Disillusioned with religion, Hamid* sought escape from his painful circumstances in drugs and alcohol. His life was miraculously turned around when he watched SAT-7 PARS’ programme Principles of Faith and heard about a God who loves him.
“I was afraid of God and thought that I would end up deep in hell,” Hamid reflects, remembering his childhood in Iran. Surrounded by religion from birth, Hamid began to doubt from a young age. “I saw that religious people had unvirtuous lifestyles filled with theft, adultery, and vulgarity,” he says.
DISILLUSIONED WITH RELIGION
Hamid continued to follow religious rituals due to family and societal pressures. However, when Hamid was just 18 years old he suffered a traumatic event which changed his life forever. His employers, who were also religious leaders, abused him and threatened harsh consequences if he ever told anyone.
“I was disgraced,” says Hamid. “At this point I turned away from God and believed that all religions were lies. How could such people who promoted their religion do such a thing?”
ADDICTED AND ALONE
Not knowing where to turn, Hamid became desperate for an escape. “I started using alcohol and drugs to forget my pain. This eventually affected my job performance and I was fired. I was a healthy man when I started work, but I left as a drug addict.”
Hamid spent many years depressed and alone, suffering in silence and using drugs to escape his inner turmoil. “No one wondered what happened to a healthy man, and no one asked if I needed any help.”
One day, Hamid came across SAT-7 PARS and started to hear about a God of love, a God who could help him no matter how bad his circumstances. The presenter of the live show had a testimony Hamid could relate to. He too had been addicted to drugs for decades before finding freedom in Jesus. Hamid dared to hope that this God could be real.
“The Pastor said to pray with him during the programme and Jesus Christ would help me,” Hamid recalls. “I knelt and prayed. Something beautiful happened. Since then, I stopped using alcohol and drugs after an 18-year addiction!”
A FEARLESS FUTURE
Hamid’s whole outlook on life has dramatically changed after finding freedom in Christ. He has hope for the future for the first time since he was a teenager. “I know God has a plan for me,” he shares confidently. “I read the Bible daily and watch SAT-7 programmes to learn more about faith.”
Hamid now feels free to leave his past behind, and his focus is on growing his faith and sharing his story to encourage others. “Thank God for our saving Lord, Jesus Christ. He is the Son of God, and in Him is the good news of forgiveness and a new life. All can follow His ways. I, Hamid, proudly and without any fear announce that I am a believer!
* Not his real name