Blessed Are You Who Weep

Shay turned on the television. It was bedtime, but with the chaos in his life and the pain in his back, he needed help falling asleep. As Pastor Doug Batchelor’s voice filled the room, Shay relaxed. There was just something about this preacher’s demeanor that put him at ease! He climbed into bed and soon fell asleep.

Before long, Shay’s bedtime habit would wake him up to a new kind of life, and your support of Amazing Facts International would help him discover a new kind of peace.

A Solid Foundation Crumbles

Shay was raised in a Sabbath-keeping home. His mother read Bible stories to him and his five siblings, and his father took them on Sabbath walks. Shay learned to pray and to respect God. His parents especially impressed upon him the importance of the Sabbath. He even attended a church school through eighth grade. “I was given a solid foundation,” Shay writes.

But when Shay reached high school, that foundation began to crumble. He began drinking and experimenting with drugs. At first he was socially motivated, but by the time he reached college it had turned into a serious problem. “I was thoroughly addicted to alcohol, and I was smoking half a pack of cigarettes a day,” Shay writes. Nevertheless, he managed to keep up his grades and begin graduate work.

Then Shay developed sciatica, a pinched nerve in his lower back. The pain was crippling, causing him to walk with a limp. To cope, he began drinking and smoking even more. Then his girlfriend of two years abruptly ended their relationship. “I was an absolute mess,” Shay writes. “I was depressed and afraid that I was heading toward an early grave.” On top of that, his studies kept him so busy he could hardly sleep.

From Addiction to Conviction

As Shay’s world collapsed, he noticed the television programs his mother played. She often watched Christian content, and Pastor Doug especially impressed him. Somehow, he felt more relaxed when Pastor Doug’s programs came on. Soon, he began turning them on at bedtime. Eventually, Shay began to feel the Holy Spirit’s conviction as he listened. “The more Doug Batchelor sermons I watched, the more I wanted to give up my sins,” he shares. Despite his desires, Shay was addicted. He couldn’t let go of the substances that seemed to keep him afloat.

In a moment of intense hopelessness, Shay reached for the Amazing Facts Prophecy Study Bible that his mother had given him. He fell to his hands and knees on the floor. Longing to hear the words of Jesus, he opened the Bible to the book of Matthew. He began to read and pray. “Please, God,” he cried, “let me serve You. I’m tired of my life! Forgive me!”

As Shay wept, he followed the references in his Bible to Luke 6:21. “Blessed are you who weep now,” Shay read. He was moved. Here he was, weeping, and the Holy Spirit led him to this verse. He felt a wave of happiness so intense that he began to laugh. He cleared the tears from his eyes and looked back down at the verse. It concluded, “For you shall laugh.”

Shay sprang up into a kneeling position, and the peace he had longed for swept through him. He immediately threw away his cigarettes and liquor. “Jesus saw my desperate heart, gave me His Holy Spirit, and supernaturally changed my desires,” Shay writes. “I have never been the same.” Over the next several months, Shay’s back pain gradually improved. Today, he is pain-free.

A New Life

Shay then began to share his new peace with others, hosting Bible studies in his home. Soon, several people asked him to baptize them. Shay went to his pastor. Was he allowed to baptize his friends? The pastor went to the church elders, who agreed to make Shay an elder so that he could baptize his friends. A year after his conversion experience, Shay was ordained as an elder. After that, Shay began teaching a Sabbath school class for junior high students, as well as helping lead the mid-week youth group. “I’m blessed to be able to serve,” he writes.

Shay also began to pray daily that God would lead him where he needs to go. Soon, an opportunity arose for him to visit the Granite Bay Church on the Amazing Facts campus. “I’ve never felt so welcomed in a church in my entire life,” Shay writes. Before he left, he heard about the Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism—and later became a student.

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