Recently I have been doubting gods existence. It all just seems to good to be true. I have anxiety and have struggled with doubt before. I feel like there is something I don’t know. Like there is something atheists know that makes them so confident. This has made it hard for me to beleive because why do so many people differ on these things. Also I don’t feel like I’m connecting with god it feels forced and not genuine. I used to have a very close relationship with him but I’ve been doubting if god exists I’m into apologetics but so many atheists say that proof of god doesn’t exist and that the belief is irrational. I don’t know if this is my anxiety or what please help. For example lots of people think the Bible was interpreted wrong and that Jesus didn’t actually rise from the dead. Or that the universe just appears to be fine tuned. I know this post has been all over the place but please help with my doubts I want to grow strong in my faith again. Im afraid that science will provide something that will make Christianity completely irrational or if they already have and we are just choosing to ignore it
@anon7556047 Welcome to Connect and thank you so much for sharing your struggle I’ve linked a few threads I suggest checking out, as well as a sermon from Tim Keller I think you would find helpful. Below are three of the big takeaways I hope help you. Stand strong and wait upon the Lord! He is faithful!
Doubt is normal - it is both part of having faith and part of being human. Walking with God is about trusting God with our doubts; not about the absence of doubt.
Science cannot disprove God. Science deals with the natural world, but the Christian God created the natural world. So it is silly to talk about science disproving God’s existence. That does not mean we cannot historically examine Christianity’s claim - we have historical evidence for the resurrection and the reliability of the Scriptures. But no deeper understanding of the natural world can disprove a supernatural God.
As Tim Keller points out in the sermon linked below, Christianity actually makes more sense of the world than atheism. Why is there something rather than nothing? Why do we all have an innate sense of right and wrong? Why is love so central to our existence? The best explanation for all of these questions is a personal, loving God. If atheism were true, then that would mean everything is the product of random time + matter + chance and that love and morality and existence are ultimately meaningless, but we know that is not true. Yes, Christianity has its own difficulties - the problem of suffering, the hiddenness of God - but only the kind of God Christianity offers can explain the fundamental, self-evident realities of life.
Thank you for this I added on a bit more while you were replying in case you want to see if there is anything additional from what else o added to my post thank you though I will definitely watch these sermons
@anon7556047 May the Lord give you wisdom and peace in Christ If you search around here on Connect you’ll find threads on a number of the specific questions you raised. But I think to start with it’s important to understand that doubt is part of our journey and that Christianity is the most rational approach to life even with the unknowns.
How do I figure out if it is my anxiety causing doubt or if these are legitimate doubts
@anon7556047 I would personally distinguish between emotional doubt and intellectual doubt. An emotional doubt could be caused by a lack of sleep, hunger, other anxieties in life related to work or school or relationships, a medical condition, etc. An intellectual doubt is a genuine question about Christianity to which you would like an answer. Of course an intellectual doubt could cause emotional doubt, but you can have emotional doubt without a genuine intellectual doubt. Concerning these 2 types of doubt, I would say the following:
If your doubt is intellectual, prayerfully seek out answers - we in America are blessed with many great resources to grow in our faith.
If your doubt is emotional, try to identify its source. If you’re very tired, get sleep. If it’s a medical condition, see a professional to address it. If it’s a need for community find community.
And ultimately, with all of our doubts, the Biblical advice is to cast them at God’s feet and keep our eyes fixed on Christ rather than on our doubts. Though of course with all doubts it is not enough simply to pray - we need to address the underlying cause and pray for strength to endure when the cause is hard to handle. Hope that helps
Philippians 4:6-7 - Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Psalms 43:5 - Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
I have anxiety and have been taking medication for about a year now recently it has almost made me feel numb and side effects also include it could cause you to be anxious I don’t really have a question it’s more like I’m anxious if Christianity is true or not and if there is something that disproves it And I’m just unaware of it.
@anon7556047 In that case it would seem rational to me, though of course I don’t know your entire situation, to conclude that it is an emotional doubt. The question then is how to handle it. I can only offer you some things I might do in such a situation, though I don’t know which one, if any of them, would be helpful for you.
Read a good book by a Christian author - Narnia or Lord of the Rings - something encouraging that will take your mind off the issue. Get some sleep. And see if that helps ease your mind. Or maybe draw or do some other hobby you find meaningful while playing uplifting Christian music in the background.
