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

  • cindy says:

    Ask God to show you who He is. He will reveal Himself to you. Then you’ll know.

  • Sharon Sharon says:

    i am enjoying reading this thread with different people about having a hard time believing in God and i am enjoying your prayers shelley thank you for praying for these and others God bless you and be wuth you all at this time

  • no hot water says:

    I wish that more people would understand the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.
    Each year over twenty people are killed by this odourless, colourless gas leaking from faulty
    gas boilers and many hundreds more suffer ill health because of it.

  • Wesley A says:

    Dear Jessica,

    I am glad that there is someone else out there who is experiencing this. What specific things are you doubting/ insecure about? Does the truth of scripture and scientific evidence make little impact on you as well? I often wonder if there is a spiritual stronghold involved with this type of unbelief, it’s like a spirt of atheism that won’t go. It’s an unwilling unbelief. Do you feel this way too?

    Wesley

  • Jessica says:

    I have been going through the exact same thing Wesley, idk how to fix it either. I don’t know where it started or why but I feel like I’m going through just as you described. I want so badly to believe and feel that closeness with God, to praise Him and be completely overcome with His love like you see everyone around you with but there’s always this nagging in the back of your mind, even when every question you’ve had has been answered. When I was younger I had what I thought was such strong faith but in the last year or 2 Ive started to question everything and just feel uneasy everyday, all of this doubt and insecurity has crept in. Its like you said, you feel like you believe but somehow your mind wont let go. Please help!

  • Shelley Shelley says:

    Dear Father God.

    Lord I lift up anyone who is having a hard time in relying on God, that you will encourage them in this time of need. In Jesus Mighty name amen

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Wesley, It would be nice if there was a proper formula that a person could follow in order to build faith, wouldn’t it?! One of the things that I have discovered in my journey with Jesus is that He rarely follows the same pattern. He wants me focus my attention on Him rather than on following any ritual or proper practice. His purpose for creating you is to walk through life together in friendship.

    So the only thing I can suggest to break the hold of unbelief in your life is to talk to Jesus about it. Ask Him to show you what gets in the way of your heart fully trusting Him. Acknowledge Him when you see a blessing in your life. Ask for His help when you face a challenge. Look for Him to direct your decisions and be ready to obey when He speaks to you. Make the choice to believe that He is there. Don’t discount things as coincidence or fate. Choose to believe that He is with you and is directing you to follow His purposes for you.

    Engage in activities that will help you be more sensitive to His voice: read your Bible looking for Him there, pray expecting that He will speak to you, connect with other believers in an open honesty knowing that Jesus will often use others to carry His message to you, and look for ways to serve other people knowing that is where Jesus is. Allow these activities to nurture your awareness of the presence of Jesus in your life.

    Dear Jesus, I pray for Wesley and ask that You would help him know that You are real and that You are with him. Point out to him that things that get in the way of his relationship with You and give him the strength to follow Your leading. Bring people into his life that he can be honest with and who will help point out Your presence in his life and their life. Let him meet with you in the middle of serving others and feel you working right alongside of him. Set him free and use his life to point many others to you. In Your powerful and unmatched name, amen.

  • Wesley A says:

    Thank you “to Wesley” for the reply. For what you are experiencing, I recommend checking out answersingenesis.org and doesgodexist.tv with john Clayton. The problem with me is not the right evidence, but making my mind believe it. Hope it helps,

    Wesley

  • Wesley A says:

    Thank you Nicole

  • Wesley A says:

    Jamie,

    Was wondering if you got my last response

    Wesley

  • Nicole says:

    Keep at it…Continually seek him…Don’t try to understand everything Just pray, praise and worship constantly.. the change will find you..don’t give up…just stay close to God until your faith manifest and it will in Jesus name.

