I want to believe in God but I don’t know how.

Sometimes the idea of God makes a lot of sense but all of the ramifications of believing in God are hard to swallow. If you find yourself wishing you could believe, you’re not alone. Consider praying a prayer like this:

God, I don’t know if you’re out there. I’m not sure how I feel about you if you are. But if you do exist I’d like to know more about you. Reveal yourself to me. Help me to find you.

It says very clearly in the Bible that those who seek God will find him. Ask God to reveal himself to you. Be honest about your reservations. God is not offended by questions or doubts.

If you have questions you’d like to talk about, we’d love to hear from you.  If you’d like to talk to someone privately, use this form to request an email mentor.  You’ll hear back from your mentor within a couple of days. (Questions about mentoring? Start here.)

You can find out more about how to become a Christian here.

 

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588 Responses to “I want to believe in God but I don’t know how.”

  • Tom Tom says:

    Hi Harry–

    Did you know that in one way or another every human being wants to know more about their creator? That’s because God has built that into people.

    How about telling us a little about where you are on your spiritual journey. What is your background? Are there specific things you would like to know about God?

  • Harry says:

    I want to know more about my creator.

  • Aldo says:

    Danny G, Amen, Amen, and Amen!!!

  • Danny G says:

    How to believe?
    The Bible tells us who God is
    ->Reading the Bible will give someone: hope in God, awareness from God and understanding of God.
    ->Thinking about what you have read in the Bible and meditating on it, day and night, will give someone: faith in God, revelation from God and a mind set of God.

    When you follow those two steps,(reading the Bible and thinking about what you have read day and night), then you will find yourself a different person by Jesus Christ.

  • Aldo says:

    Alan, thank you for your encouraging comments to Yogibear, and for your testimony to the Lord.

    Jesus is the answer to all our problems, whether they be big or small, financial or habitual, domestic or physical. He wants to be our redeemer, our healer, and our deliverer. If we turn our lives over to Him, He will bring about what He knows is best for us.

  • Alan Langstone says:

    Hi Yogibear,
    I can’t understand your feelings, the thought of losing a child is more than I can comprehend.
    I am in sort of the same position, or at least I was. I was a no believer a year ago. I would verbally argue against the existence of God. Anyway, about a year ago, my wife asked me if we could do Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University because we were more than struggling financially. My reply was “what is God and Dave Ramsey going to do? Our problem is easy, we don’t earn enough”.
    So, OK I was wrong. God says we must be good stewards. We weren’t good stewards of the resources we had and therefore God didn’t entrust us with more. We are not out of the woods yet, but we are far better off now and things have certainly improved since we started to do things His way.
    Ok the point of this story is that I am a very practixal person, I learn and understand best by doing. I had been waiting for some magical sign and life to be good and to win the lottery because I said a prayer. That’s not how it works apparently.
    The signs are subtle, more being pushed in a direction rather than being shown the way.
    I do firmly believe that although there is no sense to your situation now, there is a reason in your future that you and your son suffered now. My uncle died from a slow bone cancer and he was involved in an invention that has saved 1000’s upon 1000’s of lives. Makes no sense, right! Well maybe it’s my feelings of how this was not much of a reward for him, that spurred me into asking questions of God.
    Talk to him, he’s listening.
    It is difficult to believe, especially from where you are currently but from one convert to another (yes you are a concert, because you are here discussing) you just need to calm the self doubt. That’s were I’m currently at, believing.

  • Kate says:

    Hi Yogibear,

    I have not read through the whole discussion, so forgive me if I do not speak exactly to your situation, but I want to say you are not different than everyone else. You are not excluded from hearing God or seeing His goodness in your life with ears and eyes of faith. Faith is not a feeling, it’s hopeful assurance that God is good and He will make all things work together for good, regardless of how we feel.

