Posts Tagged ‘belief’

Safe/Control

feeling-safe
I run to him, and I am safe.

 

“But you will cross the Jordan and settle in the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, and he will give you rest from all your enemies around you so that you will live in safety.” Deuteronomy 12:10

“When you go out to fight your enemies and you face horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid. The LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you!” Deuteronomy 20:1

“I will give you peace in the land, and you will be able to sleep with no cause for fear. ” Leviticus 26:6

 

Have you ever laid down to sleep in fear?

 

The writer Paulo Coelho writes in the Alchemist that “the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.” Our thoughts control us. Whether for good or for evil. We are often limited by what we think we can’t do. And often times we limit God by dwelling on the fears of what God has already said he will take care of.

 

We are human, and as a result it is in our nature is to value the things that are seen more than the things that are unseen. We are more concerned with the love of those we can lay eyes on, feel their touch, and hear their voice. We strive to please parents, friends, teachers, lovers. And we forget to seek to please God. We assume that attempting to please God is like walking with no gravity.Like praying for sunshine in the middle of the night. Or like grasping for an orange from an apple tree. 

 

Nevertheless, that is our claim to faith. Our belief in something more. Something more than the things we see with our eyes. Something more than the immediate pleasures and sufferings of this world. It is the concept of a greater plan, a greater purpose for our life. To nonbelievers it is wishful thinking, it is a conscious rejection of scientific evidence and ‘reality.’

 

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18

 

But the amazing thing is that people of all walks of life, with varying experiences, upbringing, and cultures are drawn to this belief. And what compels them? It’s not the rejection of common sense as most atheists are want to believe. But it’s the openness and awareness of a thread that runs through each and every one of our lives.

 

Death is inevitable. Till then our actions play a large role in the outcome of our life journey. But what controls these actions? It is our thoughts. Descartes said it best, “I think, therefore I am.” If you knew the outcome of your life hinged on a single strand of thoughts, what would you focus your mind on? “To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” (Henry David Thoreau)

 

What are thinking of today? Are you dwelling on failures, doubt, worry, and weaknesses? Or are you trusting in God? Are you trusting in Him to protect you from your enemies? To give you security? To give you peace?

 

Control your thoughts. Don’t let them control you.

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part-time Atheist.

“No one can please God without faith. Whoever goes to God must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6; God’s Word Translation)

 

 

According to the bible, without faith, it is impossible to please God. The writer of Hebrews, then goes on to say, that having faith means 1) believing that God exists, and 2) believing that there is some benefit found in following him.

 

If you believe in God, but you don’t believe that there is any benefit to following him—you don’t have faith. And since knowing that God is good (Psalm 100:5, Mark 10:18, Psalm 119:68), and knowing that he rewards those who seek him (Philippians 4:19, James 1:17, Isaiah 41:10), is inextricably tied to who God is—denying his benefits is equivalent to denying his existence.

 

In Matthew 14:31, after Peter stepped out of the boat and began to sink, Jesus rebuked him saying, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

In that moment, when Peter lost faith, he doubted who God was, and what God could do for him. In essence, in losing faith, he called into question God’s existence.

 

Often, when Christians gather together in groups at bible study, after church, or during prayer meetings, they sit down and just ‘wonder’ at the disbelieving Atheist.

“Tsk tsk” they say, completely aghast. “How could anyone live without Christ?” “I simply do NOT know(!) how I’d ever make it without God,” they sigh.

 

And what do the rest of do when we aren’t chiming-in in agreement? We nod our heads, raise our hands, and shout mercy(!), as we pity the poor unbeliever. Looking down from our church-bench on Saturday or Sunday, we wag our fingers the shortsighted atheist—who ‘luckily,’ of course, aren’t present to offer any rebuttal.

 

The fascinating thing is that when we claim to be Christians, yet become so lost in worry, fear, and doubt, we become no different than Atheists, who are at the very least consistent in their lack of faith. Like Peter who one day declared to Jesus, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” but then the next day swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know this man you’re talking about!” (Mark 14: 31,71) Our relationship with God often wavers depending on our environment. And God forbid, we enter into severe trials or struggles, we sometimes completely loose faith in God. We become like Job and wonder as he wondered, “Why did I not die at birth?Why did I not perish when I came from the womb?” (Job 3:11)

 

It’s at moments like this, that we no longer believe that God rewards those who seek him.

 

We ask ourselves, “Where was God when…” or “How could God let this happen?” We look at our failure and our shortcomings and we wonder what we even gain by following God. At those moments when we doubt God’s goodness and his benefits, we are actually doubting his existence. We go to church, but we are worried about our future, our family, our job – or lack of a job. And at these moments of intense worry, pain, and doubt, ask yourself if you really believe that God exists.

 

 

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