  • ToWesley says:

    Wesley,

    I dont know how to cope with the doubts in my mind either. The blockage is also in my mind and it is turning my everyday life, my whole life into a nightmare.I think when I start the day, I go to work, before I sleep. It’s an obsession. I always need reassurance about the doubts in my mind, but it helps only for a while. Do you think if God appears in front of you and tell you to believe him, will you believe? I don’t think so. Maybe for a while, it would be much bigger evidence than the ones you have, so it may stop you doubting for a very long time, but then the doubts will come back again? “What if it was a hallucination or an illusion?”
    If you go to a therapy for that, they won’t try to convince you if he exists or not, they will try to find the basic reason lying under that doubting behaviour. Even they try to convince, it won’t work, we all know. Cause I’m just in that situation. And if one day you overcome this thing, then you will start to doubt about something else in that way. So the problem is when we lost that feeling of being confident about something? Do you have self-confidence in your normal life? I don’t.Is there a time in your life that you believed in someone or something a lot and one day, like a slap on your face, you learnt that the person or the thing you believed was unreal?I experienced that and then I lost all my trust to some intimate people in my life. No matter what they did, they couldn’t bring me the point of believing. If there is a time that you lost all the faith about some issue, it might be your beginning point, you can work on it.

    I don’t know what else to say. Just one more thing… Sometimes people tell me what if everything you want to believe wasn’t real? I’m changing the question for your situation now : What if God wasn’t real? Does this question and imagining about it make you too much uncomfortable and anxious? It kills me when they ask it. I can’t bear even the thought of it. I must have a belief that if it wasn’t real, the I lost my whole life in a pool of lies or something. If you want, we can talk about these situations in private. Your issue is totally different from mine and you are luckier than me because when I talk about my issue, everyone says “it’s nonsense, you can’t believe in such thing.” I have too much evidence to believe, though. At least you can talk about your problem and people don’t judge you, they are trying to help you. I couldn’t get it in my situation. Maybe we can help each other at least a bit.

  • Wesley A says:

    Dear anonymous writer titled “to Wesley”

    Thank you for your concern and care. Yes I feel as if no matter how many evidences I get I still won’t believe. I feel I have all the evidence I need to believe but there is just a stronghold in my head, that is blocking the spirit of faith from operating. I am glad others are in a similar boats, it’s like 1 step forward 3 back with my faith. It’s like a fight every day, you know?

    Thank you, I’ll be praying for you

  • Wesley A says:

    Jamie,

    There is a sinful habit I would like to stop and have stopped. I was reading in Isaiah that sin separates us from God. Could my faith be built now that I am closer to God? My mind is just so hard and won’t believe. What should I do to break the bondage of unbelief? I really don’t want to be this way, I just want freedom, I want to be able to rejoice with the masses and praise God, but my mind just won’t let me. I feel as if there is a fight within me between faith and unbelief. I wouldn’t call it doubt, because doubt can be resolved. I think it started as doubt, and I didn’t know how to handle it, now I have all the answers I need to believe, I can’t, and I really just done understand. Some people have doubts and as soon as they resolve them their faith is reborn. I want thst but It just won’t happen. Please help me out.

    Wesley

  • ToWesley says:

    Dear Wesley,

    I have very deep and depressing suspicions too, but not about whether God exists or not. But I have seen the same depression, skepticism I am experiencing for over 14 years, so I wanted to write.You say there are scientific evidence proving God’s existence and contradictory information about the opposite. In my issue, it is vice versa.Only some people’s words and behaviours. So it means you’re luckier than me cause you have much more thing to make you believe. But despite that, you can not believe. Which evidence may convince you? I’m sure that no evidence can convince you, because although our issues are very different, I feel the same. Even if everyone believed the thing I’m questioning and there were many scientific proofs, I wouldn’t believe. So my point is, it’s just in your mind. You will decide to believe or not. Fisrtly, try to be calm before deciding. Write every thought, opinion or evidence you find for or against. Just stop obbsessing and try to think in a clear way. Don’t care what others say, just look at the evidence in your life and experiences. And don’t forget, if you are questioning, there is doubt, no certainty whether He exists or not for you. Exclude all the religious beliefs of your concern, just focus his existence or not. MAybe it works for you. And sorry from everyone who reads it, but deciding whether he exists or not is a risk. No scientific explanation or no contradictory explanation mean the God exists or not. You must take the risk.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    You are not alone Wesley. There were many people who saw the miracles of Jesus but still did not accept Him. You would think that a person who saw Jesus feed more than 5000 people with only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish would have no trouble following Him; and yet shortly after accomplishing this amazing miracle many of His followers left Him (John 6:1-14, 66) Why do you think they made that decision? I really like Peter’s response to Jesus when He then turns to the 12 disciples and asks “Do you want to leave as well?” Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” He had seen and believed. It was a choice he made.