    Maybe this site would be interesting to you: http://thelife.com/challenges/where-is-your-faith

    Blessings,
    Kate

  • yogibear says:

    Hi Jamie, To answer your question I meant both. The love I have for my son is unmeasurable. A bond like no other. He was a part of my soul and took part of me with him when he died. I would have given anything to still have him here. I also do not hear God either. Maybe I am just different than everyone else?? I believe what I believe but to a certain extent as I have not truly seen anything to make it real.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Yogibear, I agree it is a very emotional video. I can’t imagine what it would be like to go through that. Can I clarify what you disagree with? Do you disagree that God loves your son more than you? Or do you disagree with God speaking clearly like that to you?

    God speaks to people in different ways. I have never heard God speak to me in an audible voice, whereas my wife has had a number of times where she heard God speak directly to her. I have a friend who has had Jesus come visit him in dreams. Even though I haven’t had experiences like that I still know that God speaks to me: a lot of times I hear God through reading the Bible, or when someone else is talking about things from the Bible. Ultimately, everything we hear from God needs to measure up to what we find in the Bible. We have all heard of those people who say God told them to shoot everyone at the post office. Obviously, that is inconsistent with God’s nature so you can know that was not God. If what we think we have heard God say doesn’t measure up with what God has revealed in the Bible, we can ignore it because we know that God doesn’t change.

    What Matt Hallmark said he heard from God does match what we read in the Bible. The famous verse, John 3:16, begins to explain the depth of God’s love for us, “God loved the world so much, that He gave His unique Son; who ever believes in Him will not perish but have a life that never ends.” (John 3:16) That gets intensified by Jesus when He said, “If you love those who love you, what benefit is it to you?…But love your enemies and do good…and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.” (Luke 6:32,35) Paul expanded on that when he described God’s love, “God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ dies for us.” (Romans 5:8) God’s love is perfect. I know my love for my kids is less than perfect, because I am less than perfect. I often act selfishly. God never does. God’s love is also more perfect because there isn’t any limits to what He knows about me. I know a lot about my kids, but there are limits to what I can know; I have often wondered what they are thinking, but for God there is nothing hidden. Jesus said that God knows even the most insignificant thing about us like the number of hairs on our head. So even though I know and love my children more than anything, I know that God’s love for them is more perfect than mine.

  • yogibear says:

    Hi Jamie,

    Thank you for the link. I did watch it and very emotional as it touches on some of the things we endured. Dylan was born with CF and so un predictable. CF can be mild, moderate to severe and with different ailments you never know what it will affect. Unfortunately with Dylan it affected everything he also became insulin diabetic by age 16. Anyway, I was watching where the father explained how dare you ask why as God answered him crystal clear. God has more love for him than he. As a mom I disagree, just my opinion and know it was trying to comfort us by saying that. That is truly what he believes and that comforts him. I do not hear God talking to me to make things clear. I don’t feel I should make anything up either. This is where I feel I cannot let go of the fact that I need to see smack in my face. I am not one to make things up to try and make my self believe. Do you understand that at all?? Kinda confusing. Just because it is said by others does not make it true. Oh Jamie, not sure if you are a he/she but appreciate you caring enough to stick with me and try to help me. Really, from the bottom of my heart, Thank you!

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Sorry Yogi, the link I shared was to the short trailer. The full 45 minute version of this is http://www.iamsecond.com/ethan/

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Don’t be sorry Yogibear, your questions and emotions are absolutely understandable given the circumstances. It is always a comfort to me to know that our emotions are a reflection of the Image of God in us. Jesus wept for the loss of his friend Lazarus even though He knew that he would be raised from the dead shortly (John 11:1-35) So our emotions are not evil or wrong, but they can lead us away from God if we let them.

    I can understand why you would question how you can trust God when He allowed your son to suffer so horribly. God does love us and God does protect us, but that does not always mean that He removes suffering from our lives. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33) The world translated trouble is thlipsin which means pressure, oppression, affliction, tribulation or distress. The context of this statement is Jesus warning the disciples that He is going to be crucified and all that kind of death entailed. But His hope in that was, “I am not alone because my Father is with me.” (John 16:32) Jesus was able to face the pain and suffering of torture and death because He would be strengthened by God. You notice He didn’t say that God would rescue Him from that. And that is His promise to His followers: “In this world you will have trouble; but take heart, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Just as the Father was with Jesus during His suffering, so we can know that Jesus is with us in ours. He will strengthen and support us. He will guide us into the best way to respond to the pain that we feel. He will lead us to overcome the evil that is the cause of our suffering as well. And ultimately, for those who follow Him, He will welcome them into His presence to be free of pain and sorrow for all of eternity.

