@CarsonWeitnauer Personally, I agree with C. S. Lewis that under torture I am not sure how well I would hold up and that is a very humbling thought.
And it is certainly true that in Philippians Paul says we should “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling” and Peter exhorts us to never forget that we were “cleansed from our past sins” lest in our arrogance we fall.
But I like Daniel much better in terms of his attitude towards sin. He determined not to do it and he did not. There is no mention of him constantly being afraid of stumbling back into sin. Nor of Joshua.
They knew who their God was and they knew that they would honor Him. I see no reason why this should not be our attitude as well.
Again, torture or starvation or some terrible illness - all of which can lead to altered mental states - I have no idea about and I pray for those who must suffer such things.
But, for me at least, the attitude of Paul, Joshua, Caleb and Daniel is much more edifying for my personal walk than one of self-degradation or fear.
And I have found that if I live with this confidence when everything is going well, then when things go badly I can continue to praise God.
I think the Israelites had a very specific problem pointed out in Deuteronomy chapter 8. God knew their hearts and he knew that when they were well fed and fat and happy they would go after other gods and worship their own work. Which is exactly what they did.
“Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, 12 lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, 13 and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, 15 who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock, 16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end. 17 Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ 18 You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. 19 And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. 20 Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God.
In all honestly, if our hearts are just like those who went astray in the wilderness, I do not think we will inherit the Kingdom of God. For they forgot God in prosperity and cursed Him in suffering.
That said, I do not think that means we can never have doubts or feel extremely distant from God. I think those things are just part of living in a broken world and should not be viewed as symptoms of unbelief. Unbelief is a response to prosperity and suffering that pushes God away.
If we find ourselves trying to cling to God I think that there is at least a mustard seed of belief there - even if it doesn’t feel like much to us.