Example Of My Faith Journey AND Worldview Essay
Faith and worldview are connected and all humans hold on to their own version of both concepts. Faith forms a basis of everyday living. We learn to trust and be trusted. No human being can be self reliant; rather people always depend on each other. We sleep each night hoping to wake up to a new day. We trust in ourselves, our finances, our friends and family all through our lifetime. Each individual has his/her own faith network with a unique framework to fall back on.
According to Craig Rusbult, “A worldview is a theory of the world, used for living in the world. A world view is a mental model of reality — a framework of ideas & attitudes about the world, ourselves, and life, a comprehensive system of beliefs — with answers for a wide range of questions” (What is a worldview? – Definition & Introduction, www.asa3.org). This definition shows that faith or belief is part of a worldview. In this paper I propose to record a journey of my faith and the worldview I have come to uphold.
Early on in life I learnt to have faith in myself, my abilities and my resources. I also placed a considerable amount of trust in people with whom I was acquainted through the years. Self confident and highly motivated by a desire to succeed, I ventured out to take over the world. I never propagated my worldview and could express a considerable amount of tolerance to others who differed from me, holding on to stricter opinions of how life was to be lived. I believed in my abilities but I did not put out religion from my life. I did agree that God existed but He remained a very distant and unknown being to me.
I learnt to cope up with life situations, both good and bad with my secular worldview. After all, I always knew I could find a way out of every predicament. I managed to do fairly well. In spite of this, I always sensed a dark corner in my life, an unknown evil that lurked in my heart, sometimes putting out its ugly head. This beast was loneliness. I could feel its blows in the pinnacle of success, in a crowd and even in laughter. I had goals, dreams and a desire to live to the fullest. However, even the best moments of my life seemed to be laced with emptiness. I turned my attention to pleasure, thinking that I needed more fun times to make up for the gloom inside. I tried entertainment hoping to the squash the beast. I ran from pillar to post seeking fulfilment, only to come home exhausted, broken and lonely.
I trusted myself and found little joy. As each year passed, the beast tormenting me began to grow. What was once just a feeling of unease that came upon me once in a while suddenly became a constant dread. I was vibrant on the outside but dead on the inside. Failures and setbacks made things worse. I always believed I would make it through any catastrophe. Self confidence which was my forte was slowly weakening and I could not but notice the outward as well as inward turmoil. I tried therapy and even meditation. But nothing gave me a permanent relief. I began to realize that the worldview I clung to was defective. This made me panic even more. I needed something better and had no clue where I could find a foolproof worldview.
In all my struggles, I knew that the need of my heart could be met only by a superior power. I knew I needed the divine to rescue me. Surprisingly, the divine did reach out to me. When I cringed within, feeling lonely and desperate, I heard a soothing voice say, “Fear not for I am with you ” (English Standard Version, Isaiah 41:10). When I was troubled about the permanence of this word, I heard an assurance, “ I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you” (Joshua 1:5). When I questioned how someone could know the cry of my heart, how anyone could see and feel what was till then my carefully guarded secret, I knew there was a God who created me, read my thoughts, saw my tears and felt my pain. “He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3). I had an encounter with God. I finally knew Him. Roper says, “He waits until we know that nothing will ease our pain, nothing will make life worth living except His presence” (47). I was no longer alone. I was in God’s presence.
I rediscovered myself in new light. I adopted a totally new worldview. I was now Christian and my worldview, Biblical. I found by experience that the Christian worldview is far better than any other. The first thing that impressed me about this worldview is that it is the indelible truth. Secondly I have found answers to the pressing questions about both life and death only in the Christian worldview. Last of all, those adhering to the Christian worldview are beyond doubt, some of the finest human beings (Oakes, “Apologetics and the Christian Worldview”, www.evidenceforchristianity.org ). It might sound like boasting but it is the truth and only those who experience God and adopt a Christian worldview can vouch for this.
“A biblical worldview is an overarching view of the world based on God’s revealed truth, the Bible, which directs our life in the world” (Biblical Worldview Definition, www.cascadechristian.org ). The Bible as the above definition aptly points is the foundation for the Christian worldview. So I began to read the Word of God and meditate on scripture. The more I did this; I began to realize my sinfulness and prayed for God’s forgiveness. While sin is universal, finding a way out of the effects and consequences of sin is humanly impossible. Only God can forgive sin and restore us. One of the things that touched me was God’s love for me even though I did not deserve it. God loves us just as we are and not as we expect to be (Roper 90). This was the acceptance that the God of the Bible offered me.
