‘Life may be hard at times but I have a source of strength that will never fail,’ says Paul
The ups and downs of life may come but 29-year-old South African Navy Lieutenant Paul Mxolisi Kuhlase says God gives him strength to face hard times.
"My life has been a roller coaster, I lost my brother, the woman that I was planning to marry, and I had my car stolen – all in the space of three years," Paul explains.
"It was not easy but I was quick to find solace in the Lord Jesus Christ and knew that He would help me through it."
Going to church and praying to God was always "a way of life" for Paul's family growing up and from a young age he knew that God loved him and was watching over him.
"I always wanted to do the right thing, just to ensure that I was standing right with God," he explains.
Yet it was only at age 11, at a church service a week before his sister's wedding, that Paul came to understand that it was not his good works that would assure him a place in heaven.
"That night I was introduced to the Holy Spirit from that chair in the tent," he says.
"The pastor explained that growing up in church or going to church doesn't make you a born-again Christian. He showed us from Romans chapter 10 that each person must choose to accept Jesus and proclaim with their mouth that Jesus is Lord.
"At the end of the service I found myself at the front accepting Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour of my life."
From that day onwards Paul says he had a "thirst for the Word of God in everything" and started sharing it with other's whenever he had the chance.
"The Bible is the real foundation of heaven and earth and it speaks to all possible situations that one can face in life," he shares.
Even in the hard times, Paul is reminded that many godly men in the Bible suffered but God brought them through it.
The apostle Paul confirmed this in 2 Corinthians chapter 4, verses 8 to 10 when he wrote, "We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies."
"My life is not my life," Paul adds. "I am a vessel, I am a champion, and I am an ambassador for God. My life speaks to others by showing that in all circumstances; it is possible to live a right life for God.
"Trusting in God also makes life easier in times of difficulty because He has prepared me for any outcome."
Paul says it is through reading the Word of God regularly that he not only finds comfort but has also learnt to identify the voice of God.
"God still speaks to us directly through the Scriptures if you know how to listen in order to hear His voice," he explains.
Another verse that speaks strongly to Paul are Jesus' words in Matthew chapter 11, verses 28 to 30, which says, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."
Paul concludes by saying, "Don't pray just when your life is falling apart.
"He who doesn't pray and read their Bible regularly becomes prey to the bad things of this world." •