Written By Daniel Ryan Day, USA
Daniel is married to his high school sweetheart, and dad to three. He’s the author of What’s Next: Your Dream Job, God’s Call and a Life That Sets You Free, and a podcaster at Our Daily Bread. He holds a Master’s Degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, and is an ordained minister.
If you’re looking for an article on the reliability or truth of Christianity, this isn’t it (but this is!). The question—“is Christianity true?”—is a question we need to ask. It’s worth the research. In fact, I used to read and own just about every book I could find on evidences for the Christian faith. But if I’m honest, the truth of Christianity has never been enough to get me excited about following Jesus. It gave me confidence, at times, that I’m not believing something false, but I can read a book that offers proof of the existence of God and still feel lost as to how that impacts my life today.
I want my faith to help me discover who I am and what I was made for. I want to find meaning and purpose. I want to be fully known and to be invited into real relationships with others. In other words, I want to know Christianity is good for me. And I think it is. Here’s how I’ve experienced the goodness of Christianity:
1. Christianity gives me hope when things don’t work out the way I expect them to, and peace to trust that God knows what He’s doing.
You know how a lot of people struggle to figure out what they are supposed to do with their lives? I’ve been there—I even wrote an article about it. Many years ago, I really wanted the work for a certain organization. I needed a new job, there was a position available, and I thought for sure these were signs that God wanted me to work at this particular place. But then I didn’t get the job. I was discouraged. I was frustrated. But because I grew up attending church, I had heard that God was good and was trustworthy. I heard that He can take a “no” and use it to direct my steps to His plan. And I wanted to believe His plan would be better than my plan, even if I doubted it in the moment. But it took a few years to get there.
Last year, I was offered a job for a different company—a job I’m really excited about and that was only possible because the first job didn’t work out. God’s “no” to job option #1 was a “yes” to job option #2. Sometimes things work like this—although sometimes, I’ve only heard “no” after “no” after “no.” But I’ve found that even in a season of “no’s” from God, if I step back from the emotions of the moment, I can think of times in my life where God took an unexpected “no” and used it for good. I think all of us can. Christianity points us to a good God who wants what’s best for His kids, and whether it’s a job, a relationship, or you-fill-in-the-blank, we can trust Him even when things don’t work out the way we expect (Proverbs 16:9). That is so good!
2. Christianity makes sense of my struggles and brokenness, but doesn’t leave me to deal with them on my own.
When I see the word “sin,” I get uncomfortable and feel a whole lot of pressure to behave. I grew up in a context where it felt like this word was used to challenge people to keep God happy by avoiding a long list of behaviors. I slowly came to despise the word sin because it made me feel like I was defined by my sins and struggles. I also had a hard time imagining that God could every really love me because I was such a terrible “sinner.” This is no way to live.
But lately, I’ve experienced a positive side to the word “sin,” that is free from the long list of “dos” and “don’ts” I grew up with. Sin labels the brokenness I experience inside and outside as I pursue self-destructive decisions that are bad for me and those I love. It describes the causes of my struggles. It explains why I sometimes treat the people I care about so poorly. But Christianity doesn’t just label my brokenness, it also offers a way to be rescued from it. Not only does God forgive me for my mistakes, but He, through the Holy Spirit, comes to help me make better choices today. And even when I still mess up and make bad decisions, He picks me up, dusts me off, forgives me again, and whispers through His Spirit, “I love you. We can do this.” I’ve tasted the goodness of Christianity as I’ve tasted the goodness of God who sees us in our brokenness, has pity on us, looks on us with kindness and love, and instead of requiring us to do enough good things to outweigh the bad, lays down His own life to rescue us. That is so good!
3. Christianity provides me with brothers and sisters of faith, who are committed to more than just having fun together.
I have a backpacking trip coming up in a few weeks, and I can’t wait. We are going to hike, fish, hang out by the fire, laugh, and explore the lakeshore (of Lake Michigan). But that’s just the fun stuff, and this trip will be so much more rewarding than just a few good memories. The two guys that are coming are like brothers to me, even though I’ve only known them for about 16 months. From my first few interactions with these guys, I knew God was doing something special. Our common belief in Jesus has led to real connections, and being known and accepted in ways I’ve never experienced outside of Christianity. We’ve spent time praying together, keeping one another accountable, sharing stories of our broken histories, admitting to struggles, and listening for God’s direction. We’ve been able to encourage one another with Scriptures, challenge one another to be faithful, and we’ve had opportunities to serve one another. Our mutual love for Jesus and our shared Christian experience is what binds us together. This is so good!
Christianity is more than true, it’s also good because it points us to the good God behind Christianity.
How have you experienced the goodness of God?