My lifestyle changed and even those around me were quick to notice the difference. I began to re order my life and priorities. “Jesus told those in his earthly family more than once his Father had the top slot on his list of priorities” (Geoghegan and Homan 157). I could no longer find enjoyment in many activities I had previously been engaged in. This cost me a few relationships and many hurts. But I never sank in despair like before because He was with me always.
I also began attending Christian fellowships and surprisingly God created new relationships for me to engage in meaningfully. I began to emulate Christ in the way I did things and people were quick to notice this as well. The closer I got to God and the more I studied His word, prayed and obeyed, the more of His character rubbed off on me (Roper 94).
I cannot say that living by a Christian worldview has been easy. There have been tough times and one of the hardest things to do is to live what I believe in. Especially after my self reliant stance was pushed to the back seat, I have often struggled to keep self behind and let God take full control over my life. Another issue I grapple with is unanswered prayer. I know God sometimes allows His children to wait and at times denies what is asked for in prayer.
Yet this knowledge alone does not help. Practicing the Christian lifestyle is wrought with challenges. In a faith journey with God we cannot expect cushions and comforts. God allows jolts in our lives (Roper 106). I strive hard to cling to my Christian worldview and I am strengthened in my daily toil through His word that says, “ we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).
My mind is refreshed by reflecting on the promises of God. I have realized the importance of studying and practicing God’s Word for success in my Christian lifestyle. “Take care what you hear because the same measure you measure out is going to be measured back to you. More will be given to the ones who understand. All those who have more will get even more again; and as for people who refuse to learn, even the small portion they have will be taken from them” (Geoghegan and Homan 152).
I grow in faith through each trial that comes my way. Each day I see miracles in the way God provides for me and protects me along with the ones I love. When I look back at these cherished moments, I feel reassured that my worldview, unlike my previous belief system is beyond reproach. God has a way with mingling the good and the bad. He certainly knows how to heal and soothe aching hearts and wearied bodies.
Another truth that I have found in my faith journey is the completeness of God. He is and will always be all sufficient to meet my every need, be it spiritual or otherwise. The relationship I share with God is very personal and I know He is one I can always count on. People may come and go, situations may get altered, losses and failures may show up, times may change, but God will forever see me through. He is the only one who will never say Good-bye (Roper 109). My life which was once self centred is now God centred.
It is amazing for me to see that God helps me cope up with even the worst separation in life, which is death. Just as Christ rose again from the dead, I too will rise when He comes again. “ but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2). No other worldview can equip a person so completely to face the ultimate end, which is death. There is no fear in how this may be, again because of the assurance in His Word and the quiet calm that He alone can bestow. On the contrary, life after death is the one that I yearn for as that will be one of constant, uninterrupted communion with God for eternity.
There will be no chance or possibility for sin to corrupt my union with my Maker and though unworthy, I too will be given a pure robe and a place with the saints who have been washed with the blood of the Lamb. “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, or any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and He will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:16,17). This shall be the true joy of having embraced the Christian Worldview.
In conclusion, the story of my faith journey is an ongoing one which will end in Heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ Himself coming in glory to gather His precious children. Till that time, I will continue to walk through life’s paths, both good and bad, looking up to God for help and strength. I will also use every opportunity to testify His goodness in my life. I may not be accepted for my belief and often I may find myself ridiculed. Still I choose to cling to the arms of God who has called me and live each day by the promises in His Word.
Rusbult, Craig. What is a worldview? — Definition & Introduction.
http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/views/index.html. Web. 21 Apr 2015.
The Holy Bible. English Standard Version. China. Good News Publishers.2007. Print.
Roper, David. Psalm 23:The Song of a Passionate Heart. Grand rapids, Michigan. Discovery House Publishers. 1994. Print.
Oakes, John. Apologetics and the Christian Worldview.
view/. 4 March 2010. Web. 21 Apr 2015.
Biblical Worldview Definition. http://www.cascadechristian.org/about-
ccs/biblical_worldview_definition.cfm 2008. Web. 21 Apr 2015.
Geoghegan, Jeffrey and Homan, Michael. The Bible for Dummies. Indianapolis, Indiana.
Wiley Publishing, Inc. 2003. Print.
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