I’ve been doubting

Dear friend I think you are listening to the wrong voices. There are many great RZIM videos on YouTube to watch or sermons from great men of faith like RC Sproul or Paul Washer. But the main voice must be Gods, read His Word and allow His Spirit to minister to you with the love of Jesus. Trust Him and not your feelings. Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. With prayers and blessings. Louise.

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jrlark22 I appreciate you concerns. I came to the place when I was about 20 of asking, OK is there really a GOD?? So, I studied the ontological, teleological, and the moral arguments for and against the existence of God. You can come very close to proving there is a God with each of those arguments. You can also think from those arguments that there is not a God. Who is right? Who is confident? If one person says no rocks exit that are black with perfectly round white dots. Someone else searches and holds a black rock with perfectly round white dots in front of that person. Who is right? Who can be confident? You are the one with the truth. But the Bible acknowledges that God is not obvious.

In his trails, Job acknowledges that God is not obvious. He says,

“But if I go to the east, he is not there;

if I go to the west, I do not find him.

9 When he is at work in the north, I do not see him;

when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.

So why isn’t God more obvious?? I think considering two things will help. First, Jesus was God on earth, yet many times he did not tout that to those that did not accept the facts. When Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead, He could have marched Lazarus into the Sanhedrin and proclaimed his miracles. Yet John says, “Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly.” Jesus was clearly seen yet not forceful. He is a gracious God.

Did the people need more evidence, more knowledge? NO! He gave enough evidence that he was God. What Jesus was offering was a relationship.

Jesus offered himself as the true bread from heaven, “and he who feeds of this bread will live forever.” in John 6 “many … turned back”. So, Jesus ask the 12, if they also wanted to leave. Peter says, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. The 12 wanted that relationship.

You said your ‘relationship feels forced and not genuine’. You recounted many things that you are stressed about. Your anxiety reminds me of the Psalmist whose “soul refused to be comforted, his spirit grew faint.” And he could not sleep. (Psalm 77) Verse 10 says, “Then I thought…,” He remembers, meditates, and considers…God’s ways are holy, great, performs miracles, displays power, and redeems.

I remember my husband; a pastor was concerned ‘he did not feel’ his faith. He found assurance that our position in Christ is secure as he read Ephesians 1-4. And he took joy in the promise of the Holy Spirit He said it did not matter what he felt God promised the gift of the Holy Spirit, so he knew he had the Holy Spirit. As he remembered all God had done, meditated on God’s works, and considered all his deeds the feelings followed.
You realize Job was having a hard time. He lost so much, physical agony of boils, his friends were no help. His world must have been very confusing. How did he get through that time? He expresses confidence that even though he does not know where God is God knows where he is. Read verses 10-12 carefully. When you know how things should be, yet you are not seeing it. Job is determined to be patient and wait for God. To tell God what should be happening would be to assume his own omniscience. He decides to let God be God.

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jrlark22, many have given you thoughtful answers - I didn’t read them all - and I hope they have been helpful. In case they haven’t please consider this. I am not sure how old you are but if you are young this is very common, almost universal. Consider the giants of the Bible…Moses, Job, John the Baptist, all of the disciples; they all went through this at one time or another. I don’t know why it happens but their faithfulness in staying with God proved true and their names are revered now. It happened to me too during a crisis and I almost gave up on God. But I am sure glad I said, no matter what I am going to trust Him. Now some 50 years later I am reaping the benefits of that decision as did the giants of faith I mentioned.

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jrlark22
What great advice & godly counseling you’ve already been given!
I’ve gone thru this doubting also, probably more than once. During my last bout of doubt, caused to feel like I was going crazy & our good Lord gave me a couple verses that I would repeat until I felt His truth fall on me.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
II Timothy 1:7 NKJV
https://bible.com/bible/114/2ti.1.7.NKJV

I leaned heavily on The Sound Mind, that was saying to me, I’m not Crazy!

casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
II Corinthians 10:5 NKJV
https://bible.com/bible/114/2co.10.5.NKJV
In this verse, I leaned heavily on, Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
As soon as a doubtful thought would come, I would give it to Christ to help me see what the lies of the devil were in it.

These doubts can be a painful growing process, but when i come thru it, oh what a wonderful growth in faith i received!

My prayers for you is, thru this process, may God grow you i faith for trust in His Word, which is in the Bible & His Son, Jesus, our Savior and Lord! Amen

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Hi there, jrlark22!
I understand what you are talking about when you fear there would be some ‘sure knowledge’ atheist would have to disprove God or make it ‘irrational’.
Just to share my experience: I have been looking for that, exposing me to different atheist arguments, I have seen different atheist videos, I have also read the whole ‘God delusion’ by Dawkins, talking with several atheist friends (very clever and ‘informed guys’), etc., but let me tell you I have not found anything new or really strong in their position. As sometimes, John Lennox has said, the atheist position undermines reason and logic, as there is no such thing as true or absolute truth, the very basis of Science becomes shaken.
The same happens with Philosophy, atheist paths leads you nowhere in circles.
To sum up: after reading lots of books, watching lots of videos, thinking a lot and looking at the evidence, I would say it is perfectly rational to believe in God (Christianity, by instance), but, at the end of the day, it is a matter of trust. Some before me have pointed out several good resources, but there is a decisión of trusting the Lord waiting for you at the end of the road.
I hope this helps,
Aldo (from Peru, South America)

