I’ve been wondering last days about my faith. I have been a Christian for
the last five years, and for the last three I have served as a minister. I
believe that the real problem with me is in my relationship with God,
maybe my lack of relationship! This is hard. But, I just would like to ask
why is so hard to have faith? Why is so hard for me? I want to just
believe, but I can’t! And thus I feel that every day I’m going farther and
farther away of God, who I cannot see or feel! I just would like to know
what can I do to end the pain that is in my heart! If you have comments, I
will be grateful. (question edited to take out some personal references)

Believe me, you are not alone in your struggles. At times when we are
struggling with sin and personal issues, it is very common for fundamental
faith issues which we thought were settled a long time ago to surface at
what would seem the worst possible times.

First, I would like to suggest you read the book of Hebrews. This book was
written specifically for followers of Jesus who have been in the faith for
a while but who find themselves considering turning back to the world.
Hebrews will point you back to the basics and to the reason you became a
follower of Jesus in the first place. “So do not throw away your
confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when
you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”
(Hebrews 10,:35,36).

When we go through struggles in our faith (and that certainly would
describe your life right now), the weak points in our discipleship of
Jesus become obvious. Satan always goes for the weak points. At a time
like this, you should be asking yourself some fundamental questions. What
do I really believe? Why have I been doing what I have been doing? If
problems in your church are causing you to doubt your faith, it is a good
indication that you have focused your “faith” more on human relationships
than on God. Now is a good time to fix this problem!

If I were you, I would be asking myself what I, bottom line, really
believe. I would imagine that you are very confident that God exists. I
would hope that based on the evidence you have seen, that Jesus Christ
really did live, that he was crucified, and that he rose from the dead. If
so, then you can fall back on the fundamental truth that God loves you and
that he wants to have a relationship with you through Jesus Christ. This
truth should outweigh any struggles that the local church you are part of
is going through. If you are not absolutely confident in the resurrection
of Jesus and its implications, I suggest you do some studying on your own.
I would refer you to an article at this web site, The Resurrection of
Jesus (just click on the title). Another fundamental truth which stands on
its own, despite whatever emotions you are feeling right now is that Jesus
is the Messiah, sent by God to save mankind from their sin. If you are not
solid on that, I suggest you read another article about messianic
prophecies Messianic Prophecies (just click on the title). Jesus made many
astounding claims The Claims of Jesus (click) and he backed them up by
performing miracles which even his enemies could not deny! The Miracles of
Jesus (click). By the way, these articles are taken from my book “Reasons
for Belief: A Handbook of Christian Evidences” available at

I strongly suggest that you take some time in the next few days and weeks
to step back and consider what you really believe. You should strip away
some of the baggage: mistakes made toward you, problems and failures in
your life, persecution from family and friends, worries about jobs and
money, and ask yourself whether God truly loves you, whether you want to
go to heaven, whether the Bible is the inspired word of God. I really
believe that if you do this, you will find your bedrock of faith to begin
rebuilding your spiritual life upon. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the
author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured
the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the
throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men,
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:2,3)

John Oakes, PhD

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