6/19/10

Struggling to Comprehend Faith

Nate and I were downtown in Lincoln at the Coffee House the other night working on homework when we overheard a conversation happening behind us from two unbelievers--they talked about why they don't necessarily believe God exists..sort of their confusions I guess you could say. They also were upset that most Christians they talked to couldn't tell them why they believed in God. They would say something like, "Well..I just do.." This kept me up until about one that morning. I wanted to be able to tell people exactly why I believe in God. From talking with Nate and two of my best friends (Celeste and Hannah) and reading Romans--this is what I've come up with:

Sometimes I think I need to completely understand my faith--this is the academic side of me. But the more I come to know Jesus, the more complicated faith gets. God is so huge that he is incomprehensible to man--this is tough for me. I don't like not being able to explain myself fluently and poignantly...I'm used to being able to do this! But--the mystery of God is what keeps us coming back--if we had Him figured out, if we knew everything there was to know about Him then we would grow bored and our faith would be lackluster. God's mystery keeps us in a constant state of wonder...and a constant state of struggle. This is the messy side of faith. When God does something we don't like or brings us discomfort--we long for answers. Sometimes we even demand them. When we don't get them--we can respond in two ways: we can give up out of frustration and turn away, or we can choose to accept it (doesn't mean we have to be immediately happy about it) and learn from whatever God is doing. These points of questioning, of struggling in our faith are valuable. If you are struggling in your faith right now, try using it as an opportunity to learn about Him. Turn to the Bible what does it say about struggle? I've posted a few verses that deal with suffering...feel free to check them out:
  • The entire book of Job (this has been a pivotal text in helping me through my struggles)
  • James 1:2-4
  • Ephesians 5:7-8
So why do I believe in God? It's tough to articulate, but I believe in Him because I heard how awesome He is from some great friends of mine. I saw the joy these people had--their lives weren't perfect, they all struggled and had flaws--but they were joyous and from talking with them, it was because of God. I was at a rough point in my life and I wanted to experience that similar type of joy. I also knew that I was a sinner and couldn't do anything to earn my faith. I knew eternal life in heaven was offered to those who believe in Him, so I wanted that too. A friend told me I could have all of this if I was willing to follow Jesus. I'm not going to lie, it seemed like a daunting task (my previous lifestyle wasn't too commendable). But--if you want something badly enough, you go after it. So I did. I told my friend that I wanted to believe in Jesus and I wanted to follow Him. So I prayed that my sins--all the crappy and awful things I had done before--would be forgiven and told God that I wanted to follow Him. Ever since, I have felt a sort of connection with Him. Because of that, I read the Bible, pray, go to church etc. Now---I don't always feel a connection with Him. I don't always read my bible, go to church etc...in fact--tonight is the first time I've picked up my Bible in about a week. There are times where my faith feels bland, dried up, like something is missing. But as soon as I take time to really meet with Him--to talk with Him, it starts to get a little better. I am also humbled that God would call me (someone who screws up pretty frequently) as one of his people. Since I've been trying to life my life for God (loving people, being kind, telling people about Him, basically following the example for living He set out in the Bible), I have experienced joy that is sort of unexplainable.

So I don't know if that makes sense to you or not. Feel free to ask questions if you have any!

1 comment:

Katrina Lee said...

Thanks for writing this Danielle. It really is speaking to me right now. The analytic in me struggles to find ways to explain and justify my faith, when I realize that faith can't necessarily be explained, and it shouldn't have to be justified. It just is. But, when I want to witness to someone, I find that I am lacking in my reasons, meaning that I need to school myself more in the Word, because that is where the answers truly are.