life isn’t that easy all the time.The more difficult a situation I face, the greater is the peace and joy He gives, just as the Bible promises us. God is faithful, loving and full of mercy towards us humans. Just as His name is, Immanuel – God with us. He helps and leads us, if we want him to.
My friend if you don’t know Jesus yet, come to Him openly and honestly and He will hear you! Jesus is the mediator between God and man and the Only way to God and Heaven. Open your heart to Him, let Jesus come into your life and you will be saved and he will also change your life. It doesn’t matter what your life looks like - chaos or calm – Jesus has always something better to give you.
Every one of us has this empty place in our hearts that only Jesus can fill up. Try not to fill it up with something else than Jesus, then He will also be the Lord of your life and then we will meet each other in Heaven!
God bless you.