IS THERE A GOD?
Have you ever looked into the cluster of stars that fill the blackness of night and felt really small? Like there was no way that some invisible guy was up there in the midst of all that infinite space looking down at you? Suddenly the whole idea of faith in a God seemed like an exercise in group hypnosis? Like we are all just singing songs and holding hands in celebration of the emperor’s new clothes, except we can’t even see the emperor? Have you ever felt that way?
The thing is, I can’t sustain the disbelief for very long. I start to have faith in the God who created it all, no matter how hard I try, or how tightly I squeeze my eyes. I am not able to sustain an honest disbelief that all of those stars just came into being on their own. That life and love evolved out of empty, random chaos. I always find that faith starts creeping back up in me and doubt disappears like the stars in the morning. I know the doubt will probably come back later, but it is gone for now. At these times I pray the prayer of the man in Mark’s Gospel, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.”
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good.
And I am the fool. When I doubt, when I sin, and when I allow questions to get between me and God. But, I know there will always be questions and tensions in my faith. “Life is pain. Anyone who says differently is selling something,” according to the Dread Pirate Robert . He is absolutely right. There is no reason for us to hide our doubts and pretend like things are easier than they really are. If we are to be people of faith then we have to hold two very different ideas in tension at all times. The first is that God is good. The second is that He is in control. Both of these ideas are very important, and both of them assume that there is a God in the first place.
When something bad happens to us we often find it difficult to keep the balance of these two ideas. Either God is indeed good, but not powerful enough to control the situation, or God is in complete control, but not good enough to help us. Either God is not powerful enough to stop the car crash (even though He would if He could), or He could stop the car crash but is not interested in helping us (which doesn’t seem to us to be very good). So we have the problem of pain, the problem of evil, and we feel like we should either defend God’s honor, or attack His character. Instead, the answer is to keep these two ideas in balance. God is good and God is in control. Both. (And by the way … God is.)
Do you know how God controls the storm
and causes the lightning to flash from his clouds?
The Bible doesn’t spend any time at all trying to convince us of proof that God exists. It just starts with the assumption that we know that much. In the beginning God …
Later it tells us that the fool says in his heart that there is no God, and that all creation tells every person that God is there. We may argue over the details, but we all have known at some time in our life that God exists. I don’t believe in atheists, they don’t exist.
The problem is that we get angry with Him. We want Him to do things differently. We would certainly not have made such a mess ourselves! We are arrogant, stiff necked and stubborn. It is from this very attitude that we have to come to Him and repent, asking for His forgiveness and mercy. And when we do, He is always kind enough to offer it to us.
The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
And those who do not are hypocrites. They are either lazy agnostics who say they are not sure if God exists or not (but are not doing anything to actually find out, and so they live as though there is no God.) Or, they are angry atheists who spent all of their waking hours thinking about how mad they are at God (who supposedly doesn’t exist). Hypocrites. The agnostic should be as willing to attend church, pray, read their Bible and seek God, as they are to ignore Him. And, the atheist should simply live a life without any regard to God at all (Like I live my life not thinking about invisible cats, mermaids, honest politicians, and other things that do not exist).
In other words, let us not hold on to our doubts and pain, falling asleep in the dark, but rather, let us continue to seek God until morning.
May this be a time to pick up your doubts and look at them honestly. Take them and throw them into the fire of repentance and watch them turn to ashes. God is good, God is in control. Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief. AMEN
We can know that God exists, that He is in control, and He is good even when there is pain and evil in His creation. Through faith we can deal with it, even when life goes off track and takes a bad direction. You will find that God believes in you.