    Often I have found that for people who struggle to believe in Jesus even though they have seen and learned so much about Him is that Jesus has asked them to put something aside or to do something in obedience to Him, and they have refused. This story of Jesus is a good example. He had just done this great miracle and everybody was ready to acknowledge that He was the one who had been promised to save them. But then Jesus asked them to put their trust in Him completely. He framed it in some very troubling ways where He asked them to eat His flesh and drink His blood which was to signify accepting Him totally and allow Him to take up residence within them and be their ultimate authority. That was too much for them and so they left.

    I wonder if there is something that Jesus has asked of you that you have refused to let Him have control over? Could that be part of the reason that you are unable to fully commit to Him?

  • Wesley A says:

    Jamie,

    I know this because I have seen the miracle working power of the living God at work, I know all the evidence supports him, but still my mind is too stubborn to believe and it is sad. I want more than anything faith but it just won’t come, I am stuck in a state of unbelief and I want it to be lifted! Please help.

    Wesley

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    So Wesley, how do you know that Jesus is the Way and that God is the Truth? What impact has He had on your life?

  • Wesley A says:

    I want to go into the ministry and preach the gospel because I love God so much, but if I have no faith in him how can I do that? From the minute I wake up to the minute I go to bed thoughts like god is a myth, jesus never existed, evoultion is true no matter what, run through my mind, even though I know this is all not true! I even read the case for Christ giving all the evidence for Christ and I still can’t believe! I want to believe but I can’t and I am just at a loss for what to do. There are some days that are do bad I feel literally a physical weight on my body, and I just get into a deep depression. Some times I even say I’m giving up on god and decide to be an atheist but it only lasts for like 5 mins, and I return to God because I know he is my hope, I just want to believe in him. Now the new problem that just started is now every time I go to pray I get thoughts that say prayer isn’t real, prayer was my only escape, the only way out, I didn’t doubt that but now I do and I just feel terrible. Please help me.

    Wesley

  • Wesley A says:

    Jamie,

    I want to believe because I know Jesus is the way, and that God is truth. I know the truth, but my mind won’t let me believe it. After being exposed to such atheistic school teaching and people I think it has gotten so ingrained into my mind that I can’t believe. I know all the scientific evidence for gods existence and power but my mind just won’t let me accept it. I want to believe in God and serve him because I know he is real, but on the other end my mind is telling me there is no God, and I just feel trapped, and I just want jesus to rescue me out of this and give me faith to shut down this!

    Thanks

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Wesley, why do you want to believe? How would your life be different if you did believe? What has led you to think that God is real? What draws you away from that belief?

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Cassie, you don’t have to worry about where to start because God has already started. He is the One who has initiated a relationship with you. That desire inside you to believe is evidence of God at work in your life.

    Let me recommend a response to His call to believe. Talk to Him: ask Him what He wants you to believe. Let Him know what stands in your way of believing in Him. And then listen. Read the Bible listening for Him to show you what He wants you to believe. Keep your heart open to more of His direction and revelation in your life. Don’t write things off as coincidence when He starts showing you things about Himself or bringing good gifts into your life. Hang out with other people who believe and ask them how they hear God speaking to them. Let them know about the things you read in the Bible that don’t make sense.

    As you know there are evidences of God in our world. Some people look at that evidence and see God, others interpret it differently. The thing you will not be able to deny is experiencing God in your life.

