Most people experience doubting thoughts. So why doesn’t God make it easier for me to believe? Why doesn’t He just prove Himself to me?
As a young Christian the struggle to believe is real.
Doubting thoughts come in many shapes and forms. “What is it that God has really called me to do with my life?” “Why does He allow tragedies to happen?” and “Why does He feel so far away?”
Why is it not easy to believe?
God is amazing. He, by His word, created the entire universe. He has also lovingly created each person. The power and ability He has to prove Himself is limitless.
It is my own thoughts that make believing and seeing the proof of God so difficult. God’s ways and thoughts simply can’t be understood with my own human mind.
God doesn’t make it as easy to believe as I would like because He lets me choose if I want to believe Him or not. He loves me so much that He gives me a free choice to believe Him and love Him in return.
God wants to be close to me and wants me to become like Him. (2 Peter 1:4) All that God is and does is good (Psalm 119:68), but because of sin, there is a big distance between God and me, which makes it difficult for me to believe that I can be like Him. God wants to give me victory over my sin, which is the source of all unhappiness and suffering, and ultimately free the whole earth from sin.
Everything God allows to happen is to bring us closer to Him and away from sin. This is why He allows things to happen that may seem completely pointless or even tragic.
Why should I want to believe God?
God has a specific plan and a happy future for each person who believes in Him, no matter who I am or where I come from. In fact, God has made it possible that anyone, anywhere can believe in Him and experience Him personally.
God’s plans are way beyond what I can imagine. As part of God’s plan, He sent His Son, Jesus, to live on earth, and He gave Jesus His Holy Spirit. Jesus had a nature like me, but by obeying God’s Spirit, He never once sinned. It is now possible for me to get the same help from the Holy Spirit to be victorious and stop sinning. By believing in God and obeying His Spirit, I can be freed from the heavy burden of being unable to stop sinning, from the wearying cycle of committing sin and asking for forgiveness repeatedly.
I need God’s Holy Spirit to believe and understand what God, in His love, has planned for me. God is a Friend who gives me the strength and power to do what is impossible on my own.
How do I believe?
Choosing to believe requires action. The first step is to ask God for forgiveness with a desire to stop doing the things I know are sinful and wrong.
Then I need God’s Holy Spirit for power to believe and obey God. To receive His Spirit, I need to pray to Him and read my Bible, and begin to do the things I read. Perhaps I did something I know is wrong and sinful even though I did not want to. I am truly sorry so I ask for forgiveness and determine not to do it again. If I am diligent and do not give up, God sees my faith and gives me His Spirit.
There is a story in the Bible of a prophet, Elijah, who prayed to God and waited for an answer. First, an earthquake came and then a fire, but God did not answer Elijah in them. Afterwards God spoke with a still small voice. (1 Kings 19:12)
The children of Israel heard God and experienced His miracles numerous times, but still wandered around in a desert for forty years in unbelief. Today God speaks to us through His Spirit in the same quiet way as He did to Elijah.
To hear God’s Spirit daily I need to be interested in more than just what is on social media today, what my friends are thinking about me, and my career. I need to love God and desire to be like Him.
When I receive His Spirit I begin to receive quiet promptings during my day. I am reminded about things I can do better and I get answers for my prayers.
Maybe I wake up feeling grumpy. The Spirit prompts me that being irritable and angry is sinful. I pray for God’s help not to be irritable. With the help of His Spirit, I am able to choose not to be irritable even though I feel grumpy.
Maybe I pray for someone I care about. I meet them the same day while shopping for groceries and get a chance to say something positive to them. When I have His Spirit, I receive answers for my prayers and I see God in everyday experiences.
At times God feels far away, but His presence is always nearby. (Acts 17:24-27; Psalm 139:7-10) I can confidently pray and trust God for help even if I feel unsure about my faith. (Psalm 145:18)
Believing requires patience. I may not see results as fast as I want but they will come! A trickle of water over time can carve a hard stone, not through forceful power but through persistence. Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through Him.
God doesn’t speak from the clouds directly to me or make it easier for me to believe because He has given me a free will. He wants me to choose to believe in Him which requires action on my part. When I choose to believe and obey God then my future is bright and promising!