Remember that Christianity has been tested and tried by many hundreds of thousands of intelligent minds and they all found it convincing. You are walking a path trodden by many smart people and do not need to fear any evidence proving Christianity false.
If the feeling will simply not go away, accept it. You are struggling with doubt. And that is okay. Create a routine of prayer each day to give your doubts to God. In the morning and at night recall God’s faithfulness and ask Him to give you strength for another day.
Turn on an audio Bible version of the Psalms and simply let it play in the background. David had many doubts and I find the Psalms encouraging in such times.
Hope at least one of those seems helpful
Wait what does rationale mean
@anon7556047 Sorry - misspelled that - meant rational - logical - I was just trying to say I think it is probably an emotional doubt.
Sound advice has been given. I’m just chiming in to encourage you to stay with God because there’s nowhere else good to go.
From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
I’ve have had my own share of discouragements. Worst of all, I’m was even discouraged of myself. In my discouragement I can almost blame God for all the miseries. But then, where am I to go?
If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.
Recognizing my sinfulness, to whom could I go to find forgiveness? Only God is good enough to accept me for who I am. Even dying for me so that I could be redeemed. Who could love a hopeless sinner like me more than Him?
I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
Yes, @anon7556047, I have had my share of discouragements and disappointments. But I would rather be the least in the kingdom of God than be the king of nothingness.
Running away from God?.. To whom? To where? Nothing. No one. Nowhere.
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
God has always been good and gracious and merciful to me despite of me. I would rather live this life with the hope of eternity in Him and with Him, than live in fear of the unknown, and in futile attempt to understand what is beyond me to know.
I pray that you would find peace with your doubts🙇♂️
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
May I encourage you @anon7556047, that what you are going through is nothing abnormal. I say this as a person who has struggled with questions and doubts - and I mean seriously struggled - and I have been on medication too. The process of going through doubt and having questions is not at all pleasant. But one thing I have learnt over the years is that through my struggles with questions and doubts, I have grown in my faith. As I searched for answers to my questions, I grew in confidence and today my faith is much more stable when compared to what it was when I began my walk with Christ. Doubt and questions have been the fertilisers for the growth of my faith.
I would encourage you to look for answers to the questions that trouble you, keep searching till you are satisfied, and as you strengthen yourself, you will grow too. Believe me, the Christian faith is the most reasonable worldview - definitely much more reasonable than the atheist worldview which many consider to be a default with science.
By the way, atheists and scientists too struggle with doubt and they do not even have the kind of reasonable answers that the Christian worldview offers. I would suggest going through the videos of John Lennox - they are a great resource. His book “God’s undertaker - Has science buried God?” is a particularly good starting point (if you are not familiar with his work already).
I have been fascinated by science and have lived most of my life in a scientific (medical) field. Yet I find the ultimate answers given by science to be deeply unsatisfying - science answers the how, where and what questions pretty well, but falls woefully short when it comes to the ‘why’ questions and the deepest, most important questions of life. Moreover some of the finest scientists and intellectuals in history (and today) have been Christians and it was their faith in the rationality of God and His creation that spurred on their quest for truth in science.
And why science alone - even philosophy, society, religion and a whole lot of other fields of life can throw questions that can unsettle us. It is up to us whether to get unsettled or not.
My advice at this point would be to switch off some of these voices for a while and concentrate on God’s word until you are feeling better mentally. Then you can start listening to what the scientists and others have to say.
All through this, stay reassured that God is real, He is near and He knows what you are going through and He will take you through. You are not alone in this - we are all in it together!
John 14:1 - Do not let your heart be troubled - trust in God.
In August-September of 2018 I went through almost the exact same situation that you are currently in. I’ll do my best to give a short version of my experience followed by some (hopefully) helpful suggestions!
For me, it started with an intellectual doubt that exposed the unstable area that I had placed my faith: intellect and human wisdom. As someone who used to be very obese and was constantly picked on throughout grade school, I have a bad habit of caring WAY too much about what other people think. I had never given any thought to the arguments against Christianity, so one day when I came across cocky internet atheists and intellectual atheists such as Richard Dawkins, my foundation was deeply shaken. I remember watching a YouTube video from Stephen Meyer that I thought was really cool, so I started reading the comments. One after the other, it was just atheists bashing him and claiming his science was completely false. I’m not sure what it was about this, but it really bothered me. It bothered me so much actually, that my body started shaking and I started crying. I couldn’t get myself to fall asleep, so I called one of the college ministry leaders at my church. He talked with me for about 45 minutes and helped me feel a little bit better so that I could actually calm down and go to sleep. Unfortunately, sleep didn’t make the feelings of doubt and anxiety go away.
