Have you ever searched for something really hard, but the more you searched, the more frustrated you became, because you just couldn’t find it? Well, that’s how I felt during much of the early years of my life, as I searched for meaning and purpose. I searched in a number of unsuccessful ways until that day when I found what I was looking for. Please let me explain.
During my early years, my parents took me to a traditional, mainline church on a regular basis. In spite of attending church though, God was never someone I knew, only someone I knew about. I followed the traditions of the church and my family, but that didn’t affect who I was or what I did. I felt empty inside.
During my teen years, this inner unhappiness exploded and I started to follow the youth cults of the day, looking “to do my own thing.” I attempted to quiet my inner struggles with the typical things which teenagers try to escape the boredom of reality: drugs, alcohol and sex.
Later on, I attended college where the rebellious attitude I had developed found plenty of fertile soil in which to grow. I got involved with the anti-Vietnam war movement and the drug culture. Dissatisfied, I began looking for some kind of values, but nothing ever really solidified in my mind or heart. My questions remained unresolved and my spiritual needs continued to be unfulfilled. I delved into Eastern mysticism as well as popular cults such as Christian Science, Jehovah’s Witnesses and various other spiritual dead ends.
Finally in March of 1970, something happened that, though embarrassing at the time, turned out to be the beginning of a vital change. Because of continued rebellion, I was expelled from the National Guard and activated instead into the Regular Army. A year later, in February of 1971, a fellow soldier started to talk to me about his faith in Jesus. When he did, I remembered some of the teachings from my childhood days. Finally, the guilt and emptiness of my undisciplined life, along with the genuine compassion this soldier demonstrated towards me, caused me to let go of my stubborn, angry prejudices. At twenty-four years of age, I wholehearted asked God to forgive me and to come into my life through a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus.
Since that day, I can honestly say, that Jesus has transformed my life. The inner peace I had been looking for is now mine. Jesus filled my soul with meaning and hope and personally and experientially showed me that He is indeed God and Savior. He also broke me away from all my bondage to passion and drugs. I agree with the Apostle Paul who wrote, “…God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
It was God’s love and care that led me into the ministry so that I could help others find the purpose I had so clearly found in knowing Jesus. I have found that what God has done for me, he will do for others as well. I have led hundreds of people to the Lord and they experience the same thing I did: Jesus is real and He loves us.
May I ask you a question? Have you found peace with God… A peace that so satisfies you that the problems and pressures of life can’t rob your inner joy? If you don’t have this, I suggest that you consider what Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full,” and “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 10:10; 3:16).
If you’re searching for meaning and purpose, I encourage you to turn away from your own way of living with its passions and rebellion and the associated shame and guilt.
Jesus died in place of you so that you don’t have to carry the guilt or pay the penalty for your sin. Ask Him to forgive you and then let Him be the Lord of your life from then on. It’s your decision. You can believe me because of what He has done in my life, or you can believe His word: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 10:13). My prayer is that you will do so and do it soon!
You can pray something like this: Jesus, I am a sinner. I ask You to forgive my sins and give me eternal life. I receive you as my Lord and Savior, and commit my life to you. Thank you for the forgiveness of my sins and for eternal life.
In John 6:47 it says that he who believes in the Lord has eternal life. Did you believe in Him–that is, did you receive Him and trust Him for salvation? Then He says you have eternal life. May God bless you.
Pastor Ron Burgio
“And you will seek Me and find Me, When you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
Love Joy Church, 5423 Genesee Street
Lancaster, NY 14086
716 651-0400 www.lovejoy.org