2nd Year Finance, Heriot-Watt University
Hi, my name is Philip Gordon. I’m 21, I’m from Northern Ireland and I’m currently in my second year at Heriot-Watt University, studying finance. I was brought up in a Christian home which I’m so thankful for. As a family, we went to church twice on a Sunday, so at a very young age I knew about God. I got saved when I was about 8 years old. One Sunday evening at church, my pastor spoke about how you couldn’t rely on your parents being saved, going to church or doing good works in order to receive salvation and be able to go to heaven. Those words really spoke to me and that night, I kneeled down at my bedside and asked Jesus into my heart. Right then, I felt a complete sense of calmness in my heart.
The next few years, I didn’t really live for Jesus and relied on my own strength and ability to get by each day. In my second year of high school, one night in November, I became so down and depressed. There was nothing that triggered it and it was as if I was in a bubble and couldn’t get out. That was the start of my depression and for the rest of 2nd year, I was constantly depressed. One moment I would be up and the next I would be down. I told no-one how I felt and looking back now, I wish I had of shared it with others. However, I wasn’t alone. God was with me every moment of every day. Suicide often crossed my mind, but God always spoke to me that He was with me and that one day I would be free from depression. I clung onto that hope every day and I know for sure that I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for God.
That summer, my depression gradually left me and I felt like I had my life back again. I was no longer depressed and I began to enjoy living each day. At the end of that summer, for about a week, all of a sudden, I feared death and I couldn’t sleep at night. This was due to Satan constantly telling me in my mind that if I died tonight, I would wake up in hell. Even during the day, all I could think about was where I would go if I died. I began to doubt more and more my salvation and believed Satan’s lies. That week felt like a year to me. However, on the Sunday night at the end of that week, at church, the pastor made the invitation for anyone to come up to the front if they wanted complete assurance of going to heaven when this life would be over. I became so strongly convicted in my spirit, that although I tried so hard to fight this conviction and remain in my seat, I eventually went up to the front. I asked Jesus into my heart and to take away my fears of death. Instantly my fear of death left me and although Satan tried after that to place doubt in my mind, I had a date of when I was saved and never forgot it, so that no matter how hard Satan tried to make me doubt my salvation, I have never once worried about death. Since then, no matter how bad a day I have, I can sleep at night so easy, knowing, that if I died tonight, I would be in heaven with God my Saviour.
The last few years I have seen so many doors close in my life such as the career I wanted and the university that I wanted to go to. Thankfully, God has opened more doors than have closed and I rely totally on God each day for my strength and my direction, knowing that without him, I have no purpose each day. Looking back now, I’m actually so thankful that I went through the depression that I did. I have so many testimonies from each test that I went through, my faith and trust In God has become so much deeper and through that time I became closer to God each day as I realised, that I need Him for everything. I also strongly believe, and the Bible backs it up, that if we really mean it, we need only ask Jesus once into our heart to be our Saviour. In my life, because I doubted my Salvation, I believe by asking Jesus into my heart for the second time, that it was God’s way of totally taking my doubts of Salvation away. I have learnt many things in my walk with God so far in life, but one that stands out is that we need to learn to be patient when we pray to God. At the start of my depression, I wanted God to take my depression away instantly but that wasn’t God’s will. We just need to realise that our timing isn’t always God’s timing and that we totally need to trust him and be obedient to His will. LIFE WITHOUT JESUS IS MEANINGLESS!