Yesterday I shared about my conversation with a friend who’s an atheist. He doesn’t believe in God. My friend and I began our discussion by talking about whether or not God exists. Then he moved on to the obstacles preventing him from having faith.
My friend doesn’t believe that God has shown (or proven) Himself to him. There are questions about creation that no has been able to answer for him. And he doesn’t understand how a loving God could allow the atrocities in our world to continue.
I don’t have the answers to life’s questions. What I do know is that God created a perfect world that had no pain or death. But when man chose to rebel against God in sin, everything changed. Not only does sin corrupt people, but the earth suffers the consequences of the fall too. Unspeakable acts are committed against innocent women and children. Devastating storms ravage all parts of the world. Men and women wearing the nametag “Christian” lie, cheat, steal and physically harm others. Convicted murderers later repent and are granted access into heaven, but “good” citizens don’t accept Christ and don’t go to heaven.
How can God allow this?
God created perfection. He also granted free will so that we can decide whether or not we’ll walk by faith in Him. He will never force us to believe.
The perfection of His creation will be restored when Jesus returns. Until that time, God shines His light in the darkness of this world. He shines through His children. He shines through you and through me. Those who love Him, and know that there is nothing truly “good” outside of Him, walk by believing not seeing. God offers forgiveness. He offers new life in Him here on earth. He offers the certainty of eternal life in heaven to anyone who accepts His free gift of salvation.
There are many people like me who have walked through the valley of the shadow of death. And for those of us who walk with Christ, we can say with certainty that it was all worth it.
I don’t want others to walk the path I did, but I wouldn’t change my past. Because now I know.
I know where others are–in those dark places of shame, fear and regret. I’ve been there. I’ve walked and crawled through the mud pits of life. And now I’m here to walk others out of darkness into the Light. If they want to.
My friend ended our conversation by saying that he thinks the idea of God is a good one. It promotes goodness in people. It gives a framework for people to live in harmony. It provides a blanket of love to keep people warm and hope that there’s something more than ourselves. But he has not lived through the struggles or witnessed the miracles I have. My proof is not his proof. My revelation is not his revelation. Although he tries to rationalize, he knows that God cannot be proven by logic or reason, only by faith. But in order to get faith, he needs answers. It’s a catch 22.
A catch 22 indeed. Do we have to see to believe? Or do we believe and then see? I encourage you to step out in faith. Take my hand and walk forward in hope. Then see what God will show you.
“We walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:8 (NKJV)
May I pray?
Holy Father, we do not see as You see. Your thoughts are so far above our thoughts, and Your ways are so far beyond our ways. We cannot comprehend how You withhold Your wrath and watch the evil that penetrates our world. And yet, we know that You alone are mighty to save. You alone hold the world in Your right hand and have ordained the days and the steps of those who know and love You, and those who don’t. Help us to walk by faith. Even when we can’t see or understand. Thank you for never letting go of us. And thank you for showing us how to use our hurtful experiences from the past to help others today. May we be willing to extend our hand to them. Amen.
Q4U: What step of faith have you taken, either recently or in the past?