Monday, 18 February 2013
Are You Sure?
But despite these doubts that arise, my faith is not shaken because it is through God's strength, not my own, that I have faith. Faith is not blindly believing in something without questioning and it is not dependent on how you feel at a particular point in time. Faith is believing what was said to be true even though it can't be seen. I used to think that seeing was believing until I came across optical illusions. That was when I realised that I can't wholeheartedly trust, in the absence of other evidence, what my eyes tell me. But there are some things that we believe in that we can't see. Take the wind for example; we can't see it but we know it is real because we can feel it's effects. Likewise, I can't see God but I can feel His effects.
I work out my faith in two ways, with my head and with my heart. When doubts arise, my starting point when investigating the validity of these doubts is to ask the question "Is the bible reliable and true?" I am no biblical scholar, but the evidence that I have heard for and against has convinced me that the bible is historical, reliable and true. Once I have established the trustworthiness of the bible, that pretty much takes care of most of the doubts that I had. But if I left it at that, it would be useless. I would just be an academic and miss out on the transforming power of what God says in the bible. I have to believe the bible to be true in my heart. This comes over time. When I look back on my life, I can clearly see God's hand in it and I can see where the promises He has made in the bible have come true. This is what truly builds up my faith and squashes my doubts.
However, there is one further objection that rears its head. What about the parts in the bible I disagree with. I have since learned, the hard way, that when I disagree with what God says in the bible, it is either because I don't understand what it being said or because I don't like. Generally, when I don't like what is being said, it is because I am doing the opposite when I know I shouldn't be. Just because I don't like or understand something doesn't make it untrue. There are some things in the bible that I will never understand and people ask me how can I believe in God when I don't understand. Firstly, God is all knowing and limitless and I am just a mere limited human. It would be equivalent of a child refusing to trust a parent because they didn't understand the decisions the parent was making. Secondly, not even in science is it possible to understand everything yet we will still use it.
So that is basically my train of thought I go through periodically when I doubt. I don't tend to worry about having a crisis and losing my faith because God doesn't lose a person. Knowing this gives me the freedom to ask hard questions without the fear of rejection or falling away from God. Faith is a gift given from God. It cannot be taken and cannot be earned. But it comforts me to know that faith is a gift that is freely given when asked for. My life has completely changed now that God is in it. Travelling the road of faith is hard but I wouldn't change it for the world.