The following morning, I woke up still shaking and couldn’t eat. I had never experienced anything like it before. Suddenly I was doubting the existence of God, and purpose for life at all. If God didn’t exist, what reason was there for me to live? Over the next 3 weeks, I lost 10 pounds because I wasn’t eating, and withdrew from my University for the Fall semester because I couldn’t leave my comfort zone of the downstairs couch at my families house.
At this point in time, I had already been seeing a Christian counselor for a few months for help with an eating disorder and body image issues, so I began to talk with her about my recent doubts and the physical symptoms that had manifested in my body due to the anxiety. She recommended a book written by her pastor, Jeff Wells, called breaking free of OCD. She explained to me that in her opinion, these circling thoughts in my head about doubting God’s existence and not being able to stop freaking out were due to OCD (this also explained my eating disorder). While reading this book, Pastor Wells mentioned a man by the name of Dr. Peter Johnson, a Christian Psychiatrist here in The Woodlands, Tx. Fast-forward about a week, and I have an appointment with Dr. Johnson, where he diagnoses me with Anxiety, OCD, and Depression. What a doozie lol. He places me on medication to stop the toxic spiraling of thoughts and allow me to calmly and rationally deal with the underlying issue at hand, being my doubts.
It didn’t take long for the medication to start working and I was able to actually function like a normal human-being again, but it was only the beginning of dealing with my doubts that had reared their ugly head only a month earlier. I had to face the truth: I was doubting my faith, and I needed to learn what I believed, why I believed it, and whether I actually thought it was true.
Over the course of the next year or so, I still continued to struggle with doubt, but I was learning to place my trust in God. Even when things made absolutely zero sense to me, I was leaning that I could bring that to God. I could probably write a whole book about the things I learned during this time, and am continuing to learn, but I’ll do my best to summarize them below:
No one, and I repeat, NO ONE, knows all the answers. Only God knows everything. 1 Corinthians 3:19-20: “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: ‘He catches the wise in their craftiness’; and again, ‘The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.’”
The burden of proof falls on atheists, not Christians. If Christianity is false, what is the worst that can happen? We die and that’s it. If Christianity is false, those who reject Christ suffer a far worse fate. (This human argument is NOT a good foundation of faith. It’s simply something to think on.)
Our faith is built on a relationship with God Incarnate: Jesus Christ. As Paul states in 1 Corinthians 15:14, “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” The focal point of our faith is Jesus. It’s not about if we understand how Genesis and modern science mesh. It’s not about being able to even fathom how and when God created everything.
God tells us in His Word that mockers and scoffers will come. We shouldn’t be surprised when people mock us and scoff at our faith in Christ. Jude 1:17-23 states, “But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, ‘In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their ungodly desires.’ These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear–hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.”
Not only does Christianity make the most sense of the human condition, but God’s work is also clearly seen in His creation. Why do we mourn over injustice? Why do we think the sunset is beautiful? Why is there such a thing as laughter? Why is music pleasing not just to the ear, but to the soul? Why is there anything at all? Just from a sheer logic standpoint, the odds of this infinitely complex and beautiful universe coming into existence from nothing, for no good reason, is a mathematical impossibility. Romans 1:20 “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
Satan and his minions are real. Our struggle is against them. Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
It is 110% ok to say, “I don’t get it. I don’t understand how Genesis 1-11 fits in with modern science. I don’t understand neanderthals. I don’t understand dinosaurs. I don’t understand macro evolution. I don’t understand why God seems distant. I don’t understand why there is suffering. I don’t understand why I feel this way.” This is when we come to God and just simply say, “Help me, please. I don’t get anything, but I trust you.”
Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.”
Psalm 42: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’ These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng. Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon–from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the Lord directs His love, at night His song is with me–a prayer to the God of my life. I say to God my Rock, ‘Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?’ My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’ Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”
Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
I hope that in some way this is helpful for you! It’s not the most organized, but I feel the Spirit was prompting me to share some of my story for you, and my someone else who reads this thread.
I want to put my faith in Jesus and I don’t want to lose my faith but every time I think about it my brain tells me it’s irrational or sounds dumb even though I know belief in god is rational. I have been having stomach pain and loss of appetite I just wanted others input does this sound like it is caused by my anxiety or is it something else.