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Greetings JR,

Science is a method not a belief system competing with God; God created science. Since God created everything and the very intelligence mankind possess is directly a result of humans being made in God’s image ( look at the way humans accelerate the intake of knowledge and how we develop technology; monkeys get exited if they manage to get a cookie out of a jar). Fear not the confidence of an atheist, they must come across with determined atheism; an atheist has a burning conscience weighted down with God’s Law placed in their hearts, what else can they do?

Doubt is like a wave of the sea. It isn’t possible for you to have a strong sense of relationship and prayer with God, if, you remain in a doubtful state. We all have certain seasonal doubts of one kind or another. And our doubts do not make God disappear. Our doubts keep us from seeing God’s face right next to us. Faith in God is more than believing He exists, it’s knowing Him.

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:5-8 NASB

James speaks regarding doubting and prayer, and how those two things are not compatible. James doesn’t get into managing life through bouts of anxiety here. I do relate to struggling with an anxiety disorder as long as I can remember. My methods of managing it may be very different than yours, or whether you are medicating the condition or not? I can share that my faith in God has pulled me through dark episodes throughout my life. When I experienced deep broken days, Jesus lifted me through it. So my faith had increased as a result of my trusting God and the testing of my faith in God during the most important moments.

I have decided that life in this world will be challenging. And for some people more rigorous personal epics than might be with other people. So is life. And what ever the circumstances that roll over us, Christ Jesus destroyed sin and death for any person who places their soul into His hand for the forgiveness of their sins. And that my friend, that is victory. For what ever struggles we face here will stay here when we are called home to be with the Lord, on His timing. And while we are trucking along down here we have His Spirit to guide us. God’s wisdom is found in trusting God when all the odds are against us and we are at our wits end.

It may seem as though we are hanging by a thin rope sometimes; it is most likely we are hanging onto a thread of faith that is pulling us up the cliff to safe pastures eh?

Take care JR.

Ken :canada:

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I am sorry you are struggling with doubts and will pray that God will give you assurance.

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Hi,

I thought I’d invite you to a virtual apologetics conference called ‘Jesus on Trial’ that will be held Oct. 3 - Oct 10. The cost is very inexpensive. One of the speakers will be Gary Habermas, who is one of the most highly respected experts on the Resurrection . There will be a lot of time for Q & A after each session. Go check it out at https://jesusontrialconf.com/

Anne

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Dear RJ
Thank you for sharing your faith journey. I hope you are sensing God’s Presence with you as you receive caring comments and testimonials from this RZIM connect forum.
I pray that God uses this time of questioning and doubt as a blessing to your soul. That it actually increases your faith and makes it stronger. I often ponder the fact that our trials make our faith known. How would we know we have faith if it hasn’t been tested in the “fire of God’s love” ?
Jesus promises us that if we seek Him, seek Him with our whole heart we will find Him. He will reveal Himself to us.
I hope that you cling to scripture and there find God’s unfailing faithfulness and guidance for your soul. He Who began a good work in you will see it to completion. He promises that He will turn all things for your good as you love Him, according to His purposes.
Personally, I went through 6 years of God’s purifying fire and even though it was spiritually agonizing I found comfort in learning that God Himself is my resting place and my salvation is found only in Jesus Christ His one and only Son and that my life is found only in Him not my self.
I found Ephesians 1:1-14 brought to life the Gospel message in all its fullness. Especially verse 3 which says: Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of heaven in Christ.
I’ve learned to stand only on Christ believing as Colossians 1:19 says: God wanted all perfection to be found in Him ( Christ Jesus) and all things to be reconciled through him, everything in heaven and everything on earth, when he made peace by his death on the cross.
It is freeing to finally know; there is nothing within myself that makes me righteous or perfect in God’s eyes, my righteousness and perfection is found only in Jesus.
Now, I can live out the grace He imparts and I no longer strive for God’s love but rather live life flowing from His love.
I pray that The Holy Spirit will comfort you as you seek Truth and that you find faith, hope, and love to be your most treasured blessings.
And remember that God is with you and will never leave you.

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Dear Donna
Your words are truly Holy Spirit inspired. I pray they touch those who read this whole post with God’s incredible unimaginable love and grace.
I appreciate how you shared about Jesus’s resurrection of Lazarus from the dead. How He gave enough evidence but was really offering relationship in Himself.
It truly is sad to think how often He is misunderstood and not KNOWN. That is why He came and became one of his creation so we would “know” Him. Which is Eternal Life.
I love how your husband held tight to God’s promises and the Truth of His Word. And ultimately as you said “let God be God”
Blessings of Christ to you and those you’ve touched by being His witness
Theresa

Thank you for that tip I will check.