    Who else, or what else can you trust in? Medical science can deal with many of the infirmities of life, but we know they have limitations. Family can be an important support but they also let us down. Governments can do much to help order our lives but they are also often corrupt and take advantage of us. God is the only perfect one. God is the one who knows us better than we can even know ourselves. God is the One who made us and who loves us perfectly. We may not understand all that He allows happen, but we know that He sees things more completely than anyone else, and He will always deal with us in His perfect love.

    These are the things I have to remind myself with when I get pulled down into depression and pain. I remember verses like, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) It helps me to change my thoughts and focus on the goodness of God and trusting Him. I look for things to be thankful for while I am honestly bringing my hurt and pain to Him. I won’t pretend that it is always easy, or that I do it right all the time. But I know God loves me and is always leading me back into a place of trusting Him.

    Lord Jesus, I pray that You would help Yogibear to recognize Your trustworthiness. Help him/her to find things to be thankful for even while she/he is being honest with You about the pain of loss. Meet with Yogibear in a special way, just as You did with Job. Amen.

    I am often encouraged by other people’s stories. I saw this one and wanted to share it with you http://www.iamsecond.com/seconds/ethan-hallmark/. Its about a young man dealing with cancer and how Christ helped bring courage to him and his family in their suffering. Let me know what you think.

    I will pray for you because I know that God acts through our prayers. Not always the way that I expect, but I know He always will do what is best.

  • Yogibear says:

    Hi Jamie, I just finished watching the video and just cried as my son went through so much , he needed a liver and lung so so many things transpired in his body and he had to endure so much . Beyond anyone’s dreams of double pneumonia, c-diff, excessive bleeding, 50 pounds of fluid, dialysis tube pushed into the muscle of his neck and could not be sedated much as his liver was shot, procedure after procedure to fix things. Tube put in to get a camera pill in to find the bleeding to just have him gagging and spewing blood but they continued . Intubated several times to where he could not eat. 7 weeks of no eating and could no longer stand. He went from a avid soccer player to bed ridden. Nurses and Doctor just seeing him as a number. They Treated horribly . Unreal and undeserving to a child who never asked to be sick his entire life. He lived with a force and wanted to live so badly but instead dealt with torture. Trust God ? Isn’t he suppose to love and protect? Pull you from this kind of thing happening? I don’t know. I myself have prayed for things for myself with nothing, before I had children and after. I still am struggling in my life even without my losses. So sorry Jamie I know everyone is trying to help. I appreciate the prayers but what does that do really? Everything still happened even with praying. ??

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Yogibear, I understand your frustration. It seems like it would be so much more satisfying to get an answer, “The reason this has happened is…(some great cosmic purpose that is accomplished)” I don’t know if that kind of an answer will come to us this side of Heaven. Part of the reason for that, I think, is because with our limited persepctive, I don’t know that the answer we receive would be very satisfying. I have some friends whose son took his life over a year ago, and we talk about what would be good reasons that they would accept for why God did not intervene in his suicide, we are never able to come up with anything that would take away the pain of that loss. I am certain that you would feel the same. I know I would be if I was in their or your situation.

    As I wrote to you before, it all boils down to the question, “Are you willing to trust God to do what is right in all situations?” With my head I can say, “Yes!” to that, but I have to admit that often my heart does not agree. That’s why I then try to remind myself of who God is. I don’t know if you have ever read about Job from the Bible but even if you have, let me encourage you to have a look at this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQwnH8th_fs It is a very effective summarization of the story of Job and his struggle with this question. I would be very interested in hearing your perspective on the video’s theme. They suggest that Job is not an answer to why bad things happen to people, but an invitation to trust God, because He alone is trustworthy. I look forward to hearing back from you.