@anon7556047 In my experience, it does sound a lot like your anxiety is manifesting itself physically. If you can, I would highly recommend finding a Christian Psychiatrist in your area that you can talk to. Or if that isn’t an option, maybe someone in your church who has counseling experience, or even a pastor.
I would also take these things to God. Just like the man in Mark 9:24, it’s ok to say, “I believe, please help my unbelief!”
I had many nights where I felt that my brain was working against me, so I understand how incredibly frustrating and disheartening it can be. Continue to seek God, seek wise counsel, seek professional help if you are able to (absolutely no shame in professional help!!)
I’ve had similar experiences to you, and from what I’ve heard I would also suggest meeting with a counselor from a church or a godly person you trust. God wants to engage with you and lead you out of this, but sometimes the best way to do that is through a personal touch. From my experience, I would come to a place where I would obsess so much over finding the perfect answer that even if I found it, my obsessive doubting caused me not to see it. And at that place, it really is best just to be able to talk over things with someone. Pray that God would bring you someone that you can talk with and help lead you through this struggle. Wish you the best and I’ll be praying for you.
Wow- quite profound
Thanks so much @anon7556047 for your question. I hope these responses have been helpful,
Personally I have been encouraged by reading the experiences of @ashtonbrewer94 and @tonyabthomas and the gems of truth they’ve shared. God is true and faithful.
Indeed, to whom else shall we go?
As Ephesians 1:12 tells us, it is those without Christ who are without hope for everything else in this world will fade away
" And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever" 1 John 2: 17.
So when all has been said and done we take comfort that this life is not all there is. The Word encourages us that:
“My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God’s Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life, the reality and not the illusion” (1 John 5:13-15 MSG)
And He is able to keep us from falling away and will bring us with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault (Jude 1:24)
Be strong The Lord Jesus himself in [Rev 2:25 ISV] is cheering us on “Just hold on to what you have until I come”
Praying for you
Correction** If Christianity is TRUE
I am where you are. I suffer from an anxiety disorder and my strong faith in God has become weak. It feels like God is so far away from me now. I am constantly searching for hope and help. This is the best I’ve found on losing my most precious relationship and what to do about it. I hope it helps you. I pray you (and I) find our way through this. http://www.drurywriting.com/keith/Finding.faith.again.htm
@anon7556047 I wonder if we were able to look at the firstborn children of Egypt and of the Israelites back in Exodus 12 whether we would find similar feelings to yours. Here are verses 12 and 13, “For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”
Imagine for an instance that we could look inside the home of an Israelite in Egypt. The parents with a Jewish firstborn, once the passover lamb was slain, made sure the blood of the sacrifice was applied to their front door as commanded by Moses. The boy then went inside his home for the night. Now this boy had two choices. While eating the passover and further into the night, he could either feel anxious waiting to see if the angel of death would pass him by, or he could rejoice in his salvation. Whether he was pacing up and down anxiously (and reminding himself that yes his parents applied the blood - maybe even waking them up to ask them again if they applied it where it was supposed to go) or singing at the top of his lungs, he was safe. He was safe either way. The blood is what the angel of death was looking for and not the boy’s response. His only job was to obey the command, and once the lamb’s blood was applied, that was it! He was safe. Now, imagine a firstborn among the Egyptians, maybe even in Pharoah’s castle. When the night came he went inside his house. He had two choices. He could either believe this Moses and be afraid all night watching for the angel of death or he could rest his head on the pillow because he believed what Moses said would happen was absolutely ridiculous. Either way he felt made no difference to the outcome. The blood of the passover lamb was not on the door, and the angel of death did not pass over him.
Your anxiety will not change your eternal destiny. When you chose to put your trust in Christ, God applied the blood, and He only needs to do it once. It cannot be washed away. You are safe. However, your feelings of anxiety can affect the abundance of your life down here. They can affect your efffectiveness for God. It is something you would have to work through with God and in fellowship with godly people, and if needed with medical help. When I’ve been anxious, I’ve told the Lord everything. He already knows every thought anyway; there’s nothing to hide. When my anxious thoughts come into the light, God’s perfect love casts them out. Do not be afraid, but let God bring you through this. Allow your doubts to work for you and not against you. To work for you, they’d prompt you to study the Bible more, to ask questions like you are doing here and to pray more. Your faith and strength will grow. Be encouraged, God “who has begun a good work in you will (Himself) complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).