Sharing your faith in today's world can be challenging and intimidating. As you develop a relationship with a non-believer, one of the things I find that they want to know is, why I believe in God. Not all the theological and scientific reasons that God exists, but simply what are the benefits of my faith in God. Sure it's a bit selfish but unless I can give them motivation to believe in the God of the Bible, a non-believer may not be open to the idea of faith in God.
The apostle Paul, all through out his letters in the New Testament, speaks of the riches of Christ Jesus as in Ephesians 3:8. We call it the "Good News". So how would I explain to a non-believer those riches or the practical benefits of having a faith in the God of the Bible beyond "you are going to hell if you don't believe".
I'm not sure why, but I woke up the other morning with this urgency to put down on paper those benefits of my faith and the reasons I continue to believe in Jesus Christ even as the world, society and culture constantly challenges and tries to undermine my faith.
After putting my thoughts on paper, I realized that this was a great exercise that I had never considered doing before. Below are the things I jotted down. It is by no means an exhaustive list but some of the riches in Christ I have experienced that came to mind. It may benefit you also to take a few moments to write your own list of the things you receive from having faith in God and to share that with someone who doesn't believe. I'd also love for you to add yours to my list.
- Gives me the reason for my life, it answers the question, why am I here.
- Like a compass, belief in God establishes direction and a purpose for living beyond just living for myself.
- Provides me an anchor, solid footing in a world that is constantly shifting.
- Helps me understand the existence of evil in the world and explains why I also have the propensity to do evil.
- Provides me a way to reconcile and overcome this evil in my life, my failures, my selfishness. It helps me to understand grace and forgiveness and how to forgive others and also accept forgiveness.
- Provides wide but solid boundaries that protect me and give me the best opportunity to experience a life of joy, peace and fulfillment in this crazy, messed up world that seems to want to take it away from us. Within those boundaries I find great freedom and yet incredible security.
- Gives me an understanding of the true meaning of love and doesn't demand or suggest but compels me to love others in the same manner in which I am loved by Jesus.
- Jesus' life gives me a model of how to live my life, but not only instructions on how to love God and how to love and serve others but also the power to do so.
- More than knowledge, my faith offers me a way to communicate and actually experience the creator of the universe on a daily, hourly, minute by minute basis.
- It gives me an identity and a family of fellow believers.
- Gives me hope for the future, assurance that there is more to life than just today and that my life will continue to exist beyond death for eternity.