Doubts About God’s Existence

I hope this is the right place to ask this.

I’ve recently begun to doubt that God exists. The doubts have grown so strong I honestly don’t know what I believe anymore. I don’t know if God exists and it terrifies me more than anything.

It feels as though someone I love has died except the mourning doesn’t stop because without God there is no hope. I can’t live in a world without God; the absurdity of life without God fills me with existential dread like nothing I’ve ever experienced. This fear is with me all the time and has just been getting worse. Often it gets so bad I can barely function in my day to day life. I can’t sleep for more than a few hours before waking up in a panic begging God to reveal Himself and to be real.

It’s not just that I feel He isn’t there, I’m not even sure if I believe He is there.

I have been seeking Him and looking for Him everywhere but can’t find Him anywhere. I don’t feel His presence or hear His voice. The world just feels so empty. Like I look out at the world and expect to see God but can’t find Him anywhere. The world just seems so godless.

I haven’t stopped serving in my church or abandoned practicing my faith. If I’m going to survive this it’s going to be with God. I have no interest in a life without Him.

I’ve gone through so much apologetic material but it doesn’t seem to help. I don’t know what to believe. I’m desperate for some kind of help.

How do I handle this? Is there some way I can regain/strengthen my faith?

I hope that makes sense. Sorry to ask such a personal question. I would appreciate any answer anyone can provide.

Aaron

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@Aaron Brother, your struggle is a common one. In fact, I’ve linked a number of related threads here on Connect below with discussions on this very topic. I just want to encourage you to keep seeking, keep knocking. The Lord is near to all who call upon His name!

Psalms 27:14 - Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

Also, I wanted to ask. What exactly are you expecting from God? How are you expecting God to reveal Himself?

The reason I ask is because sometimes I think our expectations of God are very different from what God has actually promised us in Scripture. And unmet expectations can cause fear and confusion. But I think that when we set our expectations appropriately, then we can find strength in the faithfulness of God in the midst of hard seasons.

For example, I’ve never once heard God’s voice—not in my mind or externally. I’ve never known exactly what God wanted me to do. I’ve never seen a miracle. And I also see a lot of godless behavior in the world that causes my heart to grieve.

However, I’ve also experienced God’s faithfulness in my own heart and life over the years I’ve waited upon Him and sought His face in prayer and worship. It didn’t happen all at once and it’s taken time to understand / see what the Spirit of Jesus was doing in my heart and I still don’t have the whole picture. But I can say with great confidence - our Redeemer lives! Hang in there brother and don’t stop seeking. Your sewing will bear fruit in the right season.

Connect Threads

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@Aaron can you tell me more about your history with The Lord so far? How long have you been a believer?
I am just 10 years with him, and what you are struggling with is very farmiliar to me :facepunch:

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Oh Aaron (@Aaron). I am so very sorry for this torment you are suffering. You are courageous to be reaching out for help. Thank you.

I don’t have any answers, simple or otherwise, except to say that you are loved. Deeply.

Would you mind if I asked you a few questions? I am wondering what were the circumstances in your life around the time you began to doubt God’s existence? Do you have a small group of believers with whom you can process these fears and who can uplift you in prayer?

I have occasionally had thoughts along similar lines and I can’t imagine how hopeless this must make you feel. I am praying for you Aaron, that Jesus would make Himself so real to you that there is no room for doubt.

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I would only bud in to say, just talk to the LORD about it. He hears. He sees. Hebrews 4. His word is alive. Ask Him to open your heart, mind, and soul.

I have known the goodness of God since Easter Sunday School about 4 years of age. I almost drown that year at the YMCA pool. God told me Jesus died for me because He loved me. As a child I got it. I am also the 5 year old who was molested by 2 teenagers high, yet somehow I ended up home. God has been the gracious God. I acknowledged Him everywhere. Every possible sin, philosophy, or people’s opinions draw us away from the LORD. People don’t know Jesus. They may know religion. Educated. Mean well. But we have to soak Him in. Jesus said that we had to eat his flesh and drink His blood. We have to take Him in. Talk to Him. And soak in his Word. The culture is not serving God. The Devil wants us to doubt. Turn away. But keep going back to His Living Water. Remember God knows you. He loves you. Hang in there. The LORD miraculously healed me when Bicycle commuting home. My bones were shattered. He is alive. He will help you. Just keep seeking Him. P.S. Looking for work. 2 years. But I am believing in our Holy Father. Yahweh Yireh. Our Provider. He is faithful. :heart:

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I have felt the same the things and heard it from others recently. I feel as though it could be part of the great deception and that we live increasingly surrounded with what the Dalai Lama calls “secular morality”. Compassion, love, tolerance etc…and he calls these truly “human qualities”. This is ironic…since my 1 year old has started clawing at my face and trying to smack me when he doesnt get his way. That does not seem like these qualities his holiness thinks are truly HUMAN. They are “God qualities”, because they do not come naturally. When you see the horror in the world and the atrocities you mention, that is who we are without God. The interesting thing is even the unbeliever and atheist still experience God on a daily basis through creation, so they truly dont know yet what it would feel like to live without God even though they dont recognize it. We were created to worship something…like minions. It IS God. The hopelessness you feel may be leading you into an intercessory ministry. That is a HARD ministry, but so necessary. God must have made you strong. FASTING always has given spiritual breakthroughs in my experience. Keep fighting the good fight.