    Lord God, I pray for Cassie right now as she is caught between wanting to follow You but not sure. I ask that she would know Your presence with her and feel Your hand guiding her. I pray that she would hear Your voice in the words she reads in the Bible and that she would catch the fire that brings strength to her friend. You know best what she needs so I as that You bring it to her in Your perfect time and set her on a course that is full of adventure with You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

  • Cassie says:

    I don’t quite know where to start. I come from a family of non believers. But gradually, I have become interested in finding my faith. I want to believe in God and I’m not sure how to go about it. I have a good friend who strongly believes, the passion and the love he feels for God is inspiring. He is going through a really tough time and through it all he tells me that this is Gods plan and how He is supporting him and keeping him going. I want to let Him into my heart and trust Him, I just don’t know where to begin. I am having a tough time right now. Got laid of 3 months ago and am having a hard time finding a job. Right before that my granddad passed away. We were very close and he was my idol. I want to believe in God and have that support my friend finds in Him. But right now I’m angry at Him for taking someone so close to me, I’m left without a job and wont be able to afford my mortgage pretty soon. All I can ask is…WHY? I would like to believe in God and let him into my life. I am one that needs something solid to hold onto to believe. I just don’t know where I go from here. All I know is that I want to believe.

  • Wesley A says:

    Hi,
    I have been dealing with stubborn unbelief for 2 years. I want to believe God, believe he exists and that he is who he says he is, I know God is real, but then I don’t. My mind tells me to be an atheist and not believe, and just accept evolution and the Big Bang even though there is contradictory evidence, please help me. I want to believe but I can’t

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Oops, I just followed the flash presentation to the end and found an invitation to enrol in a school called “World Bible School” I am not promoting this school and know absolutely nothing about it. I just thought their presentation on the ancient Chinese characters were easy to work through.

    There are many more connections to the the ancient Chinese belief system and the Bible. It is so interesting because there is little record of any contact between the Hebrew people and the Chinese in ancient times. How did they develop such similar beliefs then? My suggestion is that they have all come from a common ancestry (as the Bible states), and God has continued to reveal Himself and help preserve those stories so that the world will know that He is and that He is seeking to restore the relationship He created us for in the first place.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Yes Melanie, it does make sense. Jesus said it is our sin that separates us from God. He also said we are powerless to do anything about it. We need His sacrifice to pay the penalty of our sin and His righteousness to cover us so we can enter into the presence of God. I have found that for those who have had faith and then lost it, often that has been because God had asked something of them that they were not willing to give to Him. Maybe it was their sexual purity. Sometimes it has been their willingness to share with others the Good News about Jesus. Often it has related to trusting Him with their finances. Occasionally I have met people who were angry at God for the loss of a relationship. Whatever it was, the person has repeatedly said “No” to God and that has created this distance between them and God. hey have dulled their senses to God’s voice because He keeps on asking them about the same thing. With some people they have been saying “No” for so long they forgot what God had been asking of them in the first place.

    Here’s what the Bible says, “If any of you lacks wisdom he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5) Ask God what is getting in the way of your relationship with Him. Tell Him of your desire to believe and walk through life with His guidance and strength. When He points His finger at the area that is getting in the way, ask for His strength to say “Yes” and then say “Yes” trusting that He will help you carry through with that commitment.

    I want you to know that your faith is not something that you will be able to manufacture. You can fill your head with all kinds of facts and arguments but that will not get you any closer to God. Ultimately it will require that You come to Him and say, “I can’t do it. I need Your help. Please show Yourself to me.” And then put yourself into activities where He can speak to you. That activities that best help us to hear from God are prayer, Bible reading, sharing vulnerably with other Christians, and serving other people. If you want to hear God, put your efforts into those things and look for Him to meet you there.

    Lord God I pray for Melanie. Lord You know what is standing in the way of her total surrender to You. I pray that Your Spirit would reveal that to her and that You would give her the strength to trust You and say “Yes”. Lord I pray that her faith would go beyond just knowing facts about You but that she would meet You. Reveal Yourself to her and transform her heart into Your Son’s likeness. Fill her with your Spirit and make her new. Amen.

    Melanie, I know you questioned the validity of the Bible’s description of the origins of life. I am sure that you have heard of how many cultures have similar stories of Creation, a Great Flood, the Great Dispersion of peoples. Some people have suggested that those stories influenced the authors of the Biblical documents rather than inspiration from God. But what if the similarities of those stories are because those were actual events that have been told to generations? Doesn’t it make sense that if there were a global flood as described in the Bible, that those 8 people who survived would share that story with their children and would become a powerful narrative for teaching subsequent generations about God? In the last few years I have been discovering some interesting things in the ancient Chinese characters that support that case. I read a book called “Finding God in Ancient China: How the Ancient Chinese Worshiped the God of the Bible” It was amazing to see how new study was showing some startling connections to the faith of the people of China prior to Confucism and Buddhism. To get a taste of that have a look at this flash presentation i just found put together by some students in Washington. http://students.washington.edu/cbsf/cool/Chinese.swf I’d like to hear your reaction to what they have put together.

