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Josh Kok's Testimony

04.01.18 | Stories

    My name is Josh Kok.

    I knew Jesus as my Savior from a very early age. My family was involved in our Church, my parents taught me spiritual disciplines like reading the Bible and prayer, and I continued to learn what it meant that Jesus died on the cross for me as my faith grew during my time in youth group and college ministry.

    I’ve followed Christ my whole life, and yet, in the last two years, I have known his love and compassion deeper than ever.

    Starting my junior year of high school, I experienced deep swings of depression. Those seasons were marked with hopelessness, an absence of self-worth, and the feeling life was too painful to continue. Without fail this continued into my last year of college, until I went to a psychiatrist hoping for some answer to these swings, and the answer was Bipolar 1, a disorder characterized by depression lows, but also manic highs.

    For a year I was furious with God, because to me, in the matter of a 30 minute meeting, my entire life had been redefined.  Who was I? What parts of me were my personality, and what parts were my disorder? How could this being I had loved and served my whole life stricken me with this thorn from the beginning? Did I want to keep serving Him?

    I simmered in this identity crisis until God spoke to me through Ravi Zacharias in a sermon on Jesus’ statement to the Pharisees in Mark 12. They ask if they should pay taxes to Caesar, and Zacharias noted that the significance of Jesus’ answer, “Give to God what is God,” implies he was asking the Pharisees, “Whose image do your bear?”

    For the first time, I felt the truth that I had been suppressing: that I was fearfully and wonderfully made. I was not an illness, worthless, or broken. I was a son of God, made in His image, and infused with the Divine purpose to love and to serve in His name. Jesus has continued to give me the peace to rest in the truth that no matter the swings, whether high or low, no matter the storms, whether external or internal, no matter my shortcomings, He is constant, His compassions never fails, and they are new every morning, for great is His faithfulness.