Posts Tagged ‘church’

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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The Search

For a long time I searched for God. I wanted Him to be real in my life. I saw the world through my struggles, my failure, my disappointments. I knew I had let God down, and I wasn’t worthy of His love. I thought He had left me.  And I knew I deserved it. I read the bible, but all I saw were the words. I went to church, but all I saw was a charade. It wasn’t enough for me. I wanted His assurance that everything was going to be okay. I wanted His assurance that He would never leave me nor forsake me. I didn’t just want to read it. I wanted to see it. I wanted to feel His touch. To know that He was the hand that was holding me up. The one who counted the tears that fell from my eyes. I searched for God. But He wasn’t lost. I was. And He found me. He found me in my sin, in my low estate. And do you know what He told me? He said: “Oh You of little faith, why are you so afraid? Why do you doubt?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves in my life. He said no to the traps I had laid for myself. He said no to my fear, my doubt, my pain, my unhappiness. And it was completely calm in my life. He didn’t take away my problems. But He brought me to the eye of the storm. Where amidst all the chaos around me. I could see Him and not my problems. I could feel His touch, and not my inadequacies. “The trouble that came into your life, did not come to break you, but to introduce you to God in a new and a fresh way.” God does not let you go through certain trials without having prepared you. So that when you are about to despair you can remember how He has lead you in the past! Remember what He has already brought you through, and His power to overcome whatever may come your way. He is with you!

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