Struggle with assurance

(Chad Berry) #1

I struggle with making a once and for all decision for Christ. I’m really not aware of any intellectual blockage as I accepted the Bible as The Word of God years ago. Now I’m really just learning how to defend it. I’m afraid of God and what it might mean for me to follow Christ. I’m afraid to die. I’m horrible at commitments. Is asking Jesus into the heart enough? That’s what I was told in my youth. I accept everything just very indecisive in the final step. I’m afraid and I fear because Hell is real. I don’t know when I’ll die etc… Has anyone here actually become a Christian and still struggle with fear? I know it sounds weird. I’m sure there are. How do I actually become a Christian?

Thank You!

(SeanO) #2

@Chad.Berry I think it is normal to struggle with fear and uncertainty because we are human. Having fear does not mean you are not Christian. The way I handle these feelings is to remember that if I lean into God now - if I seek Him now - He is faithful to cleanse me, to fill me, to guide me. Rather than worrying about whether or not I truly repented at some point in the past, I just worship and confess and seek Jesus now; in this moment :slight_smile: If we are seeking Him, He is faithful to be with us. Below are some additional resources I hope you find helpful.

The Book of I John is written specifically to help believers know that they are walking with Christ - those who love are born of God. In a similar way the Gospel of John was written so that unbelievers might believe.

The following post discusses three ways we know we are saved:

  • theological - we believe in Jesus as revealed by the Scriptures
  • moral - growing in righteousness as defined by Scripture gives us confidence (whereas sin leads to confusion)
  • social - our love for other Christians and those in need should be a sign of indwelling of the Holy Spirit

Check out Greg Boyd’s video linked below - I think he makes a great distinction between faith and psychological certainty. Faith is not the absence of doubt, but the choice to seek God in the midst of uncertainty. Tim Mackie also has a good video on praying through doubt that is based on the Psalms. A few thoughts:

  • faith in the Bible is not about the absence of doubt, but about persistently seeking God in spite of our doubts / struggles
  • faith is a journey and doubts are part of that journey
  • rather than trying harder to believe, perhaps try just trusting God with your doubts and continuing to walk with Him / honor Him on the journey
  • sometimes even when we know the answers we may still experience psychological doubt - our emotions are prone to many influences - hunger, illness, weariness - and our emotions impact our mental state. So faith is not about always feeling we have faith or psychological assent - but about trusting God in the midst of our weakness.
  • like Biblical characters (David, Habakkuk, Job) we take our doubts to God - we pray through our doubts - not seeking psychological certainty, but leaning into God as our rock in the midst of doubt

Greg Boyd - Faith is Not About Certainty But About Covenant

faith is not intellectual assent (a psychological concept); it is not psychological certainty

people tend to think your faith is as strong as your mind is certain, in which case doubt is the antithesis of faith, but this view is incorrect

Biblical faith isn’t about trying to attain certainty; it’s about committing to a course of action in the face of uncertainty

For many, faith is about attaining as much certainty as possible in order to be a true follower of Christ. But the Bible tells us faith is about committing to a course of action in the face of uncertainty. God is not seeking all the right answers from his people in order to let them into heaven; no, he is our loving Bridegroom who seeks to be in a covenantal relationship with us in the midst of our uncertainties.

(Chad Berry) #3

Wow very helpful! I can tell we have some Spirit led people here hallelujah! Check out Elizabeth post in spiritual growth. Thanks Again! Amen and Amen!

(SeanO) #4

@Chad.Berry Glad it was helpful brother - the Lord be with you :slight_smile:

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