Rolf Berge was 11 years old when he gave his heart to Jesus. Now he is over 70, and writes that he has never regretted that he chose to have Jesus as his personal Friend.
All of us need to have a friend or several friends – someone who understands us and who we know has a heart for us, someone whom we know and have experienced is always rooting for us. That doesn’t mean that he always agrees with us, because maybe he knows, often better than we do, what is best for us. But then and only then does he come with tender and upright advice that is able to help us.
Jesus Christ has been my Friend, my Brother, and my Savior from the time I was a child. I went to a Christian children’s conference as an 11 year old, and was powerfully drawn to Jesus. I was wholeheartedly converted through a conscious decision. This decision gave me joy in my heart and I wanted to confess the name of Jesus and share the joy I had received. I knew that my decision would be confirmed in that way, so I could be established in a steadfast life with Jesus. Therefore I mustered up my courage to say to my mother as soon as I got home, “Do you know why I am so happy?” “No,” she said. Then as decisively and clearly as possible I replied, “I have been converted.” My mother was very happy about what I had told her and said, “Pray for me also!” Both she and my father were later converted as well.
“You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” (John 15:14)
This inner joy made it so that I also wanted to tell other people, for example at school, about my new life with Jesus Christ. The few remarks of ridicule that I heard when I did that had no effect, because Jesus had gripped my heart. Even though I was still quite young, my life suddenly had meaning and direction. I felt secure and was fully convinced that it would go well with those who are godly. While during my youth as I was growing up, the people I would spend time together with and have as friends were also friends of Jesus. Even though I have had a good relationship with other students and later on, with colleagues at work, I have experienced a special friendship with the people whom Jesus describes in John 15:14, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”
Throughout life’s many great and small trials and at life’s cross roads, I have always known that Jesus was for me, that He always knows what is best for me. I have experienced that listening to what He has to say, and bowing my heart to His will, brings peace and joy in abundance. Faith in Him has made life full of content and meaningful, because in everything that comes my way, I can hear Jesus’ words and invitation: “Come to Me and learn of Me!..” (Matt. 11:28-30). Obedience to what faith has taught me has made me happy and thankful.