Kailey

Has your faith ever been tested?

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Has your faith ever been tested? To the point that you weren't sure who God was anymore? And if so, what was the outcome? Thanks for your thoughts :)


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I went to a Christian school for most of my life, then I went to a pretty secular university. It was a difficult adjustment for me, but it ended up being a beneficial experience. I learned about other people's religions and different philosophies, both secular and religious. That motivated me to learn even more about my own faith as well. I found myself praying, reading my Bible and researching even more than I did when I was in a Christian school because for the first time, it was of my own free will--not a requirement for a religion class. So in the end, my faith was strengthened. 

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Hm, my musings may not be exactly the answer you're looking for as I currently identify as an atheist, but I am really interested in this question so I'll go ahead and babble on anyway.  ;)

 

Aside from the atheism, I've gone through phases of agnosticism and deism; I even came close to becoming a practicing Wiccan once (but stopped because I realized I had no genuine belief in that faith, and really just thought it was cool the way I think, say, Lord of the Rings is cool). Generally, I gravitated towards the idea of a god existing because I had trouble dealing with the idea of my life being so fleeting. It was hard for me to come to terms with what I now believe: that what is after death is exactly the same as what is before birth. But, ultimately, it was even harder for me to reconcile the idea of a god that is personally invested in people's lives with what I saw around me. People would attribute to God things I saw as merely minor positive coincidences (interestingly, no one ever assumed that negative coincidences were punishments from God). Yet, there are parents who pray for their children not to die from cancer whose fervent and heartfelt prayers are not answered. Honestly, when I reflected upon that, the idea of there being no god or gods was preferable to the idea of it/they being so callous. A deity that had the power to stop the likes of Hitler or Stalin or Mao, but refused to, is not a deity I would feel comfortable revering.  :unsure:

 

Aside from that, most organized religions seemed rather Earth/humanity-focused in scope compared to the grandness of what we now know the universe to be. As well, I have yet to see any evidence for myself, or from scientists, that provides well-documented evidence of a god or gods existence. It seems like in most religious texts, the deity (or deities) in question were very inarguably *there* in the religious legends that have been passed down, so I suppose my biggest question is -- where did they go? More than anything, the idea of a deity seems like a way to provide comfort and explain the unknown -- our idea of what god(s) are directly responsible for seems to shrink as our scientific knowledge expands. I wouldn't necessarily rule out the idea of there being an impersonal/differently aware/non-sentient-force type of god(s) out there, but as I see no evidence for that at the moment I can't say that I believe in that concept either.

 

TL;DR I went through a deist/seeking religion phase because I had a lot of trouble coming to terms with the idea of an eternity of oblivion after death following the (more or less) eternity of oblivion that preceded my life, but after much angsty musings was unable to reconcile it with the world around me as I perceive it.

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Yeah, my faith was severely tested a little over four years ago, and long-story-short I'm no longer a believer. So, I reckon from a believer's POV I failed that test hard :P

 

It's still complicated though. My lack of faith is tested from time to time, so to speak. If there is a creator or creators, I can't wrap my head around him/she/it/them being as described in the Bible, or any other religion I'm at all familiar with. But I can't wrap my head around how anything is, either. So what do (or can, rather) I know?

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Funny I should see this now as I just woke up from a dream that has a link to this :)

 

Anyways, I would say my faith has been "tested" as I don't believe my Gods test people for the sake of it. But I have been through trials that made me question my faith. Question it so hard in fact that I changed to a different one.

 

I mentioned this on another thread a while ago, but I was deeply affected by a school shooting over a year ago, in which several people I knew died. The event happened one week before my Wiccan dedication ritual. My decision didn't change and I still did the dedication but as the months went by, I started to feel unfulfilled in my faith. I was juggling grief and PTSD (only diagnosed much later) with the end of year exams, my final dissertation and sorting out university applications, and I was just overwhelmed by it all. But every time I asked the God and Goddess for help - no answer.

 

So I started looking around for other options. I went to a local church a couple of times, read the Bible, talked to a priest, but I just couldn't believe. I tried so hard to be Wiccan, Christian and a few other faiths, but none of them felt right to me. None of them actually brought me comfort from what I was experiencing. I prayed every night but I felt like I was just talking to the no-one. I was only sure about one thing: I wasn't agnostic or atheist. I've always been a spiritual person and I still believed that there had to be something. I just wasn't quite sure who or what it was.

