Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Does God Exist?

I choose to believe he does. But it doesn't mean I don't struggle.

I've never seen him.

If a person believes that supernatural phenomena exists, then it is not hard to believe in God. I've never seen anything supernatural. I haven't seen amazing miracles...like someone's withered hand healed right before my eyes.

I have seen good things happen and prayers answered. But even my non-believing friends have good things happen to them. I've watched tragedies befall my Christian and non-Christian friends. And I've watched God or "time" redeem the bad and bring good out of the hard times. But is that God bringing good out of bad? Or did time pass...for time has a way of healing things. Is there a God in control of life events..working all things for good, or do our life events just eb and flow and work themselves out.

The Bible is a strong case for faith. The prophecy, the archeology, the accuracy of transmission. Yet it was written by men. The study notes in my Bible tell me that. Were these men truly inspired and guided by a spirit? How did Moses know how the world began?

I yearn for the days of old when I was stronger in my faith. Losing faith can be the worst nightmare. Thinking that there is nothing...no God in life...no God in death is a frightening feeling. Especially when one needs to desperately know that someone beyond themselves is in control and truly loves them.

I rarely confide in anyone about doubts. I'm not sure what they'd think. But recently I've been a little braver. I said a little something about it to my mother the other day. She said, "All you have to do is look at a sunset to know there is a God!" I asked my friend Lynn who is an geologist, about her feelings. She said she sees God in creation. And nothing could ever convince her that he doesn't exist.

One thing I know for sure. I'm not giving up my faith. Out of all the religions, or belief systems in the world, Christianity has the most convincing proofs.

And I know I've said this once before...but it takes a lot of faith to believe there ISN'T a God.

It would be interesting to hear some of your thoughts. Why do you believe there is...or isn't a God?


Diane said...

Oh my blogging friend,

It seems, if we live long enough and see how hard life really can be, our faith is tested! I have just posted this week on this very thing.

It seems that God's existence is so very entwined in every fiber of my being...that I do not doubt his existence, I doubt the power of my faith. This is inherently incorrect...because, after all, it is not our faith that produces results...it is God.

It's like the father in said to Jesus, "Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief!" Isn't God amazing...even when we doubt Him...He strengthens our belief. He exists! He is actively IN the heart of every believer. Whether we believe it or not...He remains!


The GateKeeper said...

Wow, I thought I had something to say, but it seems Diane has said it all. And very nicely, I might add. Love you, SL, hang in there. He will reveal it all to you soon. You know I've been there. This too shall pass, even though you don't see the end of this season yet. You are strong!

Sharon Lynne said...

Thanks Diane and Gatekeeper!

I asked another friend last night, how she knew their was a God. She said she just KNOWS...because she has a relationship with him. She senses his nearness and she talks to him all the time. She also feels its no accident that this tiny planet is in the perfect spot in the universe for life.

Susan Kelly Skitt said...

Get ready Sharon girl, this is a long one. I typed it on a word doc first and it kept growing and growing...

There's a song that goes like this: "You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart.”

Knowing Jesus as our personal Savior is God reaching out to us in our need. When we accept His death and resurrection on the cross as His precious gift of eternal life, we have the assurance that He will never leave us. The amazing thing is eternal life begins the day we ask Jesus to forgive us of our sin and come into our heart. The bonus is God is preparing a home for us in Heaven!

Humans create religion trying to find God. It’s sad, really. They are looking for God in all the wrong places. God's revealed Himself to us through His Son, Jesus, and the message of His perfect Word.

“All scripture is given by inspiration (literally means ‘God breathed’) of God...” II Timothy 3:16

“For the prophecy came not at any time by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” II Peter 1:21

“God, who at sundry times (in many portions and many ways) and in diverse manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;” Hebrews 1:1,2

When we choose to let the truth of God's Word sink into our hearts, our perspective on life and all it's difficulties will change. I am saying this to you as well as to myself. We are facing a great trial with our youngest son right now. There are many unanswered questions.

I came across this verse this morning. I hope it encourages you as it has me. "O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels are of old are faithfulness and truth." Isaiah 25:1

Keep on trusting Jesus my friend. He loves you and even though the way may seem blocked by the clouds of pain or doubt, His love will break through like the morning sun! He will never leave you… He always keeps His promises.

Sharon Lynne said...

I'm so fortunate to have Christian blog-sisters. I'm climbing on to your wings of faith for a little while. Thank you Susan.

My heart goes out to you regarding your son. I will pray with you, for him.

Jane Rumph said...

Dear Sharon,

Yes, the evidence for God is strong. Countless people through the ages have given their lives for His cause because they had an intimate, interactive, two-way relationship with Him. They couldn't all have been self-deluded.

But believing that God exists doesn't mean it's easy to walk through dark days when tragedy and heartache lurk all around us, when loved ones suffer, and when our prayers seem to hit the ceiling and disintegrate. That's when we have to keep grounded on what we know about God. If He exists, what kind of God is He? What has He said about Himself? What do I know about Him through past experience?

We can never understand God or His ways enough to make sense out of situations that seem to have no answers. But in my years of relationship with Him, there are two things I hold fast to, no matter what I am going through: God Knows, and God Cares. He knows much more about my situation than I do, including the reasons why my prayers have not yet been answered as I wish. And His love surpasses understanding. He Is Love!

If I believe this, it means I can trust Him to do the right thing at the right time for the right reason, even if it would be impossible for Him to try to explain all this to me. Here's where faith comes in. "God, I can't see you right now, but I believe you are good, wise, and out for my ultimate best. Therefore I will not lose hope. I will press on through the dark depths, no matter how long it takes, believing that you will never abandon me."

