Orianna Daphane Cheah
Jesus Rescued Me By His Love
I was born and raised in a Javanese family, fully Islamic way in Indonesia. When I became a teenager, I studied about Islam in school. It is the major religion with many adherents in Java, where I have lived all my life. I prayed five times to "Allah" (deceptively known as God Almighty) almost every day, and I received religious moral education in Islam with great eagerness. Of course, I read the Koran and I learned all of the prescribed ritual prayers. I tried to obey "Allah" as faithfully as prophet Muhammad did.
After my college education, I worked for few commercial companies and even had a colleague who claimed to be a Christian but I detested her behaviour. Many questions arose and I was not satisfied with my life as well as stumped by the economic crisis in my country. I began to search for the true answers to the questions of life in my heart. My next door neighbours in Jakarta are caring Christians but I was a little apprehensive to ask about the Christian faith and teachings. Whenever I passed a church building on the way home, I wondered what kind of God were the Christians worshipping and taught.
Last year I met a tourist named Sam who visited my workplace. He had a warm and genuine smile that radiated an undeniable inner peace. Well, initially he seemed to be more attracted to my lovelier colleagues than me. Sigh...after that brief encounter with this tourist from Singapore - a radiant Christian, I had a little mixed feelings. On the one hand, I could not shake the image of his kind and happy face from my mind. I knew that he had something in his life that I didn't have. To my surprise I was later introduced to him by my colleague and we began our friendship. He shared with me from the Bible: "Jesus said, `I am the way - and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me'" (John 14:6). The claim that Christ is the only way made it very clear that the Bible teaches that every human being is a sinner, and yet God loves us and through Christ he can forgive and save us. There was so much I did not understand about Jesus.
I had heard that "the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23), but I did not know what it meant. Sam shared with me that his joy came from trusting in Jesus as his Saviour and Lord. He not only told me about God's holiness, he also told me about God's love. When he told me that God demonstrated His love by coming in the person of Jesus Christ to give His life on the cross for our sins, I was amazed. I had never heard anything like that before. It was wonderful, even overwhelming, to think that God is like that and that by trusting in Jesus Christ one could have all of his sins forgiven. Now I could begin to understand why a true Christian had so much joy and peace even in the midst of troubles. A Christian did not need to fear the judgment of God. He had his sins forgiven because Jesus Christ took all those sins on Himself when he died on the cross so that we need not face the judgment of God once and for all. Alleluia!
I wondered if all of this could be true. I thought about it very much - then I told Sam I wanted Jesus to be my personal Saviour and Sam's sincerity touched me very much too. That same day, I accepted Jesus as my personal Saviour.
It is impossible for me to describe the changes that Jesus brought in my life when I turned from everything else and put my faith in Him. I felt that a great burden had been removed from my heart. I experienced the same joy that other Christians had. It became a personal reality to me and no longer something I only saw and envied in others. Jesus said that He came that we might have life and have it in all of its fullness (John 10:10). Now I discovered what Jesus meant.
Sam and I were married in early January 2001 and the many wonderful things God blesses us from that day onwards.
My heart had previously been dominated by fears and to be loved, but Christ cleansed me of these base and corrupt attitudes and replaced them with His blessed assurance and love. I found that I had a great desire to pray for my parents and siblings about the wonderful Saviour who became my everlasting Hope. My father had told me to remain a faithful Muslim but I have my own choice in life and praise God He enabled me to make the right choice. Now, I would arise on Sunday morning with a deep desire to worship the Lord together with many others in church where the name of Jesus is glorified and honoured!
My heavenly Father, God in heaven greatly loves me to send Jesus to die for me for He (Jesus) gave all for me - He paid the penalty of death for me (because of my sins) and Jesus is coming again soon for me and all who takes Him as their personal Saviour. I am convinced that no other endeavour in life could compare with that joyful calling. By the grace of God, He rescued me and lifted me up.
In Islam I had no certainty and no peace. I was always in a state of anxiety and frustration. But in Christ I have assurance and rest in my heart. The most important thing to me is the love of Christ and the love he puts in the hearts of those who sincerely believe in Him and know him. True Christians love Muslims too. If anyone calls himself a Christian and hates anyone else, he is self-deceived, for he does not truly know Christ. The Bible warns against all of those who think that by persecuting and killing others they are doing God service (John 16:2).
When I came to Singapore and became a believer in Christ, Christ has taken care of me and so has my dear husband Sam. Since I came to know Jesus I have found that I have other brothers and sisters in Christ all around me - and many more all over the world via the internet. I left my parents, brother and sister, relatives and friends in Indonesia but God gave me a greater family in Singapore and in the kingdom of Jesus Christ.
"Therefore being justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1)