 

It sounds silly, but I found my faith through a dream. I dreamed that I walked into this massive hall/library, where the middle of the room was empty except for a fountain of water, and the walls were hidden by shelves and shelves of books that reached up to the ceiling. At first I was alone, but then hundreds of people started to appear and stood in a line in front of the shelves. A woman walked over to stand in front of the fountain, and I knew she was one of the Greek Goddesses. She told me I was hers and I had always been hers. Then I woke up.

 

So as you can guess, I am now a Hellenic Pagan. There weren't any fireworks when I switched over, no booming voice saying "this is your destiny and you must follow it" or something of the like :P But it just feels right in a way other faiths didn't. I'm not sure if I failed the "test of faith" or not, on a Wiccan standard I probably did! :D In any case, now I feel like I'm actually being listened to and looked out for, and I'm more at peace with why bad things happen. So in the end, I think it was good I was "tested" (even though the event that triggered it should never, ever have happened).

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Is constantly an acceptable answer?

I shouldn't have problems with my faith. I have great parents, I'm a straight-A student, blah blah blah. Nothing in my life should be making me question God, and yet? I mean, believing that God is real isn't really the part I have trouble with... I just don't feel a real connection to him like I'm supposed to as a Christian. Like, I have friends who'll just randomly post something about how deeply meaningful their faith is to them.. and I've just got nothing. And then I think about how God's given me this great life and how I can't even appreciate him properly, which sort of leads to "I'm such a lousy Christian, maybe I should just give up on it." So far I haven't though, even if I'm no good at it.

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Thanks for all the responses so far, it's all really interesting :).

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(This may be very long...)

 

I'm a cradle-Catholic, with a kind-of Catholic family, and I went to a primary school and high school that were Catholic but didn't really teach you anything about the faith besides "Jesus loves everyone, here's how you make your first confession/communion/get confirmed etc." and didn't really go any further. In high school, I wanted to like the religion class, but the material was always just awful. They'd get some teacher who wasn't specifically a religious education teacher and they'd just talk you through this crappy little booklet that the diocese education department had provided. They were so awful that I couldn't even tell you what they were about. I remember one lesson that I think was about morality, and how humans had it but not animals, which was why humans could murder but animals couldn't. And I remember thinking, "Well, duh, I know that already." And the teachers were just as unenthusiastic as we were, so generally, they'd just abandon the lesson and let us study for other subjects.

 

So I was fifteen years old and had no clue whatsoever about my faith. I couldn't give you the ten commandments, or give a simple explanation of the kalam cosmological argument, or tell you why Catholics believed in transubstantiation (I don't think I'd even heard the word). Then, the Pope was coming to Scotland. Suddenly everyone in the media was talking about, "Oh, the Pope is a Nazi" and "Oh, did you know that 75% of priests are child abusers?" and "The Catholic Church hates women and sex so much!" and so on. That was extremely difficult for me. There was a lot of anti-Catholicism in the media, with awful jokes being made by comedians and so on. I think a lot of people in my school started losing their faith, and I was struggling too.

 

But I knew I wanted to be Catholic, even if at the time, there wasn't much of a reason for that besides "I feel like it's true". And I knew that I had to do some research and get the answers and find out the truth for myself. So I started doing some research until I could answer those claims. Pretty soon, I was answering questions from my classmates, not particularly well at first, but I was learning more and more every week.

 

About the same time, I was deciding to wait till marriage. I knew that was what the Church said was the right thing, and it was something that felt right to me, too - I didn't want multiple sexual partners. But I didn't understand the Church's teaching on a lot of things. Contraception was the main one. I didn't quite understand what NFP was, so I was convinced that okay, maybe some guy will love me enough to marry me without having sex first, but what guy is going to love me if if he can't have sex with me all the time? (You can probably tell, I had serious self-esteem issues, too, as well as a really distorted view that sex was some kind of "essential" to love) All I could think of was, "Is it not enough that I'm waiting to have sex? This is just too hard and too unfair."

 

And I knew in my heart that the Catholic Church spoke for God, so I had two options. Either I ignored the teaching (as a lot of Catholics do), which would be the equivalent of saying that I knew better than God. My other option was to hold up my hands and say, "God, I don't understand this teaching. But I know this is what You want, so I'm going to look into it and find out why it's taught." I chose the latter, and within a few of months of research, I understood the Church's teaching and was happy to follow it. Today, it's not even an issue for me.

