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I Want To Believe But I Can't

Discussion in 'New Members Welcome' started by Pat, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. When I was a child I started going to church with my neighbors. I went every Sunday and believed everything that was said to me. I would go to church multiple time a week and attended CCD and the youth program there. Everything was fine and I was happy. Then my older sister died I was torn apart but didn't grieve properly and pushed god out of my life completely. I started to use drugs heavily and was court ordered to a rehab. I went to a catholic charity rehab in Miami where they taught that god could help me with my addiction. I didn't believe in god so how could this help. One day I had a crazy break through where I believe I felt god enter my life and help me with burdens I carried. It, to this day, is the strangest most amazing feeling I have ever experienced and I can not explain what it was. Needless to say I left the rehab my life went on god left the picture again and I joined the military. I do not believe in god, at all. I think religion is a scam and god was created by the rich and powerful to control the masses. But there is a strange thing about this. I want to believe in god. I want to feel his presence like I did that one day 11 years ago. My wife hates that I don't believe and has even told me she doesn't want to be with me because if this fact. I have no compassion or sympathy for anyone. I'm incredibly cold hearted and shallow. I need to believe in god I just can't bring myself to. I've spent so long thinking that people who believed in god are uneducated and the bible is a load of crap and it is impossible for any if that stuff to be true. Even now I'm considering exiting out of this page and going on with my life. I need someone here to convince me that god is there and he cares for me. I've asked him into my heart I've said the prayers but I feel nothing. I also don't want to hear that I really have to mean it because if god really loved me he would come into my life regardless of if I mean it or not. Please tell me how to let him into my heart and why isn't he helping me?!?!
  2. Scripture says....... If you draw near to God, he draws near to you. Make the connection from 11 years back.

    for myself I use to be a miserable and heartless person. I had done some bad things and kept confessing that I need Jesus and come into my life Lord. NOTHING.

    It would have seemed to me, being an alcoholic and doing drugs, destroying my family that if God cared he would have done something.

    I feel ya.

    It was 1996 when all that bad crap caught up with me. Facing life in prison with 3 of the highest felony charges IL could give. All those times I called on God, nothing but a destroyed life.

    My problem was I wanted God, but I did not want to spend my time in the Word of God. God was just suppose to show up when I called and He never did.

    Until I got handed that possible life sentence. I decided to change things up. I decided to just read the bible and drink beer. I figured at least I could please God by doing that. So I drank beer and read while I was waiting on all those continuances and that final trail date.

    I still did not feel any God, but I figured I was not going to be blamed for not trying. I got all the way to Luke about the unjust judge and how the women cried to him wanting vengeance.

    All 3 of my charges were nonsense, but the best they offered me was like 40 years in prison and I would not accept that. So I drank beer and kept reading that passage in Luke over and over. Some nights I would spend just hours after work reading it.

    It was about a month or so I started actually believing what I was reading. Would God make it right? I kept reading.

    Pat that was years ago, God moved the last day on trail day. A one shot deal with the state and I did 21 months total. My son healed of terminal cancer, marriage put back, no more drinking and the list is long. I have not left God since because it would but "uneducated"

    Draw back to God Pat and stop with the wishy washy feelings of God not being there. It's not about feelings, its about what we believe and God has done way to much for me to ever be convinced He is not real and does not love me.

    Find Him while you can.
    Apologia likes this.
  3. Just learn how to say thank you.
    Tressa likes this.
  4. #4 Abdicate, Feb 4, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
    You're spot on Pat, religion is for controlling the masses, just ask any politician or sheriff. Religion is garbage. Man's attempt at controlling another. God Himself visited you according to your own words and you still don't believe. What can we possibly say to help you understand. God reached out to you, the rest is up to you. Truth has no agenda and can only be accepted or rejected. This is why you must have faith in the truth. If I choose to not believe your story of 11 years ago, does that change the truth about what happened to you? No. You have a choice, we all do. God demands justice for sin (noun) in which we are all born. Seeing how unfair that is, He sent Jesus to pay that price. In fact, the word Jesus used, translated "It is finished", on the cross is a transaction word in Greek. In English it would be "paid in full". What was paid? The debt of sin (noun), our condition, not our actions. We're born into sin before we commit sin. It's in our genes. Now that the debt has been paid you need only recognize what happened and accept this as truth and confess it out loud to God so your own ears can hear it.

    Please read this anecdote:

    In a country there was a judge of the highest court in the land whose son had committed a crime and there was overwhelming evidence of which the public was aware that the son was guilty. The son came before the court where his father was the judge to be tried for his crimes. Having heard the evidence the judge rose and declared the son to be not guilty in defiance of the evidence because he loved his son. Now, would we consider this judge to be just, no. Would the judge command any respect in the future, no. Could the judge continue to be a judge in light of this unjust ruling, certainly not.

    Now, an alternative version.

    In a country there was a judge of the highest court in the land whose son had committed a crime and there was overwhelming evidence of which the public was aware that the son was guilty. The son came before the court where his father in was the judge to be tried for his crimes. Having heard the evidence the judge rose, declared the son to be guilty, and imposed the maximum fine of $1,000.00. The judge then stands up and lays aside his gavel, removes his wig and his gown (which are the trappings of his power), steps down from his bench and walks onto the floor of the court room; he then approaches the clerk of the court, pulls out his wallet and pays the $1,000.00 fine on behalf of his son. He then returns to the bench, puts his wig and gown back on and picks up his gavel again thus returning to his power over the court. Now, would we consider this judge to be just, yes. Would the judge command any respect in the future, yes. Could the judge continue to be a judge in light of this just ruling, absolutely.

