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I often read or hear people say, "why should I believe in God if I've never seen Him in my life?" Well, that is a loaded question, and there are a multitude of theological answers that vary in explanation depending on who you ask. But what it all boils down to is faith. The Bible gives us evidence of God’s love and how it shapes everything we know. If my faith depended on how I interpret God's presence, it would switch on and off around every bend. And that is not how it works. The reason for my faith is Jesus and how His forgiveness gives me a reason to believe that I'm here for more than survival.
Life is a wild ride, and there are times when I’ve thought, "would anything really be different if I just forgot about God?" Those thoughts are human, and they don't make God value me any less. No matter what happens, I will never forget about God because He is all that I am, and that truth is there through everything. Whether you've never spoken to God or have followed Jesus your whole life, you know what it's like to feel alone. In challenging or stagnant times, the simple answer is to trust God and hold on. But when we don't "feel it," it's hard to know what to do without a plan. Maybe you don't see a reason to believe in God or maybe you already think your faith is in a good place; either way, I encourage you to try these practices. What’s the best that can happen?
We often think that to understand what a "Christian" is, we need to memorize the Bible cover to cover and decipher every message it holds. I haven't memorized the entire Bible. But every time I go to God's Word, I end up at a specific place that is often unplanned. Sometimes I'll read the same verses two days in a row because that's how God reaches me in that time. The point is, we don't have to know all the answers to connect with God. We could study the Bible our whole lives and still have endless questions. God wants us to dive into His Word, and it excites me to know how much there is to learn, but this stems from a place of faith first. When we don't know where to begin, and nothing in the Bible ignites a "spark," we can look to the actions and words of Jesus to see how to take our next steps. Don’t have the energy or concentration to read? Try listening to the Bible or watch a video about the life of Jesus. No matter how much or little of His story you know, His reflection of grace will hit home.
Here are a few passages that show me who Jesus was and is:
I believe that we usually ignore how often we need to mentally and physically let go of the pressure of the expectations we place on ourselves. I'm not talking about the "Frozen" song, but if that's what works for you, feel free to implement it in your process. We are so wrapped in the social construct of our culture that we are afraid to let loose even when no one’s watching. We need to break free from our thoughts. So for a few minutes, throw your cares out the window. You can dance, you can sing, you can lay down in the middle of a field, or do whatever activity helps you just be you. We can't escape the worries of the world, but we can choose to set our sights on the moment. During this time, don't try to figure out why God is doing what He's doing or when He will make a move; instead, soak in the fact that you are alive and allow yourself to worship past whatever holds you back. We find clarity in what matters when we forget all the things that trap us in boxes. Once we push aside our bitterness and doubt, we access the part of us that just wants hope. That's the part that will call out to God even when we are angry or uninspired. He does speak in ways that aren’t as mysterious as we think.
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things.” - Jeremiah 33:3
A fact that boggles my mind is that some people don't have an internal dialogue. It's so strange to imagine what life would be like if I didn't have those conversations with myself in my head as I go throughout the day. It's not that every time I do something, I think the words, like, "now you are going to walk to the refrigerator." But sometimes it is like that! And that little voice in my head is how I work through my thoughts and give them to God. If you don't have that little voice: 1. You're not weird, and neither am I. 2. I want to pick your brain. 3. God still knows your thoughts. God knows every little piece of who we are, whether we know or not. And sometimes, that seems intimidating, especially when our thoughts are not so pleasant. So start by just talking to yourself. It doesn't need to be in your head; you can journal, talk out loud, or whatever makes you comfortable. Once you put it into words, you can realize, "Hey, God is here. Why don't I actively join Him in the conversation?"
The truth is that we find peace, rather than shame when we talk to God and ask for guidance. He wants us to hear His voice because He loves us. We may not always recognize His response when we look for a certain answer, but He is at work. In a broken world, trust gives us hope. Trust is the answer when we don’t know how to pray or when we’re left wondering where God is. When we act on trust, then we will know God’s closeness even when doubt tries to hide it.
Written Content Coordinator at Sun Valley Community Church. An avid writer since the age of 5, who loves to explore new ideas and places. Inspired by Jesus, books, and travel.