Why do I believe?
I’m a Christian because I have experienced God working in my life, doing miracles and helping me grow. I’m a Christian because I’ve spent hours on my knees in tears and in prayer calling out to God for the truth. Calling out to God to save me from things happening around me. Calling out to God to help me understand why things are happening. And every time, in His own unique way and timing (cause He sees the bigger picture – he’s outside of time, omnipotent and omnipresent), my prayers have been answered – not always in the way I want, but in the way that God ordained.
What’s an example of a miracle you’ve experienced?
I still believe in miracles. I grind my teeth at night so bad that I’ve broken a tooth before. So, I got a retainer a few months ago. In January 2019, I lost my retainer. I’d been packing for my move to Singapore and was worried I might have thrown my retainer out somehow.
Usually, I leave my retainer in my bed by accident. That was the first place I checked. I even moved my bed, swept the floor, washed and replaced my bedsheets… nothing.
On the second day of searching, I prayed and asked God to show me where it was. That night, I had a dream that my retainer was right next to my pillow on my bed. I woke up and it wasn’t there. Disappointed, I kept searching and yesterday I phoned the dentist to make an appointment for a new retainer. It would cost me R3500+ (around USD$350)
Two days later, as I was making my bed, there was my retainer, EXACTLY where I dreamt it was. It wasn’t there before and I’m 100% sure of that. I can’t explain this other than a miracle. So thankful to God for His providence!
God knows everything and can do anything
The Bible says in Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” – this means all things WILL work out for the good – not “the way you want it to” but the way it needs to – by the all-knowing Creator who knows what’s best – all you need to do is love God and trust him. Faith is important – the Bible says to have faith like a child – that is unwavering and pure faith. When I have faith for God to do something in my life and He does miracles or makes things work out in the end, my belief and trust in Him grows.
Things that bring me closer to God are plenty. I’m not a Christian because I blindly believe some doctrine my parents or church lead me to believe. I fully made the decision myself after many years of prayer and interaction with God. I guess you can say I’ve been a Christian my whole life but I gave my life to the Lord as a public declaration a few years ago and got baptized.
Questioning and doubting
I asked many questions and had many doubts. How do I know that I know that I know I’m believing the truth? I read the Bible to better understand His heart and His love for us. I pray because prayer is a conversation with God and not only a place where you can ask for things. I read theological books to better understand what’s written in the Bible and to see how other people find truth in it.
But why is there evil, hate, dishonesty and death in the world?
We live in a world where sin is real and human emotions, error and sin play a role. We cannot experience true happiness, joy and love if there wasn’t sin and darkness. You can’t have dark without light. You can’t have joy without sadness. These binaries need each other to exist. I’m not an expert on answering this question, but I like how Ravi Zacahrias answered it in this video. He says:
“If you’re asking God to stop the trigger, why not ask God to stop everything else? Next time you hold a cup of boiling water He makes it frozen water instead. Next time you’re about to cross the street and you’re going to be hit, he pulls your leg back. What you’re asking for is a different entity than humanity. As wonderful as it may seem that in stopping that, you think he’s protecting you from that what is destructive, the greatest denial that you’re asking for is the freedom of your will to be able to choose and to love God with all your heart.”
Is God/Christianity real?
If you’re interested in Christianity, I suggest you listen to some sermons by Ravi Zacharias or Timothy Keller or John Piper. They are called apologists. Apologetics is a branch of Christian theology that aims to present historical, reasoned, and evidential bases for Christianity, defending it against objections. (quoted from Wikipedia). So if it is scientifically and historically proven that the Bible is true and real, then the words in the Bible are true, and if I’ve seen what’s written in the Bible come true in my life too, you bet I believe it cause I’ve felt it!
John Piper has a great website called Desiring God and there are excellent articles that relate to modern life as well as Bible studies and so forth. Here’s the full list of topics – the articles aren’t very long so some are really good reads.
I consider myself a very logical and rational person – I want all the facts and all the answers. Apologetics helps me understand Christianity as fact. How and when Jesus lived. Who he was. How many copies of the Bible there were and how accurate those copies were translated into different languages. Etc. There’s a wonderful book called More Than A Carpenter by Josh McDowell that helps us practically understand who Jesus really was and why he had to die to save us.
Are you wondering or doubting?
Apologetics like Ravi Zacharias also help answer difficult questions we have about life, like, why does God allow suffering if He is a loving God? Well, can we know joy and love without suffering? Can we know light without darkness? Can we know moral good without bad?
If you’ve got questions, why not try reading the Bible once to make out for yourself what you believe. You can start at the New Testament. The Bible is not really one book – it’s a collection of books and letters written over the span of centuries by many different authors. Also remember there are other books and texts written around the same time as those that also speak about Jesus, confirming what is written in the Bible. Be open to the concept of God – pray to Him. Ask Him if he is real, to show it to you. God always answers and hears prayers. We just need to open our eyes and learn to hear him.
If you’re open to it, you can go to a church service. Maybe you have a Christian friend who will be glad to take you so you can see what it’s like.
Feel free to chat to me if you have questions, I’d be happy to talk!