 

For a little while, I was praying desperately to God to get me a boyfriend, because I was so convinced something was wrong with me and that was why no one had ever asked me out. I used to cry myself to sleep, but now I laugh about it. I was a stupid teenager, with no perspective on anything, and the last person in the world who was even ready for a boyfriend. It's obvious why God never answered those prayers.

 

But then I was struggling with something a lot more personal. For a few years I'd known I was conceived using IVF. I only had a vague idea of what it was and how it was done, but I soon found out it involved using multiple embryos at a time. I knew enough about human embryology to know that those embryos were alive and that they were my siblings. I didn't even know how many had been used - I had to work up the courage to ask my parents to find out how many siblings I had (before that, I'd worked it out using half-clues from things my parents had said, and ended up getting it very wrong).

 

So I have two siblings with the Lord now. I knew the Catholic Church was against IVF, but I knew enough to know that it didn't mean I had done something wrong. But I was struggling. I was convinced God didn't want me to exist - my parents had been trying for years to have a baby before resorting to IVF. Then, I worried about whether or not my siblings were in Heaven and whether I'd ever see them again. And then I wondered why my siblings had died but I had lived. And of course, it wasn't easy not having anyone else to talk to about it. My parents didn't understand. The only place that actually seemed to care was the Catholic Church - most other religions are fine with IVF and don't think it's an issue, and wider society celebrated it and didn't consider my siblings as even existing.

 

That was difficult for me, especially praying to God for answers and never seeming to get them. But then I spoke to the priest at my university, and that changed everything. Suddenly, I had a friend who understood. I could go to him any time I was upset and needed to talk to someone. Things were a lot easier.

 

And then at the start of the year, the Pope picked a new bishop for a neighbouring diocese. Of all the contenders, Pope Francis selected my university chaplain. Now the only one I could talk to was going to be leaving, too. Was I angry with God? Not really. For a few days I was really upset and wondering how I could possibly cope now, but I told God, "I know from experience that You're doing this to help me, and I trust You." Within days, I was fine again. As it turned out, I could cope on my own.

 

(Ooh, I've never done this before, but this might be the time. My TL;DR might be quite long, too, though...)

 

TL;DR: Anyway, yes, I think my faith has been tested over the years. Each time, it's made it stronger. When I didn't know anything about my faith, God let me struggle with difficult questions so I'd be forced to learn. When it came to a matter of faith that was particularly difficult, He didn't give me the answers straight away, so I'd have to make a conscious decision to trust Him till I found the answers out. When I prayed and prayed for a boyfriend, He didn't give me one, so I'd learn later that it was a stupid thing to worry about. When I was struggling with my own existence, He let me, so when I got to the other side I'd have the answers and understand that I was important. When I needed someone else to help me, He gave me someone...but then when I was strong enough to cope on my own, He took him away. Now, I feel like any struggle I have with my faith, I don't have to worry. It's all going to work out, and I'll be stronger for it in the end.

 

xxx

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Thanks for all the responses so far, it's all really interesting :).

 

Any particular reason why you asked the question, or were you just curious?  :)

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Yes, I am going through something now, actually have been going through it for a long time. I asked God to guide me on something, and every other day I feel somewhat crazy for believing that he has been and still is answering my prayers. Don't really want to share much about it now, but maybe, possibly later.

 

Steadfast- I actually think it's really brave in a way to believe there is nothing after death. I feel certain I will always believe in life after death. Well, because, I lost my dad last year and a few weeks ago I was very upset and sad (crying) and all the sudden I felt that he was there. It honestly kind of scared me and maybe there could be a scientific explanation for it, but I feel he was there.

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From a Christian POV, God does allow us to be tested and tried, and it is spoken of in the scriptures too. He wants us to set our hearts on Him and not let anything interfere with that. It is like a marriage in a sense, we have to remain faithful to Him, even if there are difficulties to face, or things we don't understand, or feelings in our hearts that would lead us somewhere else. God is greater than the sometimes uncertain feelings in our hearts.