    We are guilty and God came and paid the price for our guilt. It's up to you to believe the truth or not. Without proof you've accepted the truth, when the day of judgement comes you'll be sent to the debtor's prison, hell, until you can pay. Well, you'll never be able to pay, which is how you got there in first place, so you'll be there forever. So what is that proof? Faith. Faith that Jesus did that for YOU. Faith - trust in God. Faith is the currency of Heaven.

    The choice is yours: God as your Judge or God as your Lawyer.
  5. Well, I think that feeling is something that most, if not all, of us here can relate to. That was certainly my experience. This is a perfect description of what Christians call "conviction." It's not a nice feeling at all, but as much as a feeling of "being loved" is from God, so is the feeling of conviction equally from God, and equally comes from His love for us. My own lack of compassion and sympathy is also the reason I felt conviction from God; I wanted His transforming power to turn from the path I was on.

    Are you familiar with the parable of the prodigal son? It's in Luke 15:11-32. In the story, a father has a son who asks for his inheritance, leaves home, and spends all his inheritance on partying. Once he is penniless, he thinks of his father's house, and returns home, to beg his father to hire him as a servant, so at least he can have food again. Instead, he finds his father still waiting for him, ready to welcome his son home once again, and celebrate. So if this analogy explains our relationship between ourselves and the Father, when we are making our own way in the world instead of being at home with the Father, what would a loving Father do? Knowing what's best for us, would he force us to return home, against our choosing, so we can have the benefits of living in his house? Or will a loving father instead wait at the gate for us to return home of our own choice? The conviction you feel is the voice of God calling you home, and he is waiting at the gate for your return. The fact that you feel this conviction, to me, is evidence of the work of God in your life, that God does love you, and is still calling out to you, wanting to soften and renew your heart, and restore your relationship with Him.

    The Bible doesn't speak of any special words, prayer, ceremony or any "asking Jesus into our heart" that saves us, so it's not about whether we "mean it," exactly, just whether or not we believe. For your conviction, yes, we do need to believe before we can experience God's transforming power working in our life. But for your comfort, yes, belief is hard:

    In Romans 4, we read that after God told Abraham something that was impossible to believe, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” We also read that "The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification." Romans 4 also addresses just how difficult it was for Abraham to believe, given the impossibility of what he was asked to believe. I'm quite sure Abraham would understand your struggle!

    In Mark 9, the father of an afflicted child comes to Jesus for help, saying,

    "But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!”23 And Jesus said to him,“‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.”24 Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”

    And Jesus does help the child. But that statement, "I do believe; help my unbelief,” how very human. How relatable! So yes, belief is hard. My advice is to just start with what you've experienced already: recognize that the feeling of conviction you've felt about yourself and your lack of intimacy with God is a feeling that comes from God, His voice of love, calling out from the gate, pleading with you to come home. Where you struggle with unbelief, make the cry of the desperate father your own cry: “I do believe; help my unbelief.” I think that's a good start.
    Tressa likes this.
  6. Some good stuff has been said here. And I really have only one thing to add: "wait upon the Lord."

    I was saved when I was four years old. That was years ago, but even now I can remember the feeling I had, this terrific and overwhelming Presence, when I was saved that day. However for years after that I went downhill - ignoring God, not trusting Him, not living in Him....and then I wondered why He wasn't there ( I thought) when all the garbage that is bound to happen in this life hit me over the years. He wants more from us than for us to treat Him as insurance...He wants to KNOW us and He wants us to know Him.

    But it comes down to belief and will, as so many have wonderfully communicated above my post. Are you willing to know the Lord and believe in Him even during the hard times? Is that settled in your heart? If so, you can know this: He will answer. He has knocked on the door, and if you have opened that door in your heart, He will come in. He has promised that (Revelation 3:20).

    That doesn't guarantee you will feel anything, for He wants us to walk by the Spirit and not by sight. Continuous "God feelings" wouldn't encourage us to trust Him in Faith, would it now (2 Corinthians 5:7)? So, if you really have settled in your heart that you want to know God, rest in that. Don't disbelieve the promises of God based on your physical feelings. He is there and He will led you - even if you have to wait for His time like soooooooo many in the Bible had to! "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31.
  7. Well then; believe...

    "Can't" is not an option-"won't" is more accurate. (according to the Bible)
  8. Pat,
    I noticed you said "you need to believe." In fact, the title of your post says you "want to believe." This might surprise you, but I don't think it is best for anyone to "need" or maybe even "want to believe." For example, I might "want" to believe that I'm the most handsome man on this earth, but we all know that probably isn't true and I shouldn't "need" to believe that. I should accept things as they are and only believe what is true, not make things up just to keep myself or others happy. I believe in God. I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior, but I don't "NEED" to believe it in a sense. If I didn't believe it was true, I simply would not believe it anymore. I wouldn't feel the need to believe something if I were to think it was completely false. I simply believe it because I believe he is the Truth. He is real. He is my Savior. I believe this is the only way to find him. I was once like you in some ways. I was skeptical. And then I decided just to read my Bible. I worked through the entire New Testament quite quickly and researched extensively and after that I simply couldn't doubt anymore. I knew Jesus was the Son of God. That He died for my sins. I had experienced God through His Word. I'd suggest that you do the same. Go in to reading or perhaps rereading the Bible. Don't go in with any preconceived notions of what you think God is or what you have been told God is. It's totally ok to go in a bit skeptical. Then just read and pray. As a great research tool I'd suggest a book called "The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel. Read it after you read the New Testament though. It might clear up some questions you might still have. Seek The Lord through prayer. He will hear your call. But don't ever think that you need or want to believe something just to believe or because it might make someone else happy if you believe. Believe what is true. Jesus died for your sins. God loves you. I pray that you find that truth.

    Best wishes. May God bless you!
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