  • Melanie says:

    Thank you for your reply. I really think that is ultimately where the blinders have been because I feel like my questions have been answered. It makes tremendous sense that humans had innate knowledge of God and religions were derived from this knowledge, albeit alienated against the true God. Similarly to how humans have moral intuition, unlike other created beings, which is attributed to being made in the “image” of God–correct?

    I have NEVER found science’s emphasis on evolution to be compelling whatsoever–absence of transitory fossils–nor the complexity of higher-order organisms, like the human. It all suggest design–even Michael Savage pointed out today as Einstein studied the universe more and more, it increasingly suggested there is a creator.

    Ultimately I think it boils down to fear for me. These thoughts plague me: What if the scientists who support evolution are right? What if the universe is as they say it is? What if all religions, including Judaism and Christianity, are rooted in superstitions and deception? Then I feel like there is no meaning to life, no purpose for living, no just punishment for evildoers. So it appears there is a stronghold of fear and doubt, which must be coming from some form of separation between God and myself–something I am doing that is causing this separation. I just don’t know what it is…for some reason though I want God in my life, something is preventing him for having full access to me.

    Does that make sense?

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Melanie, Thanks for the clarification. I can see that one conclusion a person may draw from the vast diversity of religions and the virtually universal nature of religions in all cultures is that they were human inventions to explain the world around us. The Bible gives a different explanation that I think you will agree is equally valid given the premise that there is a Creator God. The history of humanity in the Bible says that from the beginning humanity has known God and that our ancestors interacted in a very personal way with God. But our first ancestors chose to rebel against God in order to set themselves as the final authority in their lives. This act of rebellion brought a separation between God and all of their descendants. Over time God has provided a means for that separation to be erased but we didn’t want to do things God’s way. Religions became ways of creating our own means to establish our authority and our ability to fix the problems that we all know are there within us. Rather than us worship the One who created us, we began to create our own deities to worship and rules and regulations to follow so that we could prove our ability to live morally without God. So, as I posted in my other comment, we now have religions that try to fix the brokenness of humanity through following a moral code, or ritualistic worship, or spiritual enlightenment, or even eliminating the need for God completely.

    The one that stands alone is Jesus who says that our separation from God cannot be bridged by doing good things, or performing the proper rituals or attaining some form of higher consciousness. We need God to intervene on our behalf. And that is exactly what Jesus did.

    It would be hard to describe Christianity as an ‘invented’ religion because we have a historical person who we can historically establish claimed to be God. Not only that we have eyewitness accounts of acts that He preformed that show authority over every realm of our world (natural, spiritual, relational, political, philosophical, etc.) As I pointed out in the other post, the historical authenticity of those documents is extremely sound. The ultimate miracle presented in those documents is the death and resurrection of Jesus. Before His death, Jesus identified this as the ultimate sign of HIs divinity. To then say that this was an invented religion just does not fit. How did Jesus pull that off if He was not actually God? If He was a fake, why didn’t the religious and civil leaders of the day, who had already shown the lengths that they would go to in order to prove Jesus was not God by killing Him, produce His dead body which they had hung on a cross and then sealed in a tomb with a Roman guard protecting? The Christian leaders had written, “If Jesus did not rise from the dead then our faith is futile.” Those who opposed them had the power and the means to produce the dead body of Jesus in order to end this small group’s testimony, but they never did because there was no body to produce. Jesus had indeed been raised from the dead and then ascended to heaven just as it is recorded for us in the eyewitness accounts. To invent all of that just does not seem possible.

    I will leave you with that. I would like to hear what you think. We can also address the evidence from nature that there is a Creator God as described in the Bible. There are certainly other interpretations of those evidences but they do not preclude a supernatural Creator. I look forward to hearing back from you.

