I grew up in a Christian family, but at 13 I declared that I was an atheist. When I was 18, I left my hometown of Rio de Janeiro with a backpack and set off to see the world. I visited the British Isles, then crossed the Channel and took a bus overland to India, through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. I learned that Arabic-speakers use the same expression, As-salamu alaykum—the peace of God be with you—for hello and goodbye. Once in a little town in Afghanistan, I heard a boy singing a beautiful song in his father’s tailor shop. When I asked what he was singing, he said, “The Koran, of course.” When I arrived in Goa, I stayed with a group of French young people who would sit in their hut and spend hours silently contemplating a lit candle on the table.
I remember thinking, There must be a God. Everywhere I go, people are seeking Him. Soon I found my Christian roots again and became a missionary, and that’s when I began learning what having faith really means.
In my experience, as you pass the tests of life one by one, you will find that faith beckons you onward. It keeps you going when setbacks and discouragement scream that you should give up. It is a still small voice that tells you in the midst of turmoil that everything is going to be all right. Faith grows through the challenges we overcome day by day.
If you think your faith is still small, remember what Jesus said. Even if your faith is as tiny as a mustard seed, it can move a mountain.1
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The resurrection completes the inauguration of God’s kingdom. … It is the decisive event demonstrating that God’s kingdom really has been launched on earth as it is in heaven. … The message of Easter is that God’s new world has been unveiled in Jesus Christ and that you’re now invited to belong to it.—N. T. Wright (b. 1948)
Jesus, I believe that You are the Son of God, that You died on the cross in my place, and rose again from death. Please grant me the gift of Your forgiveness, that I may live forever at peace with You.