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Hi Aron and welcome.
Existential angst is common when one finds his worldview challenged from the outside, but equally when it comes from within. Even the most popular people in the religious arena can suffer, as shown in the recent deconversion of popular evangelists,so it is important to look into what kind of God you believed in, that you seem not to find any more. I remember looking for a God outside, that did protect my Hamster from dying - which worked once, than failed, later I asked him to stop my Grandma from dying, and then I eventually started looking not for a God that changed reality for how I wanted it and who fulfilled my wishes, as I realised that was what I believed Santa to do - and I realised that fathers in red have rather limited powers :slight_smile: It was only much later after I had gained sufficient self-confidence that I started to look for a God that would change me to fulfil his wishes. And that one I found, so now instead asking God to heal or help someone I ask him what I can do to heal and help someone and I found him not working outside of me but inside me. We are easily put in doubt by looking at the things that don’t work as we expect them to as we take those things that do work for granted instead of being thankful for them. So I wish you that you will find God inside you and you realise your purpose in life is to be the evidence for him. The fact that you reached out to this forum tells me that he is working inside you anyhow. Become part of making this world the place he wants it to be and let his will be done through you. You’ll be surprised to see what he comes up with when you ask him.

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Hi Aaron,
Thank you for your honesty about the doubt you have been experiencing regarding the existence of God. I wonder if you remember how this doubt started growing within you or did it appear suddenly? Doubt can come for intellectual reasons, such as someone has presented you with an argument against God’s existence that you have found convincing or it could come because of something that has happened to you or someone you love and you are convinced a Good God would have prevented that from happening.
I wonder what apologetic material that you have already gone through but you say hasn’t removed your doubts.
From the Bible we can see that “God rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews) and Jesus also said “Seek and you will find”. If I was in your situation of doubting God’s existence, I would re-read the Gospels, because Jesus “is the visible image of the invisible God”. If God is real, and He is, you will find Him in the person of Jesus.
One more thing, Someone once said “Doubt your Doubts”. You might find the book “Help My Unbelief” helpful. Here’s the link: https://www.amazon.com/Help-My-Unbelief-Doubt-Enemy/dp/1434706923

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@SeanO thank you for the encouragement!
I guess I don’t mind how God reveals Himself if it gives me assurance of His existence. I hope I’m open to anything though I’m not really sure what to expect. I admit I would love to see something amazing like a miracle or a vision but I have to trust God knows best.

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@brianlalor At this point I’ve been a Christian for about 8 years now. I actually came to faith when I was a teenager and realized the absurdity of life without God and recognized my need for something to fill that God-shaped hole in my heart. So I started attending a church and found believers who took their faith seriously. I got involved in various ministries and have just been trying to serve Him the best I can since then. I struggled with doubts in those early years but they sort of faded overtime. A few weeks ago I was in hospital and the thought ‘what if God doesn’t exist’ entered my mind and I that fear has been with me ever since. I don’t know why it happened all of a sudden like that but it’s just gotten worse ever since.

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@tpauls8 I was actually in hospital when my doubts began. I’m not sure why then. I feel as though my faith has been a house of cards all this time and all at once it came crashing down. I remember in A Grief Observed C. S. Lewis said something similar.
I’m in a small group but I haven’t really told them much about what’s been going on. I have spoken to a few different people from my church and have received some helpful counsel from some.
Thank you so much for your encouragement and prayers; it really means a lot.

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@Mkibos Thank you for sharing part of what God has done in your life.
Yes, I absolutely must keep seeking. If there is one thing this has taught me it’s how important God is and how much He really means to me. How much He means to all of us.

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@Sacredbones37 Thank you for your insight!
From what I know about it fasting sounds like a good idea and is something I haven’t really explored much. I’ll definitely do some more research into that discipline and give it a try.

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@Gerhard_G Thank you for sharing!
It’s certainly possible my conception of God was less than adequate. I think God’s sovereignty is starting to make more sense to me than it has before.

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@stucky197 I will definitely start going though the gospels. That sounds like a good idea, thank you.
My doubts appeared suddenly a few weeks ago while in hospital actually. From what I recall I think I asked myself why I believe what I do and couldn’t answer.
In terms of apologetic material, I’ve gone through arguments for the resurrection of Jesus, the Kalam cosmological argument, the argument from the fine tuning of the universe, arguments and evidence for the existence of an immaterial mind, evidence of miracles and evidence of answered prayer. I actually think a lot of these arguments are pretty solid but it doesn’t help my faith much for some reason.
I’ve been working in a hospital recently and God just feels absent in that place. Like I would expect to see Him comforting the broken hearted but don’t. Then I think of patients who have died and ask myself where they are now. Could they have been consigned to hell? I get a sick feeling when I’m around loved ones who have rejected God as I imagine them in hell. I see all the different beliefs and ideas out there and ask myself if I really know that I’m right about this or that.
I’m not sure if these are even good objections from a logical standpoint but they fill me with a lot of fear.