He promises that He will not test or try us above our ability to endure it, or beyond our ability to stay faithful. He also speaks of things like false signs or false prophecies that may appear to come to pass, as tests as well. And while it is popular today to suggest that most or all religions ultimately pray to the same God, the New Testament makes it very clear that we can only get to God the Father through Jesus Christ and His teachings.

Sometimes we don't understand why God would allow pain and suffering and death. Or why He doesn't answer certain prayers that we feel must be the right thing for God to do. But we can't see the whole picture like He does, or how it all works together, we can only see it from our own small viewpoint. Ultimately, we have to trust Him and keep our faith.

Unbelief always starts with doubts, even nurturing the tiniest seed of uncertainty. I'm not suggesting that you stick your head in the sand, or your fingers in your ears, but there are things you just don't need to investigate, read, and watch. We don't need to know all of the argumentative theories and dismissive explanations that people make against God and the Bible.

Many of us don't voluntarily present that we are WTM or offer our reasons for waiting until marriage to die-hard non-waiters because we don't want or need to face derision, discouragement and doubt about this decision that we strongly believe in. In the same way, it isn't necessary or even recommended to go looking for what people have to say against Christianity.

As another analogy, suppose you have a fiancé who was innocent, but maliciously accused of some evil crime out of hatred. You know your fiancé very well and believe that he/she is innocent. Would it help your belief to go listen firsthand to all of the hateful details and lies that the accuser is putting out about your fiancé? Would you be able to look past it, or would some part of it try to keep gnawing away at the back of your mind in doubt every time you were with your fiancé? In time, you could and should get over it, yes, but some things are unnecessary to suffer through if the outcome is going to be the same.

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So I have two siblings with the Lord now. I knew the Catholic Church was against IVF, but I knew enough to know that it didn't mean I had done something wrong. But I was struggling. I was convinced God didn't want me to exist - my parents had been trying for years to have a baby before resorting to IVF. Then, I worried about whether or not my siblings were in Heaven and whether I'd ever see them again. And then I wondered why my siblings had died but I had lived. And of course, it wasn't easy not having anyone else to talk to about it. My parents didn't understand. The only place that actually seemed to care was the Catholic Church - most other religions are fine with IVF and don't think it's an issue, and wider society celebrated it and didn't consider my siblings as even existing.

 

I just want to say, it broke my heart to read that. Our faiths may be as different as could be, but this is one thing I agree with you on. I had an older sibling who died at 5 weeks gestation, and to my family it wasn't ever a person. I don't want to start a debate about that, but whether or not it was a person, it was still my sibling, my big brother or sister. So I just wanted to say that I'm sorry and that I understand a little bit how it feels to have a sibling people don't believe existed.

 

Also, I love reading these, I find it so interesting to hear where everyone's belief or non-belief comes from. It helps understand a lot and shows that no matter what we believe, we still struggle with it from time to time.

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After my father revealed himself to be a total scumbag and my parents got divorced, my mom once let it slip that, before he had ever been with her, he had knocked up another woman, who got an abortion. Even though I'm pro-choice and don't believe that a fetus could logically be considered a person until at least mid-way through a pregnancy or so, it definitely messed me up for a while after hearing that. As I said, I don't think that there's an after-life, and even if I did, I don't think a few weeks old fetus is developed enough to be considered a sibling. Still, it bothered me a lot (and still bothers me whenever I have reason to think about it, which isn't too often). It certainly reinforced my already-made decision to wait.

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In regards to what Christian Man said: I just want to make it clear that whenever I am done going through this, I will still believe in God,  but depending on what happens, I might need to reevaluate who God is. I don't want to, I want to believe so badly that he does care enough about each and every one of us to work individually in our lives to-show himself when we need him to. I have had some of the most amazing experiences going through this. But I have doubts, because I am human with a set of experiences unique to me, and I know God knows this, so I just let him know when I pray that I am sorry. At the same time, I don't feel I trouble him much, so if he hasn't been "delivering" so to speak, then it's not going to be okay with me and I'm not going to be able to just brush it aside. Because I asked for him to show me HIS will for my life, even if it didn't match what I wanted, and from my point of view that seems like a tiny request for him to fulfill.

