Tips for Life
by Alan Bailey
Yes, the pudding may look good, even smell good, but the proof of what it promises to be is found by eating it. The one who partakes uses his taste buds and then gives an assessment.
We follow this procedure with many issues day by day. Advertising surrounds us. Claims for this and that product appeal for our attention and our money. Much of the time we have little or no idea of the truth of the claims that are made until we try for ourselves — until we taste and see.
A challenge that needs an answer
Right now, all around the world, we are experiencing an onslaught against the claims of the Christian gospel. Many voices are joined in a chorus of doubt and scepticism meant to unsettle those who believe. But there is one area where it seems little or no consideration is being given; the matter of Christian experience.
How many millions have grasped the promises made in God’s good news and found them to hold good? How many lives have been turned right around? People who have hated the name of Jesus have become dedicated followers of Him. Paul the apostle, the arch persecutor of the church became its greatest advocate. Since then there have been and are countless others. How many have experienced answers to prayer? How many can speak of God’s action in their lives?
It is no use at all to say that these things can be explained away through psychology and so on. Those who have known the power and presence of God in their lives won’t agree. There are remarkable events that take place well beyond the limits of coincidence. A huge library of books could be gathered telling the stories of individual experience of God in the lives of people from all kinds of backgrounds down through the years. To deny their authenticity involves a colossal negative and clumsy argument.
If the atheists are right, Christians are somehow involved in self-deception, superstition and fanciful theorising. This would imply that Christians are a type, and not very bright. That is far from the truth.
Christians can confidently challenge other belief systems to produce the effects we are talking about. Doubtless some evidence would be put forward but the truth is that nothing compares with the life-changing power of the risen Christ.
Who can compare with Him? Religion does not satisfy inner hunger as lives that are still empty, searching and uncertain indicate. Sin remains with its dark consequences. Hope is small.
Jesus said, “If the Son (Himself) shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” You will only know this when you experience it.