Have Faith

Peter Nowland, an Independent Evangelical Christian, talks about forgiveness in his Have Faith column. (s)
Peter Nowland, an Independent Evangelical Christian, talks about forgiveness in his Have Faith column. (s)

I have recently been reflecting on my journey as a Christian, having been Christened and at the age of seven years received my first Holy Communion.

However, I wandered away from my faith at the age of 14. There followed a time of deterioration in the quality of my life which resulted 36 years ago with a sudden desire to ask Jesus to come fully back into my life again.


Since becoming a born again Christian, I have found a fresh desire to read the Bible regularly to help discover more about God’s love for his creation. This resulted in finding that I wanted to change the way I lived, and discovered that when I wandered away from this fresh way of living, I could ask God to forgive me and help me to become a better person.


I have recently been reading once more the Gospel according to John, a part of the Bible which looks at Jesus’ ministry alongside His disciples, and His death and resurrection. At the very end of this Gospel we can find the wonderful story of the disciples going back to their work practice at night as fishermen, trying to get a decent catch of fish, with a result in catching nothing.


A stranger on the shore tells them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat, which resulted in a catch of a “large number of fish...153 ” and the realisation that the stranger on the shore was Jesus. This then resulted in a fish breakfast with bread prepared by Jesus, who shared it with them, with the phenomena that the fish did not immediately pass through his body. This was not a ghostly Jesus, but a fully risen Lord.


The result of this meeting is also for Peter, his reinstatement, following his denial of knowing Jesus three times during His trial, before His crucifixion. How wonderful this restoration was for Peter, as it has been for me nearly 2,000 years later.