Becky Wolfe said...

Sharon - I can share your feelings & moments of doubt. I've trusted & believed in God for most of my life & I still have moments of 'what if I'm wrong?' Like the others said, I can see & feel & believe in God with everything around me, but the devil is clever at putting moments of doubt in our mind that I'm sure everyone deals with now & then.

JAM said...

I've tiptoed around this post for two days now, rereading it, and wanting to post something profound and meaningful.

For me, I always come back around to simply choosing to believe in God. I firmly believe that there is emperical knowledge and that there is revelation knowledge. As an engineer, I make my living with emperical knowledge; stuff that has been carefully tested and measured and researched for years. That's easy to believe in, emperical knowledge = can be proven with the five senses.

Revelation knowledge is more subtle and more difficult, especially in a technologically advanced country that encourages belief in ONLY what you can prove through the senses. But love, beauty, kindness, joy, and the like, the things that make life worth living, are by their nature, unprovable to the five senses.

Sometimes reading the Bible is no different to me than reading a biography of Ben Franklin, but at times it's as if I'm hooked to an IV of God's Spirit, and am mainlining The Word.

In the dark times, I just trust that, even though I cannot see God, He's moving to help me. But I won't know that until I feel His touch.

Hang in there. Don't be afraid to question.

Sharon Lynne said...

Thank you Jane for the reminder about the countless people before us who have believed...many giving their lives for this truth.

Becky, thanks sharing that you have experienced doubts. It makes me feel more normal!

Jam--Thanks for pointing out that there are many things we can't see, but they do exist. I too, choose to believe. Good thing God only requires a "MUSTARD SEED" OF FAITH!

I'm thinking...God could have set things up so that we could PROVE he existed...but he didn't. There must be a reason for that.

Susan Kelly Skitt said...

"Faith is like radar which sees through the fog--the reality of things at at distance that the human eye cannot see." Corrie Ten Boom said that... I can't wait to meet Tante Corrie in Heaven one day.

There's a song that goes like this: "Even when my faith is small, trusting Jesus, that is all." We can place our "mustard seed faith" in the hands of a "Big God" and know we are safe. I have had my share of doubts too, but I am learning that I need to turn those doubts over to Jesus, trusting in the truth of His Word.

Love ya sister. Keep on trusting. Keep on believing. Jesus will never let you go...

Famous Quotations said...

Your site has won a Blog of the Day Award (BOTDA)

Award Code

Thank you,

Sharon Lynne said...

Thanks Susan...The book Corrie wrote about her experiences in prison during WWII "The Hiding Place" is a great book. I need to dust it off and re-read it!

TO VISITORS: Don't feel shy to add your thoughts about God.
Believers, Doubters, or non-believers are all welcome here!

Okay...who nominated me for blog of the day award??? That was fun. (Although it took me awhile to figure out how to get the code in. I'm not used to changing or adding anything to my blog except posts.)

Thank you "Famous Quotations"!

Janey Loree said...

Hi Cousin, after reading all the comments I will add that I too believe that God exists because of nature around us! I have been a Christian since I was 12 years old and have always known that He stood behind me through the good times and the bad.

Through the years I have had my faith waiver, but not as much as when my young niece and her mother were killed in a car accident. It was then that I had to examine was there really a God? I can't explain it like the others, but the answer I found was "Yes, the is a God! And he loves us!!!"

I love the "Footprints" poem and know that he is carrying you in the palm of his hand right now and the prints that you see in the sand are HIS!!!

I wrote the following poem for our Get Well cards, but feel that it appropriate for you as your faith heals!

"This is the time to relax while you are on the mend,
Knowing that you’re safe in the palm of God’s hand.
Reflecting on His love as you take the time to heal,
Believing that His love will show you His perfect will.
Thinking about your loved ones and those of us who care,
That want the best for you as we hold you up in prayer.
May the peacefulness of this poem rest in your soul,
As we ask the Heavenly Father to make you whole."

Sharon Lynne said...

Thank you for sharing your story, Janey. It hits us hard when tragedy befalls our loved ones. My heart is encouraged that you found God in it all.

Your poem is beautiful. It brings peace.

Jane Rumph said...

Dear Sharon,

You made a thoughtful comment above: "God could have set things up so that we could PROVE he existed...but he didn't. There must be a reason for that."

Blaise Pascal, the 17th-century mathematician and thinker, wrestled with this question. He noted that the Lord will, in fact, reveal himself plainly when he returns at the end of the age, on the clouds with trumpet blast and great glory. But for now he elects not to compel belief out of those with no desire to relate to him, preferring not automatons (robots) but children who choose freely to love and obey.

Pascal concluded, "It was therefore not right that he should appear before them in a manner that was obviously divine and absolutely bound to convince all mankind. Neither was it right that his coming should be in such hiddenness that he could not be recognized even by those who sincerely looked for him. But he wished to make himself perfectly recognizable to such. Instead, wishing to appear openly to those who seek him with all their heart, and yet hidden from those who shun him with all their heart, God has given signs of himself, which are visible to those who seek him, and not by those who do not seek him.

"There is enough light for those who desire only to see, and darkness for those of a contrary disposition." (Pensées, No. 132)

Sharon Lynne said...

Thank you Jane...for sharing that quote. I read it through a few times. It makes sense.

In a small way it reminds me of something that happened today. I needed an apology from one of my children. But I didn't want to manipulate this child to apologize by flaunting a reward--if they did it. I wanted the child to approach me on their own...and have the apology come from their heart.

Thanks again for stopping by with the quote!