    In the meantime, I will continue to pray for you. Let me do that now: Lord Jesus, I ask that You would help Yogibear to understand why he/she can trust You. I pray that You would bring comfort in the midst of all her/his loss. Continue to bring people around to support Yogibear during this time of grief. Amen.

  • YOGIBEAR says:

    Thanks Tom, I did have a mentor contact me but still did not help me in the way I needed. Thanks again and still will try and find my way. Hoping

  • Tom Tom says:

    YOGIBEAR–
    Your sadness has been shared for people since the death of Adam and Eve’s son Abel. Death from our view is so final. However, we know from scripture that death is not final from a spiritual standpoint.

    May I suggest you click on “Talk to a Mentor” at the top of this page, so that you can be connected with an individual mentor who can walk with you through your doubts and grief?

    I know that the prayers of many here are with you.

  • YOGIBEAR says:

    Winn, I kinda feel the way you do, needing to see before believing. Very hard to explain. I want so bad to believe as my mom died and then 6 months later lost my 20 yr old son. I feel lost and if I do not open my belief, I don’t know what will happen. I am struggling and have been about other things too and do not feel I am being guided by angels or God. Where was my miracle, where was my help? I don’t know. Thanks for the insight Tom. So confusing.

  • Tom Tom says:

    Winn—
    Thank you for your post and your honesty regarding your concerns about God and the Bible. These are the most important questions anyone could ever ask. Unfortunately, you are not alone in your concerns, due in no small part because the church has failed in its responsibility to not only teach the word of God but to give reason and explanation as to why we can believe it. I was very much in the same place you are, looking for answers and not realizing there actually are very good answers and reasons for the Christian faith.

    Your questions and concerns actually cover a pretty broad spectrum of things: the Bible and its validity, God, creation, science, etc., and so while I’ll give you a few quick responses, we’ll really have to take one subject at a time. So I hope you’ll respond here and that we can have a dialogue as you seek for answers and I try to give you to the answers you need.

    The Bible—The Bible is not just one book. The Bible is a compilation of 66 books, written by 40 different authors from all walks of life, from three different continents, over a 1600 year period, in three different languages. Yet when put together, they reveal one seamless story from creation to the end of times as we know them. This is also why we can use one book of the Bible to verify or corroborate other books of the Bible. The Bible has never been proven inaccurate scientifically, archeologically, or historically—evidence for its trustworthiness. It’s the only book that describes God creative actions, and it’s the only book that specifically states that it is the revealed word of God. The many pr0phecies in the Bible which have been perfectly fulfilled, sometimes centuries later, reveal it’s supernatural origin.

    Science—When we speak of science, we typically mean what is referred to as “observational science.” The scientist “observes” something and desires to determine how it works or how it came to be. So the steps are,
    • Observation of something
    • Do background research
    • Construct a hypothesis
    • Test your hypothesis by doing repeatable experiments
    • Analyze your data and draw a conclusion
    • Communicate your results to include ways the information could be
    falsified (proven wrong)
    Consider that observations have to be made and then replicated. Therefore, the alternative to divine creation, evolution (one kind slowly changing into another kind), cannot be proven by observational science because it cannot be observed and it cannot be replicated. Therefore, evolution on the macro-scale is NOT scientific. At the same time, what we DO observe in the world around us gives more evidence of being created specifically with intelligent intent, AND over a relatively short period of time (thousands, not millions of years.)

    So Winn, I’ve found that the answers to the questions you ask are available, and they are solid answers. Please ask whatever you like, but let’s look at one or two things at a time for space sake, OK? You might also want to visit a couple of web sites that go into great deal about these things: Answers in Genesis and Creation Ministries International.