  • Melanie says:

    Jamie,

    I will take through to sort bit by bit most likely this weekend. But I do want to clarify, I am only questioning the historical veracity on the basis of we have a myriad of religions, religion appears to have been “invented” to make sense of the world. At least as an educated person, this conclusion seems logical. I am not saying that Christianity is false or the Bible is fictitious. I am just saying that my education has resulted in me second guess my long-standing beliefs in which has created doubt in my mind. I am actually MORE inclined to believe New Testament accounts (as they, as I have understood, were contemporaneously written). It is much harder in mind to reconcile the origins of Judeo-Christian tradition with science.

    I have no doubts about the martyrs for Jesus or the tenacity that they maintained their beliefs.

    I am not trying to challenge Christianity, but wrap my head around it so I can eradicate my doubts.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    I am glad you could get back here Melanie. So as a history major, what investigation did you do that convinced you that the Bible is inaccurate? Have you researched the manuscript evidence that we have available to us today for the writings of the New Testament? How we have a portion of a manuscript of the Gospel of John from about 125 CE which is around 50 years after the original was first written and less than 90 years after Jesus had died? As far as textual accuracy of the New Testament, we can be better than 95% confident that what we have today is an accurate representation of the original documents.

    The content of those documents are also highly reliable as there were written by eyewitnesses well within the lifetime of other eyewitnesses who would have been able to dispute any inaccuracies or exaggerations. At the time of Paul writing to the church in Corinth he was able to write of Jesus’ resurrection, “Then he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.” (1Corinthians 15:6) 500 people witnessed Jesus after His resurrection at one time. To get 500 people to have the same hallucination at one time is not possible and to identify those people as substantiating witnesses creates a solid case for the fact that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead.

    Have you investigated the willingness of Jesus’ disciples to endure torture and martyrdom rather than renounce their belief that Jesus did rise from the dead? There are many examples of people who die for something that they believe in but how many people in history have died for a lie that they knew was a lie? That is very difficult to accept especially when you see that their life was not a comfortable one. It was not like they were living well because of the support of the church. No these men and women were being persecuted, isolated from commerce and society. The only explanation that is plausible is that they truly believed that Jesus was God and had seen him die and rise again.

    From the perspective of historical study, the New Testament is an extremely reliable collection of documents. I would invite you to do your own study or read through some others who have also been skeptical and found that the New Testament is solid from a historical point of view. Lee Strobel’s book “A Case For Christ” is a great work or also Josh McDowell’s “Evidence that Demands a Verdict”. You can actually watch a series of videos that Josh does that talk about the accuracy of the Bible http://powertochange.com/itv/spirituality/josh-mcdowell-fact-or-fiction

    I totally relate to your concern over the wickedness and brutality of our world. My sense of justice also demands that those who take advantage of others who are weaker be judged. But if I am honest with myself I have to admit that there is a dark side of me as well that I don’t like others to see. As a parent I know that sometimes I react to my kids out of my own selfishness. I know that my pride can make a mess of relationships and cause hurt to other people, even when I love them and want the best for them. If I demand justice against those who hurt others, I am guilty and require punishment as well. How do you plan to pay for the hurt and pain that you have caused?

    The more that I understand what Jesus was teaching, the more it makes sense that all other religions are human efforts to try to appease our own guilt and figure out some way that I can cover over my sin and selfishness. Some religions do it by establishing a legalistic code of conduct that must be adhered to. Others promote ritual as a means of appeasing the deities. Some see spiritual enlightenment as the path to transcending the bonds of our selfishness. Still others look to the principle of Karma and many lives to try and get it right. Jesus was the only one who has said, “God loves the world so much that He gave His only unique Son, so that whoever believes in Him [Jesus] will not perish [experience the full penalty for their sin and selfishness] but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world [we have already condemned ourselves because we all know deep down we hurt others] but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17) There is nothing that we can do to pay the penalty for our sin. We need an outside agent who will pay that penalty for us. Jesus was that agent of grace for us. Jesus said, “Unless your righteousness is greater than that of the religious experts in the law or the Pharisees, you will not enter the Kingdom of God.” (Matthew 5:20) The Pharisees and experts of the law were the ones who could follow an extremely rigorous moral code. They diligently followed all the rituals established by Moses. But according to Jesus even their righteousness fell short of what was needed to pay the penalty for the mistakes that they had made. But Jesus also said, “I have not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it.” (Matthew 5:17) Jesus was not striving like the religious experts to live according to some external code; that code was an expression of who He was. The moral code that others were trying to follow was a description about Jesus’ character. That is the kind of righteousness we need in order to connect with God. And that is exactly what Jesus offers to each an every one of us: His own righteousness. Paul wrote, “God made Him who knew no sin [Jesus] to become our sin, so that we could become the righteousness of God.” (2Corinthians 5:21) Because Jesus was God, His death was of infinite value, covering the sin and selfishness of the whole world. Any who believe that and trust in His sacrifice on their behalf will receive His perfect righteousness and be adopted as a child of God. You no longer have to worry about paying for your selfishness because Jesus has already taken your punishment on Himself. And in exchange, He has given you His perfection so that you can stand before God unashamed.

