What does a Christian do when he or she can not see the evidence of God’s love in their daily lives? I have been told to understand that the air I breath or the daily food I can eat is an act of love from God. But these basic necessities can be given by prison guards or unloving people. So I can not consider this as evidence of His love. I have been told that Jesus died for me 2000 years ago. But it is hard to see what that means each day in much the same way a husband committed his life to a wife many years ago and didn’t do anything else to encourage the relationship. I read encouragements from scripture to endure , wait, or have hope. King David comes to mind about his hope to see good in the land of the living (Psalms 27: 13) But age and experience tell me these scriptural words seem like “empty” promises in much the same way that a father gives repetitive words of assurance to his son- without really proving it with a subtle act of love (like a surprise birthday party or attending his recital etc.) Instead,God allows or actively takes significant things away ( loved ones, health, career, ability to take care of one’s children etc.). Or He closes doors that could help ameliorate the losses. Even human wives would not think that this would be loving acts from human husbands that profess their love and commitment. And I use marriage as an example because it’s supposed to represent God’s love for us according to Eph 5:32 There is an explicit as well as implicit connotation that reasonable evidence is important to one’s belief on this site. I agree that the evidence does seem to support Christian beliefs that Jesus resurrected. But what if evidence in our lives does not seems to show that God wants a loving relationship with us? (Or at least in a way that we can understand). Am I missing something?
Thanks for the help
The points you make are good ones, but my answer is yes, you definitely are missing something. What you are forgetting is the important role of faith in the Christian life (Of course I am exaggerating: you are probably not literally forgetting it, but I suggest you are minimizing it to some extent).
Like the Hebrew writer tells us, faith is belief in things we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1). You mention the role of evidence. I believe that there is a great deal of evidence supporting the claims of the Bible. However, evidence such as fulfilled messianic prophecy is something we can see. In the end, no matter how much evidence we have to support our belief, faith involves believing in things for which we have little or no evidence. Faith says that God is in control, even when what can be seen says it does not look that way. For Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, evidence said they better bow to that statue (Daniel 3). For Abraham, evidence said that he would not have a son through Sarah and it was a REALLY bad idea to sacrifice his son. Yet, in faith, Abraham believed. Evidence said that it was foolish for Noah to build that ark and it was not likely to lead to a lot of pleasure to be derived from leaving Pharaoh’s palace. Yet, faith said to build the ark and to leave Pharaoh’s palace. Faith says that God has what is best for us in mind, even if he allows us to lose a loved one or to lose our health. I believe by faith (and also by evidence, but sometimes that evidence is thin or not there at all) that God is in control and that “all things work for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). Is our faith ever challenged by the evidence? Yes. If the “evidence” in my life does not seem to prove that God loves me, I still believe that he does. David and Abraham and Noah and Moses all had every opportunity to not believe in God, yet, they did believe and “it was credited to him as righteousness” (Romans 4:22)
So, I say, yes, you are missing something. You are missing faith in the ability of God to take care of those he loves and to fulfill his promises. God closes doors, but he always opens other ones which are to our greater joy in the long run. God takes away things we like (or he allows evil people to do so in some cases), but he gives us something even more satisfying to our souls. Even if that joy is not in this life, it will be with God in heaven forever. God allows us to become ill, but he makes us spiritually healthy and takes us to a place where there will be no more death and every tear is wiped away. I believe this is true and I do my absolute best to live that way, although I fall short occasionally. You say that “age and experience tell me these scriptural words seem like “empty” promises.” OK, I will grant that, but in this case, your “age and experience” are lying to you and that experience can deceive us, because it involves things which can be seen. Faith tells me that what age and experience are telling you to be true is in fact not true. I believe that “No eye has seen nor mind imagined what God has in store for those who love him–who are called according to his purpose” (1 Cor 2:9). I believe “that nothing can ever separate us from the love of God” (Romans 8:38). This is what the eye of faith sees, despite any appearance to the contrary.