Growing up I never saw myself as someone who could be used by God. Throughout my teenage years the devil played a chess match with me which led me down a path I never thought I’d end up on. I battled demons for years and spiritual wickedness had almost claimed checkmate on my life as I knew it. By the time I was 16, my family had already gone through two divorces and I was knee deep in prescription pills, drugs, alcohol and to be honest my life was more than a mess. I was drowning. I was empty. I was broken. I felt as if I was locked in a prison and my cell was getting smaller and smaller. As time went on I became so lonely, depressed, and confused that I was honestly on the brink of simply giving up. The devil was getting ready to claim checkmate but, the King had one more move.
Sunday night, February 19th, 2006 at the lowest point of my life, I stood in the middle of a parking lot in Spartanburg, South Carolina with tears falling down my face in agony. Hopeless is the best word to describe what was running through my veins that night. But, sometimes God meets you at the end of yourself and that’s exactly what happened that night. I got born again. A preacher who had been trying to reach me for a while walked up behind me, wrapped his arms around me and told me that God had a plan for my life. I heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ and this broken kid had an encounter with Jesus that changed the direction of my life forever. Jesus reached way down and lifted me out of darkness! When I prayed to receive Salvation, it was as if God walked into that prison cell I had been locked in, picked me up, opened my eyes and set me free. I went home that night and poured all the alcohol down the sink, gathered all the drugs and junk that had consumed my life for so long and put it in a red wheelbarrow. I rolled that wheelbarrow to the back yard, grabbed my mom and we stood there with joy as I lit the past on fire and watched it burn.
Fast forward many years later, I shared this same testimony to a room full of high school kids. I preached the gospel and witnessed 46 teenagers and one teacher come forward to receive salvation. Lives were changed that day but I was one of them. As I gave the altar call and teenagers began to leave their seats I felt the presence of the Lord consume me. Trying to put this into words is difficult but it was as if God Himself imparted a truth into my heart as I felt the Holy Spirit say…”Jacob, I’ve turned your pain into your purpose. Now go and preach the Gospel with boldness.” I looked into the eyes of each person coming forward, some broken in tears, others filled with joy, and I realized even more how urgent the Gospel is. After the service I had the opportunity to talk with the ones who gave their lives to Jesus. Many told me about how they’ve been lost, sad, broken, empty and without purpose for so long. It broke my heart. I heard about family members and friends who are without Christ and how they want them to have the gift they just received. I remember one boy walking up to me in tears asking how to share the gospel with his girlfriend who he wants to see born again. He said “I just want her to be with me in Heaven.” What happened that day is something I’ll never forget. Why? Because this was the day God ironed in my heart that he can take a broken kid like me and turn him into an evangelist.
In the midst of this world wide pandemic, God can use you too. With all the confusion and chaos due to COVID-19, people are hungry for truth. People are afraid and confused and right now they’re more open to hear the gospel than ever before. If you’re reading this and you feel inadequate, understand that in all your weaknesses, insecurities, and regrets, giants can fall if you trust the Lord. When the gospel is proclaimed, your story could literally set someone free. Your pain, if you give it to God will become your purpose. We’re living in strange times right now and even though we may not be able to go out into the world to share the gospel, we can reach out in other ways. Sending someone a message or texting that friend or family member who’s far from God may be the reason why that person comes to Jesus. God can take your little faith and obedience and turn it into a changed life.
Share this post and never forget that through Christ, He can take your pain and turn it into your purpose.
By: Jacob Ebersole
To learn more about Jacob and his ministry, click here.
Click here, to watch the altar call from this event!