Thank you for your comments. They are an encouragement to me. We are so blessed to know the truth and be free to live it. I have been reading ‘Faith on Fire’ and I am so touched by the faithfulness of our brothers and sisters with so much less opportunity than we have and yet they stand so strong in persecution.

Hi Donna
It was nice to hear from you. Truly, I appreciated your heartfelt words in the post.
I am a little familiar with Voice of the Martyrs and have also read ‘Faith on Fire’. It is overwhelming to think of the persecution so many believers endure. It causes me to feel privileged in so many ways. I do need to be more proactive even if it is through prayer. In all honesty I can be selfish forgetting the sufferings of millions while I’m living a comfortable life of freedom most in the world can’t even imagine.
Hearing you share about reading the book reminded me that I did click into VOM app a few days ago. They have a calendar that lifts up a particular country each day. That day it happened to be for Egypt. I need to do that on a regular basis rather than be unengaged.
As I read your post I was amazed at how a pastor with good intentions truly felt your husbands faith was questionable due to lack of feelings. I woke from a nap earlier ( I had surgery a week ago) and I thought about it some more and how remarkable it was that he was steadfast in God’s Word. The Lord is so good to us when we walk in the valley … following Him instead of our emotions. He is faithful and builds our faith upon Him not how we feel.
Thanks again for sharing
It’s a blessing to meet you
Theresa

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Theresa Thank you for your thoughts. I thought I had replied to you but I don’t see the post. I too reflect on my comfortable life of freedom and and am realizing we are free to be on mission with our God. I use the book Operation World to pray for the countries. We are so PRIVILEGED here, in spite of the crisis our country is facing. I hope you are still making a good recovery from surgery.

Dear precious soul. You have honestly shared your heart and earnestly kept engaging with the sweet folks trying to help you. Please consider 1 more. The 1st quarter of my life was plagued with anxiety, panic attacks and nightmares. I had fears within & without. I knew about God but did not trust him. When I became a young mom I stopped masking my emotions and began to face myself head on. I was still a scared rebel, but I started seeking truth that could set me free. I studied various religions and tried psychology but found it all to be like the guys I’d dated: deceitful disappointments. I tried various versions of the sinner’s prayer. Then I reread the New Testament twice and found the truth that set me free, because I decided to take God at his word and stake my life on it now and for eternity. When I’m tempted to doubt, I go back to The Bible.
You said you’re influenced by what atheists “say” & you’re worried about what ‘science’ says It really is a matter of whose word will you take; what’s true and what’s fake; how can you tell, and who cares? Consider how you chose to believe what you believe. Think about the meaning of what you heard. Seek the true source of that information. The main reason people decide to accept or reject things is based on what difference it would make in their lives if they counted on it to be true. But then there are consequences we can not control. What if you die and you’re wrong?
Over half a century ago I decided to turn my back on my rebellion against God and take him at his word. It’s often been a rough and rocky road, but over the years as I’ve grown to know him more and more, I’ve come to love him more and more. To know him is to love him. Everything that is for his glory is for my good, proven by his amazing love when he paid the price for my crimes against him. By the way the resurrection of Jesus Christ is both the most challenged and the most proven fact of history.

The evidence is abundant that God not only exists, he is the absolute source of life, truth & love. Those are immaterial things that cannot be examined by scientists under a physical microscope and they prove we are not simply sacks of DNA molecules destined to just become compost. Our thoughts as well as truth, love, justice, and laws of logic are immaterial. Information is not made up of atoms. Information in our mind, or even in a computer, does not have physical mass or weight. Adding information to your brain doesn’t make your body heavier. Adding information to a computer disk doesn’t add or remove matter, space or time; it only rearranges the material the disk is made of. A computer doesn’t get heavier or bigger if you download stuff. People, from ancient philosophers to modern physicists, have recognized that: information which we express in words is not physical and that indicates that we are an invisible soul and spirit inside of a visible, material body just as the Bible says.

Science does not say anything. It is scientists who explain everything. They are men and women who observe the material world and draw conclusions colored by their assumptions & beliefs about their own origin, purpose and destiny.

Lots of people have taken the word of scientists and chose to believe so called evidence for evolution. Truth is not determined by majority acceptance or by experts.
For hundreds of years expert evolutionary scientists have said that it is a proven fact that creatures with larger brains are more intelligent, than those with less brain material. The brain of a honeybee is about the size of a grass seed, but recent studies show that bees can learn new skills and teach them to other honeybees. They can recognize individual faces, solve complicated color puzzles, link symbols to numbers, do math calculations, and navigate using spatial memory with map-like organization. Honeybees are designed to accomplish tasks with speed and efficiency that random chance evolution cannot begin to explain. For more faith building fun facts visit

All relationships are based on faith. I have a relationship with God based on my love for him because he 1st loved me & gave himself for me. I want to live for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ every minute of every day until he calls me home. I will be praying that you will also see God for who and what he really is, and trust him as Job did even when he didn’t understand his troubles and trials. Proverbs 3:5&6 really does work when doubts and fears arise. Build your life on the rock word of God, not the shifting sand of worldly wisdom. Matthew 7.

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