The way some people talk about peace seems very degrading to me. They talk about it as if it is a trick of the mind. As if we just need to clear the papers off our desk and close our eyes, then—poof!—stress is gone and peace arrives. This is such...
Question: I think I’m a Christian. I prayed for forgiveness many times. I believe Jesus is the anointed Christ. I’ve repented from “evil,” turned toward Christ, and asked for the Holy Spirit. I accepted his law as good and holy and read many passages from the Bible. I’m not holding on to any sins that I haven’t repented from…
But the fruits of the Spirit are not in me. And evil is still in me.
And I ask, Why? Why was I allowed to be created in a sinful world? If God is perfect, why isn’t his creation? Doesn’t a perfect Creator create a perfect creation, incorruptible?
And if God is love, why would he allow sin and pain so he can be glorified?
Answer: This is Pastor Tim from Unlocking the Bible. These are not theoretical questions to me. I have asked many of these same questions myself. I came to faith in my 20’s and wrestled through these same issues. I wish I could be there with you today to talk with you.
1. Coming to faith is not easy.
Jesus said, “The good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it” (Luke 16:16). What you are doing in wrestling through issues of faith, Jesus describes as, “forc[ing] your way into the kingdom of God.” Don’t expect it to be easy.
2. You don’t need to do this alone.
I encourage you to find a few others who will pray for you, walk with you, and encourage you along the way. Do you have a church you can go to? Meet with the pastor and tell him about your struggles. Get into a Bible study, where you can study the Bible with other people who believe God’s Word.
3. Remember, you’re engaged in a battle.
That means you have an enemy. But here’s the tricky part—your enemy is not only at work around you, he is also at work in you. When you catch a glimpse of God’s goodness or his love, the enemy will want to twist this into something ugly. He will tell you:
“God can’t possibly be that loving or that forgiving. And, even if he were, he’d never be that way toward you. You’re too evil. You’ve done too many things wrong. You’ve blown it. You’ll never find rest in God.”
Does that voice sound familiar?
It’s the voice of your enemy. Don’t listen to him or pay attention to him. Continue to read God’s Word, and trust what the Bible says. The heart of faith is taking God at his word.
4. Focus on what you know about God and how you know it.
How do I know God is good? It’s not because I “feel” good right now, or because things are going well for me. My feelings and circumstances are constantly changing, so unless God’s character changes along with my feelings and circumstances, there has to be some other way to know what he’s like.
There are many, many reasons why I believe God is good. Here’s the one that stands out from all the rest: God created me and gave me life, and I’m his son. His sun shines on me, the rain falls, and he provides for me every day.
Why does he do that? For the first half of my life, I said I didn’t know if he existed or not, and I did the very things he said not to do. But do you know what God did? He didn’t curse me. He didn’t throw me into hell. He sent his son, Jesus Christ to die…in my place.
That is love. And God did this to warn me about the judgment that’s coming. He didn’t have to do that. And do you know what After he laid down his life for me, I still sin against him…every day. But he will keep his promise to me anyway. That is love. And no one else has ever loved me like that.
I pray that you will find a good church where your faith can be nurtured and grow.
May God bless you richly in every way,