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Testimony-Charles Wagner
April 29 2015
April 29 2015

If we don’t already know each other, I hope to get to know you and count you as a dear friend. If you or a loved one are experiencing a time of adversity, I understand. I have experienced adversity and tough times myself. I have lived with a divorce I didn’t think would ever happen. I have experienced financial crisis. I have had feelings of failure and meaninglessness. I have felt hopeless, knowing at times the darkness of despair. I have personally experienced the darkest of moments when suicide seemed as the only way to escape from the pain of life.

However, I discovered something in my faith journey.  I used to believe God was the cold accountant up in the sky. You know – checking off the things I do right and the things I do wrong. However, in my adversity I have come to understand God is abounding in love. He invented compassion, generosity, and mercy. What happened to Christ was not a barbaric or heinous act by a violent and bloodthirsty God. It was an act of love – to save you and I from the wrath we deserve. I believe God is so holy that He simply can’t have the stain of sin in His presence. And He did something about it. He fixed it by having Christ erase the stain because He longs to have us with Him forever. That is love!

I have learned that my struggles in life have been....gulp....good for me.  I have grown emotionally and spiritually.  I learned through my adversities that I often doubt God - that I think He has no idea what He is doing.  I learned that I am a rebel from God.  I like to do things my own way.  I learned that I like to make other things god instead of Him.  And guess what - I've made a huge mess of my life with all of these beliefs!  When I woke up and smelled the reality of life, it sure made far more sense to just give up trying to be my own god and let Him do what only He can do.

Don't misunderstand me.  I still have much to learn in my walk with God.  There is much room for growth.  As they say, two steps forward and one step backward.  However, God is exceedingly patient with us - as long as we persevere in striving to follow Him.  As long as we don't quit.  As long as we don't give up - no matter how frustrating life can be.

As I realized how broken I am and how loving and forgiving God is, He began to put into my heart the desire to love others...compassionately.  And so, I'm now dedicating my life to encouraging churches and ministries across America to publish the testimonies of how God has transformed lives of the people inside their ministry.  God deserves the honor!  They are His stories anyway!  He has done amazing work from coast to coast, rescuing people from grief, sickness, addiction, depression, financial crisis, and all kinds of things.  It is my prayer that people who believe they can't live another day will discover God's stories of changed lives on the websites of local churches.

I am also striving to volunteer, to give evidence that God loves people who are hurting in life, with sort of the "bucket list" goal of volunteering in as many different kinds of charities as I can in as many places as I can before I die.  I've had the pleasure of volunteering, with my son, in 6 different states so far, especially at homeless shelters and visiting prisons.  I take Matthew 25:36 to heart.  God loves people, just like you and your loved ones.

I am so thankful that Springton Lake has made a commitment to the sharing of testimonies of changed lives.  Please share your testimony in the spirit of II Corinthians 1:3-4.  There are people who are escaping from their pain in all kinds of destructive ways because they have no hope.  They know no one who has experiencing the transforming love of Christ!  But, you and I have experienced that love.  Let's tell them!


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