  • Winn says:

    My entire life I haven’t really believed in god. I remember growing up as a little kid not really believing and thinking to myself how could anyone believe something we read from a book that gives no actual fact of proof. I would say to myself “Well it must be so people can feel good and not be scared or think that after you die your actual life/soul/memory just stops. I was a kid when I was thinking about this and now I’m 24 and still do. I’ve just always believed in the science part of why and how we exist. I have tried to believe in God and believe me I do want to. But when it’s said that God created the WHOLE UNIVERSE, we as people sound selfish. It makes me not want to believe. I could agree to it if it was only the EARTH but to say the whole universe, I mean come on!!! What gives us the right to say the whole universe? Anyways like I said I do want to believe in God but it makes it hard with things like that. If their is anyone who can help me I would greatly appreciate it.

  • Aldo says:

    JesusLover, thank you for your testimony. I am happy to hear that you are a Jesus Lover, but would like to know if and when you received Him as your personal Lord and Savior. Many people claim to believe in Christ, but have never made a “profession of faith.” In sincerely doing so, that person undergoes the “born again” experience which Jesus talks about in the gospel of John, 3rd chapter, verses 1-8.

    I pray that the Lord touch your heart with His Holy Spirit, and draw you into a “born again” experience with God.

  • JesusLover says:

    I love God and I have a hard time believing sometimes too but I have seen my own guardian angel and my mom was in a wreck with me And she prayed God would let her live to raise me and he did

  • Aldo says:

    Mikael, there is only one true way to be “born again,” and that is by accepting and receiving Jesus Christ, God’s “only begotten son” as your Savior and Lord. His blood, which He shed on Calvary’s cross atoned for your sins, my sins, and the sins of all mankind.

    Anybody can do that at anytime, anywhere. Here is a suggested prayer. Remember, God is not so concerned with your words as He is with your intent.

    “Dear God, I admit I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ, Your Son, died in my place, paying the penalty for my sins on Calvary‘s cross. I am willing right now to turn from disbelief, and accept Him as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to You, and ask You to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and guide me, and to help me become the kind of person You want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me, forgiving my sins, and for giving me everlasting life, in Jesus name, Amen.”

  • mikael says:

    Prayers are about been unconditional, and outwardly, to be unselfish and hope for the better to others, spreading love.
    Do that, as an oposit force to negative narratives, as selfishness and greed.
    Good thing do happend to good people, but to reatch this “arena” you must be truthfull in you actions and thinking, the reality you persive and how you interpite that reality is the alpha and omega.

    To make it simple, pray for your freinds lottery ticket and not yours.
    Capice.

    God.
    Well, when some use narratives as submission to god/allah, I wounder what people Do think this means, a Gandalifian figure sitting on your shoulder ready to wipp you at any given moment for whatever you do, aka sinns.
    huh
    Thats paranioa not religion.

    We have al sinned, I have done the full mounty, killed unocent creatures, willfully to, hated, scorned, envied, lied to, stoed from, aka been an a..h…
    When we grow older one realises how mutch this is ruining our daily life, taking away our own energy, mentaly barricades whom collors our future.
    It took me years, its not easy, and the hard truth is, that it dont gett any better, the evils we persive becomes more and more horrific.
    What Im telling you is this, and the reason for Jesus/muhammad to speak about, forgiving and loving life.
    Forgiving the past, or do the things nescessery to make up with it, and then forgett it as case closed, and then the reality you live in will never be the same again, you will be born again.
    You dont need water or a church/mosce, its all in you.
    There is no midle man, forgett that.

    In the end, judgment, is about scaling, on what you have done.
    To me now, everything is an manifestation of an eternly force, our creatore.
    And now everything I do is weighted upon that background.
    You call it selfishness, may be, but but when you are reborn, you know the difference, to take care of your self, and then the people around you, and everything else, this comes naturly, as the love of life and everything in it, our very own Paradise, our mother earth.
    I have images stil in me I know I have to pay for, but now I do the opositt, and tryes to live by it, and make it to be an natural part of you.
    Love life, and speak to the world and the world speaks back.

    Bot dont fear God, thats was never the intention of our creatore, but the utelysing of our own divine force, our free will, the energetic entety to will live on after we have died.
    Love is the only force that makes it grow.

    In the end, our creatore is an beneficare and merciful, understands the harship we all have to fight, in a world where nobody told us anything, expet for writen criptures and interpitations.
    Expirience is everything.

    peace

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