by Christina Cogan
These words which are to one of my favored songs are so true to my life. Only Christ can give me peace. I found out this truth in the Fall of 1994 when I was attending a youth retreat with my youth group from church. I had always had a profession that I held to and recited. But this night as I recited it, as I always had, something was different. Earlier that day while others were setting up camp, a group of us sat around listening to each other give testimonies. I listened intently because some of these I had not heard, and many of the testimonies were powerful. As I listened I wanted to share mine and longed for my turn. I thought of how I would exactly present it. I reminisced on the past events of my life in my testimony, and I compared it to what others had expressed. I became disheartened because I was missing something. I was missing a peace and assurance. I was also lacking trust. Since my profession when I was eight years old I had done some pretty bad things. These things were not characteristic of a Christian, and yet I proclaimed to be one. I claimed that when I was eight years old at a vacation bible school I accepted Christ as my personal Savior and was baptized. My life after that changed for the better, so I claimed. In reality, after that profession came some of the worst moments in my life. I was involved in impure relationships, and worse than that it was behind my parent’s backs. I was obedient, yet at the same time I lied and was mean and spiteful to my siblings. Keeping all of this in mind I had a hard time relating my testimony later that night when I was given opportunity. I shared it as I always had, but it seemed I was trying to convince myself that I was actually saved. My verdict: not saved. I knew that I had not truly accepted Christ and that I was not living a life pleasing to Him. My heart was heavy. I was not at peace. I knew what I had to do. First of all I repented of all my sins. I poured my heart out to Christ as if He didn’t know what had happened in my life for the last fourteen years. I told Him everything. I was so broken I had to ask for forgiveness. I knew He would give it to me if I just asked, so I did. After that I had a peace in my heart. I had an assurance that I was truly a Child of God now. I was so relieved to give my sins over to Him. I didn’t have to carry them around any more. I slept really well that night knowing what new transformation I had just experienced. I was on fire.
The rest of this retreat was so wonderful to me because I saw everything in a different light; it was a brighter light. When we got back home, I was excited, and yet at the same time ashamed. I had professed to be a Christian all these years and now I really was one, but did not want to tell anyone. I figured it would be the same. People thought I was saved before, and now I really was. Why should I tell them I wasn’t, but now am? So I told everyone I had recommitted my life to Christ and that was the reason for my fire. I let pride get in the way of my sharing the real reason for my joy. But the Lord would not let that last for long. I had assurance of my salvation and I had peace in my heart that the Lord was near my soul, but after many sermons from my pastor I knew I needed to be baptized. So I had to tell him. And I had to go before the church and admit that my earlier profession was not genuine, but that I had truly made a genuine profession, and was coming for baptism now. Now everyone knew, and it wasn’t as bad as I had imagined. People were happy for me, and they were encouraging. I was baptized into Mission Boulevard Baptist Church in 1997. Now I had a true testimony to give, and I knew it was true and the Lord had saved me.
I have a peace in my life now that I did not have before. The Lord has so enriched my life and He continues to bless. When I go through trials, I try to keep in mind what the Lord has saved me from. This seems to make those trials so small. And when I know that I have my Lord to depend on through these times, I can have peace. It is a peace that passes all understanding. It is the peace only He can give. And now at any opportunity I share my experience as I am sharing with you now. I encourage you to think about your testimony. Do you share it with others? If not, why? Is it because you are missing something as I was? Why don’t you fix that emptiness in your heart? Let Christ give you peace through salvation. He will save you. It is promised in Romans 10:13, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Isaiah 26: 3 shows us how the Lord gives us peace. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee.” Come to Him today! Find the peace only He can give!