A dad is quarrel with his daughter

God Used a Crisis to Strengthen My Faith

Written by SV, Sri Lanka


Having parents of two different faiths, I was exposed to both Christianity and Buddhism as a child. Since my father was a Buddhist, I was identified with this religion from birth and was enrolled in a Buddhist school.

However, I felt the influence of Christ at home right from the early days. Despite my father’s aversion to exposing me to all things Christian, I found my ears tuning in to the hymns my mother would hum to me each night, and I would read the children’s Bible that my aunt had gifted to me and my brother. 

I was 10 years old when I came to develop a relationship with God. From then on, I grew in my friendship with Jesus without the knowledge of my father. This became a fearful secret that I kept hidden until five years ago, when a strong urge rose within me to truly accept the Lord and proclaim myself a believer of Christ. 

It felt terrifying to let the cat out of the bag, but what helped me find my voice was my desire to freely worship the Lord at the Christmas service, without having to pretend to be a nonbeliever in front of my father. 

On Christmas eve, I finally confessed to my father that I had come to believe in Jesus. A tense silence followed, after which my father got up and left the room, and I broke down in tears.

A few days later, my father had a private discussion with me to show me how I was being led astray by my feelings. He told me that I had to attend a Buddhist teaching session every Sunday. 

At that moment I regretted revealing my secret. It felt like things took a turn for the worse after I did what I felt like God wanted me to do. 

The arguments that my father presented against my faith and my own feelings of uncertainty made me feel torn. I found myself having doubts about how my future would turn out if I stuck with Jesus. Fear crippled me, such that I began to wonder if the only way out of this chaos was to reject God and become a Buddhist. 

However, I also felt deeply pained at the thought of rejecting God, whose love for me was more than I could imagine. 


Clinging to the Rock of my salvation

Soon after, my father went overseas to continue his work. Meanwhile, I had to attend the Buddhist teaching sessions week after week, which made me increasingly confused and hopeless. My mind was being bombarded by the enemy with doubt after doubt about all that I knew of the Lord. Having to continue listening to Buddhist sermons with all these questions swirling in my head became too much for me.

During those trying times, the Holy Spirit constantly prompted me to go to Jesus. It was just as Psalm 61:2 described: “When my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the Rock that is higher than I”. 

Even when I couldn’t find the words to describe what I was going through, the Holy Spirit helped me pray (Romans 8:26); I clung to Jesus, pleading with Him to give me faith to believe in Him, because deep down I knew I still loved Him and wanted Him. 

Psalm 62:8 tells us to trust in God at all times and pour out our hearts before Him, for He is our refuge. Even in our anger and frustration, we can pour out our feelings to God and invite Him to sail through the storm with us. 


My God is good and in control

I don’t recall being able to focus on God’s goodness amid those hard days. However, by constantly running to the Father when overwhelmed, I was able to experience His love for me.

When I was struggling with a lot of uncertainty and indecision about my future, the Lord led me to pour out my heart to Him, after which He guided me to declare my trust in Him—that He is faithful and sovereign over my life (Psalm 139:16).

I have since realised that whenever I take the step to surrender my worries to God, He leads me to reflect on the truth of His character.

Ephesians 1 reminds me that God holds the universe in the palm of His hand, and all things are under His control (vv.21-22). Isaiah 43:2-3 assures me that because the Lord is my Saviour, He will be with me when I “go through deep waters” and “walk through the fire”; I will not be consumed.

As I chose to trust in God’s Word, it led me to see that the storm I was facing was temporary, God remains eternal, and my life is ordered by His hand.

Seeing the sunrise and sunset each day fills me with gratitude for God’s overwhelming goodness. They portray His unchanging character, His faithfulness, and His absolute control over nature. This gives me the faith to trust that He is also in control of my life.

Covid-19 put an end to the weekly Buddhist sessions, and since then my father has not attempted to persuade me through other means to follow Buddhism. My relationship with my father has remained the same as before, although we have not talked about my faith since. 

As I look back at that turbulent time, I saw how God brought me to a higher ground by enabling me to experience the guidance and empowering of the Holy Spirit. I was able to spend significantly more time with the Lord through prayer and Bible reading, and He comforted me and gave me hope as I focused on what He had to say about my situation. 


Anchoring myself to His promises 

“In order to realise the worth of the anchor we need to feel the stress of the storm”—I see how these words by Corrie Ten Boom were true in my life. 

Through that period of testing, God grew my faith from a spoon-fed, immature love into a full-fledged, Spirit-led commitment towards Him. He showed me that I cannot rely on my feelings to believe in His love and presence, but that I can choose to believe His Word (Deuteronomy 31:6).

I have found peace, courage, and joy by choosing to anchor my thoughts onto His promises. When I had to face my Advanced Level examination, I was gripped by constant worry and fear. As the exam day approached, the Holy Spirit led me to note down some scriptures and speak them over my situation. This gave me incredible peace and enabled me to grow in my relationship with Jesus even amid stress.

Just as an anchor keeps a ship secure in a stormy sea, Jesus is our safe anchor amid the waves of life. He doesn’t guarantee a sea devoid of storms, but He does promise to sail with us (Hebrews 13:5) and rescue us when we cry out to Him (Psalm 50:15). He also promises to be our peace when we fix our eyes on Him (Isaiah 26:3) and strengthen us when we face hardships (Isaiah 41:10). 

As I write this, I know another storm may be just around the corner. I know I will break down like before, but I can take heart because Jesus said, “I have overcome the world” (John 16:33), and He is the Rock of my salvation. My hope is that as I continue to sail through the different storms of life, my constant confession shall be “God is good, and God is in control!” 

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)

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