I want to be great at talking to unbelievers about God. If I’m being completely honest, I don’t know that I’m great at it yet. I don’t even think I’m good at it. I trust that the Holy Spirit will take over, and that if I’m in a situation where I need to share about Jesus then He will give me the right things to say. Trusting that God has my back helps a ton, but I still spend a lot of time thinking about how to talk to unbelievers. Because I realize that my core beliefs that make me who I am are foreign to someone who doesn’t have a personal relationship with God. Some of the things I do and some of the things I say seem really weird to an unbeliever. We see life from two very different viewpoints, and I think that it can really help to recognize that if I want to effectively communicate my belief in God with an unbeliever.
As I was thinking about this, I had a question pop up in my mind. How does an unbeliever explain the things that happen in the life of a believer? When God’s answering prayers and opening doors and pouring down blessings and favor, how does an unbeliever view that situation? Do they just think it’s luck? Or a series of incredibly favorable coincidences?
That question got me thinking about coincidental evidence in my own life. I wanted to share about this for a few reasons. One is just to remind myself how good God has been to me over the past year. Another reason is because I really hope that an unbeliever will read this particular blog and that it will resonate in their spirit. So here are a list of some things that have happened in my life over the past year or so. Are they coincidences? Or evidence of the hand of God at work in my life?
I harbored a secret desire to play bass guitar in the worship band. I shared this desire with no one at church, and had told no one at church about my past musical experience. My goal was that if one day my legs ever got healed, then I would maybe look into playing. Well, one day after church I had a class, and after that class I’m walking through a mostly empty church and I run into the worship pastor, and he asks me a question. Do you play guitar? I answered, well, I play bass guitar. And his reply was? Great, because I really need a bass guitar player. Can you be here for practice tomorrow? I’ve been on the worship team ever since.
Coincidence? Or God granting me a secret desire of my heart?
Psalm 37:4 Delight yourselves in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
I had a lifelong crippling fear of the end times/Armageddon/apocalyptic events, etc. I was in a class at church and that week we studied the second coming of Jesus. I almost skipped church so I didn’t have to be exposed to this subject that filled me with such fear and trepidation. But I went, expecting help from God, and early into the class the teacher said the word trust, and that word echoed loudly in my mind. And I heard a calm, quiet voice in my mind, and it asked me a question. Do you trust me? From that day forward I’ve been completely delivered from my fear of the end times.
Coincidence? Or God delivering me from my fear?
Psalm 34:4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
I was at a crossroads in life, feeling like a new dream I had wasn’t going to happen. So I went to church seeking an answer from God. I’d spoken to no one at church about this dream. I went there and asked God for direction, for Him to please give me some sort of guidance. A woman of God approached me, and said that God had something to say to me. She told me that God was telling me to be patient, that if I waited on the Lord on this thing that it would come to pass at some point in the future.
Coincidence? Or God hearing my prayer and giving me an answer?
1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
I was in the hospital earlier this year, in constant agony and unable to rest. No matter what pain medication they gave me it did nothing, including morphine. My last night in the hospital I was a mess, just a complete and total mess. I was hurting so badly, my mind was wrecked from medicines and lack of sleep, and I couldn’t even pray. But I cried out a name in the middle of the night. Jesus. Jesus. I said it twice, and the pain was instantly gone. I got some rest for the first time in four days, and the next day I was released from the hospital.
Coincidence? Or God rescuing me from a terrible situation and giving me healing and relief?
Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
I could keep going here! I was having terrible issues with my mind when I first got home from the hospital, just these awful thoughts and images that assaulted me every time I closed my eyes. My roommate and I prayed about it, and they stopped immediately. I had a secret desire for new friendships and through the church God’s brought me several new friends, people that I love and cherish. I had money struggles at Christmas, and a brother in Christ showed up with a financial gift and said he felt directed by God to give it to me. I prayed for favor in starting a new ministry for the Lord and He came through and soon I’ll be launching an exciting new chapter of my life. I needed a way to financially support myself while doing this ministry and God’s opening doors of opportunity that could take me down new career paths. My church prayed healing over my legs that have been messed up for over 5 years and today I stand on nearly perfectly healthy legs.
So I guess my question to an unbeliever is this. Am I just the luckiest guy in the world? Am I the king of coincidences? Because all of these things I listed happened in the past year! The past year is when I fully and absolutely dedicated my life to God. Is that too, just a coincidence? For me, there is zero doubt. All of this coincidental evidence points to something at work in my life. The hand of God is evident, His favor is clear, His power is on display, and His goodness is written all over my life.
I’m nobody special, and I don’t have anything that other people can’t have. God wants to be an active part of every persons life. He wants a relationship with you, He wants to lead you onto a better path. It’s not a path without struggle or trouble, but it’s a path where there’s always hope, always joy, and a deep knowledge that no matter what comes, you are loved, cared for, and secure for all eternity. Luck and coincidence are fine ideas, but man, they got nothing on the hand of God.
PRAYER AND CLOSING
Father God, today I just come before you full of thanksgiving. Look at what you’ve done in my life, Lord! In just a year, you’ve made yourself known in so many ways. You are not an absent God, you’re not someone who rules from afar. You’re right here with me, at work in my life. I am one of billions of people, and yet just look at the list, you, God of creation, have been moving in my life all year long. I can barely even process that kind of love. The fact that the God of everything takes time to concern himself with me, to hear my cries, to deliver me from pain, from fears, from uncertainty. I may be nobody special, but I’ve got somebody special at work in my life. You are it, Lord, you’re just everything. I was thinking about glory and honor earlier today and it just all goes to you. Not because I must give glory and honor to you, but because you deserve it. I look at this past year of my life, and I focus on the worst points, and I see you at work in my dark hours. The pain in the middle of the night at the hospital was a moment of supernatural healing and relief. The overall hospital stay was the first step on the road to total healing. Joining the worship team was the first step towards a new lifelong friendship and amazing new endeavors that I never would’ve gone on alone. You’re at work in it all, Father, and I love you so much. I love that every event points towards a future event, that you are a God with a plan, that there is complexity and mystery and adventure in a life dedicated to you. Lord, I tell you today, I couldn’t be more excited for the adventure. And I give you all glory and honor and praise on this day. In the precious name of Jesus I pray, amen.
Man, God is so good. I feel overwhelmed as I re-read this blog and see written out all of these big ways that He’s moved in my life this past year. God is active, you guys, and He’s for us! I encourage you to make a list of things God’s done in your life over the past year, because it’s so uplifting to see it all written out. As you write, I bet you think of things that you didn’t even realize were God at the time, but now looking back you see His mighty hand at work.
I love you guys. Have a wonderful weekend! I know it’s a holiday weekend, but spend some time in the word of God this weekend. He’s got some incredible things to show you in that book of His.