Part Five of Crisis of Faith, (from the beginning)
Yes, I’ve been able to hold down a full-time job for 9 years now. The conclusion to the story of “my crisis of faith” is continued from here. I’ll try to be brief so it will no longer be a cliffhanger as they say.
There have been times when I would get in the parking lot at work and become so disoriented at the drop of a hat, still panic related. I’ve almost turned around to get back home as soon as possible. I still had my Xanax with me at all times but seldom took it. Many times I’d call in when a Panic attack took hold of me in the mornings, usually at the excuse of it must be something wrong or I must be ill. I had quite a few headaches as well.
I still doubted my salvation, as I still had my smoking habit. I’d try to solve it by saying the so called sinners prayer when these times hit, I listened to every program I could get my hands on about Salvation. After 40+ yrs it was beginning to get really old and I felt as if I was on my last straw.
I remember that it was at about the time the new Movie “Passion of Christ” came out and I got the movie. What that had to do with it is I tried to watch it but it was just too graphic for me. There had been rumors about it and I being the researcher of things that I am, looked up every thing, pros and cons and opinions of others and decided it wasn’t something I should watch. I put that in to say that for some reason I came across a website in doing so that was about the unreliability of all modern translations of the Bible. Up until that time, I’d become quite the collector of all kinds of Bible translations, I guess in hopes that one of them would calm me in my doubts of salvation. I wish I had the words that relays the depth of my dispire in trying to calm my fears, to somehow become free of the panic I’d had for years.
As I was saying though, I ran across a website that I later found out was by people who others call King James only people. They believe that the King James Bible is the only reliable translation. Their explainations seemed true to me and plausible and I began to distrust other translations although I’d began to rely on the New American Standard. After finding out that there were also opinions and views of others who disagree with the King James Only view and I read what they had to say. At length, I became even more fearful not knowing who to believe or what to believe. At one point I even began to doubt that there was any true translation of the Word of God, which means I was beginning to doubt God, period. My panic attacks became unbearable. I was emotionally drained wanting so bad to hear from God, to get some kind of experience through feeling or hearing from Him.
Thankfully though, soon I’m not sure who it was but I read or listened to an explaination of the Book of Romans and Hebrews, and over the years I’ve heard many.
It was here that my healing began.
It’s kind of odd that God used the same Book of the Bible that warned of turning away from Him and warned of those who thought they were Christians when they were not, to bring about reassurance and healing to me. The book I once was fearful of had become my best friend. The Book of Hebrews.
The exact verse is this: Hebrews 2:14-18
Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might FREE THOSE WHO THROUGH FEAR OF DEATH WERE SUBJECT TO SLAVERY ALL THEIR LIVES.
for assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.
Even though I had felt peace in the very face of death at the time of my life I had almost bled to death, I realized that all along I was not trusting Jesus Christ with everything that happens in my life and that I was subject to the fear of death and a slave to it and needed to be freed from it. Fear causes panic attacks, but Jesus Christ had already rendered powerless the devil who had the power of death. Somehow that just hit home and I cried out to God and told Him that I was so sorry that I was not trusting Him and that I was still afraid of death. I asked Him to forgive me, to heal me and I decided that when that fear tried to overtake me in my daily life that I was going to do what I feared to do. I told God that no matter what I was “feeling” and no matter what I was afraid was going to happen to me I was going to trust that no matter what happened, it would happen and I was going to trust Him no matter how I felt.
Soon, if I was on my way to work and I felt panic and tempted to turn around, I kept going no matter what. I’d say no matter what happens I’m in God’s hand. With the same attitude, I quit taking the Xanax and even quit taking it with me. Though I feel fear as in getting in elevators, I just do it anyway no matter how afraid I am of passing out or doing something stupid. I had decided that God really is in control. I decided that feelings were deceptive and really had nothing to do with being saved or not. It is in the Work of Christ that saves you and not how you feel about it. He died to save you while you were a sinner, how much more will He keep you saved even if not all your sin in practice is gone, like smoking. There were some things I had given up when I began to follow Christ again but that did not save me. Jesus Christ did! I cannot truthfully tell you that I am not afraid of things and I cannot tell you that when I get sick and am afraid it may cause death that I do not get afraid. And I cannot tell you that I never feel feelings of doubt or that I never panic or that I’m totally fearless but this I know, something happened that night that had never happened before in all the years I suffered from panic and all the years I considered myself a Christian and I know Christ did save me when I was a teenager. But this I know is that I got better than well and I simply do not have panic attacks as I used to and I face my fear and I feel better than I have in years. I know no other way to say it but Jesus Christ healed me. I feel fear but it no long holds me a slave. I let fear and guilt over cigarettes slay me.
It’s a miracle if you ask me. I no longer am under fear and guilt. I just don’t feel guilty anymore. I still smoke although I’m trying to quit for my health and you may say that Christ gave up on me but NO He did not. I no longer feel constant condemnation. There is no “special” sin that condemns you only the sin of rejecting what Jesus Christ did on the Cross for you will condemn you eternally. Oh, and I love the books of Romans and Hebrews and I’ll always defend the fact that once Christ saves you, you will never be lost again. Once you understand Hebrews and Romans, you never go back again and my faith continues to grow by leaps and bounds! Just remember, fear, guilt and condemnation will make you sick. I pray that you will let Jesus Christ heal you too. Well, I hope I haven’t bored you and thank you for staying with me in my crisis of faith. May God Bless you.