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Hi Aaron,
Working in the hospital has confronted you with the reality of death and no doubt raised questions about the Afterlife. Most of us in Western countries can effectively push the reality of death away so we don’t have to think about it, but if you are working in a hospital you can’t do that as you are confronted with it on a regular basis. It’s interesting that Jesus spoke more about hell than anyone else in the Bible. It seems like He had a unique insight on the subject of the Afterlife. He saw what lies beyond this life more clearly than anyone else. The reason of course, for this is He is the eternal Son of God.
A 20 something friend of mine recently tragically lost his wife to an aggressive form of Lupus and He, like you, has also found himself doubting the existence of God and an afterlife.
I’m praying that God will reveal himself to you, especially in the person of Jesus.

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Hello Aaron,
Prayer, wisdom, and understandng brought me out of a similar situation many years ago. Perhaps a little history to start will help. I got to a point when depression created a dread to not want anything or anybody around me. I had been diagnosed with leukemia, were subsequent treatments created a heart condition. At the time I was in full time ministry helping young men come to a saving faith leading them to Christ. As I was waiting to be diagnosed of the initial problem God brought a word to mind. This sickness is not a sickness leading unto death, John 11:4. I held onto that word till God brought me through the entire ordeal. All the stress and some people believing I would not make it along with certain medicines “betablockers” created that state of dread that lasted a few months. That was in 2007 and I believe today my faith is stronger because I had to believe though I could not see, feel, hear anything except that dread and darkness. People who loved me rallied around me prayed for me and got me the help I needed. Light always dispels darkness bring it into the light open up about your struggle and God will come through. He is a man of His word.

Father I pray for my brother that he would rest in your presence your comfort and peace as he moves forward with others standing in the gap for him. we know the enemy is a liar and the Father of all lies and truth will never fail to reveal itself in the midst of the lies. Lord meet your child in the midst of this storm and calm the raging seas of doubt, for we know that you are the Master of all there is. We remember you are all powerful and know the end from the beginning. I pray that others will come alongside as you have. Thank you Lord for your grace. mercy, and truth.
Understanding
Mike

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Hey, Aaron, here’s one possibility that has worked for me. Hope it does something for you, too.

It’s simple.

Start thanking God for things you think He might be doing for/in/thru you. Like keeping your lungs working, your eyes seeing, your lungs breathing, your legs walking, your mind working, your universe rolling along very orderly, your helpfulness to others, etc.

And then thank Him for giving you the gratitude to appreciate all those things which we all normally take for granted. And thank Him that He is going to show you so many more things to be grateful for.

Tell me if He does that, OK? Personally i have discovered so many things to be grateful for that i am sometimes overwhelmed by it all. You know, with tears and laughing.

And no, i didn’t feel glad when i first started thanking Him, i just did it – He added the depth of feeling as i persisted in the practice.

Sometimes we are told by others “fake it, till you make it”. I say, now, “try it, till you buy it”. (Or something like that.) I am going to be ultimately grateful if you get something out of all this. So i thank Him in advance…

Hang in there friend (brother in Christ type friend, of course).

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Prayers for you in your difficult time. I always think of Proverbs 3:5-6 at times like that. Remember Gods thoughts, knowledge and ways are beyond our understanding. Continue to seek Him out.

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Hi Aaron! I am so sorry that you are going through this but believe me when I say this: Lot of saints go through this! When I went through this period, I felt like I was suffocating and just wanted to curl up and die. But I was not alone, so aren’t you. Remember Elijah? The great prophet! The one who went up against a powerful and cruel queen; the one prophesized famine and whose prayer brought back rain. The one who’s prayer brought fire from the heavens! I am always surprised how this same man whom you come to admire, suddenly gets depressed to the point of death. To verbalise his struggles a bit more than he did, he didn’t FEEL God with him anymore. But that doesn’t stop him from praying to Him.
Psalms are full of similar examples. But you see none of the authors directing their frustrations or anger or despair elsewhere. They direct it towards Him who’s very existence seemed null. Isn’t that faith is my dear brother? To forge ahead, even when we don’t Feel, because we Know?
A person is not just his/her emotions and thank the dear Lord for that. My spiritual mentor always tells me, “When your feelings or emotions fail you, lean on God’s Word”. This is when you exercise your intellect and your will and continue to wield the sword of Word of God in this battle with the dark forces.
My loving advice, don’t give up. Because even when you don’t feel Him, God is still with you because He has promised so and He always keeps His promises. One day, you will wake up, look back and realize that this too was for your good and your sanctification. God bless you and enrich you with His beautiful and majestic Presence!
In Christ

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