Experiences with God: Harv Peter

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” (John 5:24)

I would like to share my testimony to the glory of God. The above quoted verse constantly reminds me of what Jesus promised us in His Word. I truly believe that I crossed over from death to life, and I feel it too. I’ve experienced what it means to be “born again!”

I grew up in a Christian home and attended the Church of God since birth, surrounded by praying parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. All were such an incredible example to me. God began speaking to me at an early age, but the devil was always more than happy to help me add to my list of excuses why I should reject the Lord’s calling. I thought to myself: life would be too boring, Christians aren’t allowed to have any fun, they have far too many strict rules, and so I went about my life without God, rejecting Him for over 5 decades. As I grew older, my heart hardened and I became more and more unhappy, miserable, bitter, and depressed. (God kept speaking to me.) It seemed nothing in my life was going right. 

Then, in 2017, everything took a turn for the worse when just before my birthday I had a complete mental breakdown. I was a mess! I just sat at home crying, struggling with anxiety, depression, and loneliness. It was horrible! I couldn’t work or go anywhere. I wasn’t even capable of driving my car. Medications didn’t really help either. (God started speaking more!) I begged the Lord for help, as I felt I was literally losing my mind. Over the next couple of years things in my life seemed to get a little better, but ultimately they were getting worse, way worse! In the middle of all the turmoil and confusion that was my life, I even lost the job I loved so much. At that point I fell into the deepest, darkest depressive state of my life. Everything seemed completely hopeless and out of control. (God really started talking!)

I was always stubborn and thought I could fix anything in my life all by myself. I was far too proud to ever ask for help. However, I had no clue at this point how I could fix the mess which was my life. I felt so empty and my existence seemed so purposeless. Most things I always enjoyed were not fun anymore either. I was in a dark, lonely place, all alone and by myself. I really needed help. It’s amazing how God can bring even the most proud and stubborn people (like me) to their knees. I hadn’t read the Bible much in decades, but I did remember this verse from my childhood days in Sunday School. (Sunday School teachers, yes, 45 years later I still remembered. Children don’t forget, praise the Lord!) Matthew 11:28: “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” My burden had become unbearable. 

I finally made up a text to our pastor, asking just to talk to him, but I deleted it. Satan was working overtime on me, but so was God. The following morning, I made up another text, but I just sat and looked at it for quite some time. I delayed and delayed. The send button almost seemed to be flashing at me. Satan was screaming in my head “DON’T DO IT!” I started to cry and break down, and finally I said out loud: “Satan, you are NOT going to win this time, and I pushed the send button. “Praise the Lord!” It wasn’t long before our pastor answered my text. He said he would love to meet with me but couldn’t till much later that evening, as they were just in the midst of moving. My heart sank. The devil was still yelling in my ear, saying: “See, I told you! The pastor is really busy and doesn’t have time.” I was really scared. I thought, “That’s 8 more hours for Satan to pester me and possibly convince me to change my mind.” Those were the longest 8 hours of my life. I’m sure God also had a reason for this delay. 

Later that evening, I met with our pastor. We talked, read Scripture, and prayed together. I cried out to the Lord, begged Him to forgive all my sins, and pledged my life to Him. Praise and all the glory to God’s holy name! All my sins were forgiven, and that overwhelming burden of guilt, worries, anxiety, depression, and bitterness was gone, totally gone! God truly still does answer prayers today. I’m so happy and thankful for all that God has done for me, especially for His amazing grace. 

As a truck driver traveling through mountain passes in all weather conditions, I stared death in the face on many occasions, but God spared me, always bringing me home safely. For all this I will be eternally grateful. I would like to thank all of you who prayed for me over all the years, especially my dear wife. Also, my parents and in-laws. My parents prayed for me every day for over half a century. Never giving up hope, always trusting and believing that God answers prayers. He sure did in my case! What an incredible example and display of faith that has been for me. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to you all. If I have offended or wronged anyone, I humbly ask for your forgiveness. I pray that my testimony can been a blessing to all my brothers and sisters. I also pray that it can be an encouragement to all those who haven’t found the courage yet to take that leap of faith. I promise you all that you will not regret it. I want to be obedient to God’s Word. This summer, I was also blessed to have the privilege of being baptized. What an honor that I can finally say “I belong to the family of God!” I ask that you all continue to support me in prayer in my walk with the Lord. May God bless you all.

Harv Peter 

Chilliwack, BC  

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