    So all other religions try to create a righteousness like the Pharisees and experts in the law. But only Jesus can offer you a righteousness that is not your own, but is His. And only His is perfect enough to be acceptable to God. Go ahead, look at all other worldviews: Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Confucism, Christian Science, etc. They all boil down to something that you have to do in order to be counted worthy. Even Atheism talks about our responsibility to live well to contribute to the overall progression of the human race or the natural order of the universe. That totally aligns with Jesus statement, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) because He is the only one who tells you, you can’t do it, only God can.

    I know I got a little long here. I get excited when I talk about what Jesus has done for me. Does this make sense? I am very interested in hearing what in your education led you to dismiss the claims of the Bible.

  • Melanie says:

    >>Hi Melanie, it is really good that you are honest with yourself about this. God doesn’t want you to put on a show but that is exactly what so many people do. God has created you to be in a genuine, vital relationship with Him and you will only be complete when that is a reality in your life.

    So let me ask you a few questions: why do you want to believe in God and raise your children to believe in God? When you had 100% faith in God, what did you believe about Him? What is it about God that you don’t believe or struggle to believe?

    Let me pray for you: Lord God I ask that You would help Melanie as she honestly addresses the questions and doubts she has in her life. I ask Lord that she would hear Your voice speaking to her and that she would be willing to receive Your invitation of love and acceptance. Help pinpoint the things that are keeping her from following You wholeheartedly and lead her into an authentic, passionate relationship with You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

    I will be praying for you Melanie and look forward to hearing back from you soon<<

    Took me awhile but I am back and in the same boat as before, wanting to believe but not being able to.

    I value a truly wholesome life, and that is why I want to believe in God and raise my kids to believe in God. I want there to be a God so all of the suffering in this world will not be in vain. I am so troubled by the vulgarity and depravity and flagrant abuse in this world that I want there to be judgment against it. I fear there is no God and all of these misdeeds will go unpunished. To be clear I do not want anything to do with these misdeeds, despite my lack of faith I try to live an upright and humble life.

    When I believe 100%, I believed the Bible was the inerrant word of God. I "felt" I had a relationship with him, now I think it may have been imaginary. As a history major while in undergrad, I now see the Bible as a historical and inaccurate account. As a Biology second major as an undergrad, I see God as a hope that will likely be unfulfilled.

    I think it is a combination of several things as to why I am losing all but the tiniest morsels of faith. Historically, religion seems like things people made up to make sense of the world around them. Scientifically, we now can make sense of the world around us. Religion is no longer needed. I am not one of those people who do not believe because of suffering in the world, suffering makes perfect sense in a fallen world and in a world where God allows free will. So my doubts reside in my historical and scientific backgrounds, yet I want there to be a God because without his justice, the brutally murdered infant in yesterday's news cast lived entirely in vain, robbed forever of his life (on Earth, and in heaven if there isn't one).

    I live such a busy life, I'm a 1st year teacher and bogged down with teaching responsibilities, have 3 sons, a husband, a household, and live out in the country 30 miles from the closest church I would be comfortable in. To find time and energy for church to even explore ways to fight my doubt is a challenge.

  • Shelley Shelley says:

    Dear Father God.

    Lord I lift up anyone who calls God this god, that You will respond to them and show Yourself to them. In Jesus Mighty name Amen

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