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My faith gets tested every time Jegs tries to convert me to the Catholic Church. It makes me wonder how a loving God can allow me to endure such torture :P

 

 

In regards to what Christian Man said: I just want to make it clear that whenever I am done going through this, I will still believe in God,  but depending on what happens, I might need to reevaluate who God is. I don't want to, I want to believe so badly that he does care enough about each and every one of us to work individually in our lives to-show himself when we need him to. I have had some of the most amazing experiences going through this. But I have doubts, because I am human with a set of experiences unique to me, and I know God knows this, so I just let him know when I pray that I am sorry. At the same time, I don't feel I trouble him much, so if he hasn't been "delivering" so to speak, then it's not going to be okay with me and I'm not going to be able to just brush it aside. Because I asked for him to show me HIS will for my life, even if it didn't match what I wanted, and from my point of view that seems like a tiny request for him to fulfill.

 

Kailey, please read 1 Peter 5:6-11. It addresses suffering and anxiety and it acts as a call to give it all up to God. It goes on to say that suffering is temporary. Even though it may not feel like it will end, we can be assured that we are renewed in Christ. Whatever you're going through I will keep you in my prayers.

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In regards to what Christian Man said: I just want to make it clear that whenever I am done going through this, I will still believe in God,  but depending on what happens, I might need to reevaluate who God is. I don't want to, I want to believe so badly that he does care enough about each and every one of us to work individually in our lives to-show himself when we need him to. I have had some of the most amazing experiences going through this. But I have doubts, because I am human with a set of experiences unique to me, and I know God knows this, so I just let him know when I pray that I am sorry. At the same time, I don't feel I trouble him much, so if he hasn't been "delivering" so to speak, then it's not going to be okay with me and I'm not going to be able to just brush it aside. Because I asked for him to show me HIS will for my life, even if it didn't match what I wanted, and from my point of view that seems like a tiny request for him to fulfill.

He knows the end from the beginning. Don't get impatient. I'll pray for you too. :)

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Thanks so much Vince and ChristianMan-I appreciate your prayers :)-

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My faith is really being tested this year. I'm a really curious person and am always asking questions. So I question a lot when it comes to my beliefs. It is really stressful and anxiety inducing but I do remember praying to God asking to have a better relationship with Him. Asking questions in my opinion is not a bad thing and I believe it will bring me closer to God. Some questions I have accepted that you know, I maybe won't ever know the answer to because like ChristianMan said we only see it from our perspectives while God is seeing the whole picture, and that I can't put Him in a box.

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I'd like to go through and read everyone's stories, the ones I have read are fascinating. However, for now, I think I'll just take a moment to tell about my experience.

 

I wouldn't say that I lost my faith, ever, but it has been 'tested' if you want to call it that. In 2006 my sister had a little girl, Laura. She was only with us for a day shy of 4 months. It rocked my families world in a way I'd never wish on anyone... not even if I had a bitter nemesis. For the next couple of years I fought hard to come out of that darkness. You see, she lived with me. It's a long story, but to try and shorten it... my sister was only 18 and she had decided to give my mom custody. She simply couldn't do it on her own, she had a lot of issues to contend with. Autism (low end), depression, abusive boyfriend, etc etc. Anyway, my mom lived with me at the time (for perspective, I'm 7.5 years older than my sister). So, naturally, so did Laura. Even now, now that I've come out of that and realized it's ok to keep going, I STILL have those moments of sadness, but I have found comfort and come through with my faith. Probably stronger than it was. You see, I have always believed that God has a reason for everything. Good and bad. Although, at that time in my life it was REALLY hard for me to keep believing that. I actually reminded myself of it, often. Sometimes we can't find that reason, and it makes us think differently. Not wrong, just differently. Sometimes the reason for the bad is simple (at least to me)...without the bad, we would not know or understand the good. On the other hand, I think her purpose in life was fulfilled and it was just her time. Her passing caused some other things to take place that were blessings. Maybe that's just my 'Christian' showing, wanting to see good even from bad, but I do believe that tragedies can pave the way for blessings. If that's wrong, I don't want to be right. :) I hope this helps in some way.

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I always believed in a good God of light and love, but wasn't raised with religion, so I'd always try to figure out for myself what seemed 'good' and 'right' and 'just'. I made some good choices and, some not-so-good ones. 

 

Then things changed in my 20's, when I was stranded in the snow in Alaska. I got on my knees and said "God, forgive me, I know I've done some bad things, but I love you and I really want to follow you. I really want to know who you are and change my life to live for you." It was Jesus who answered and for the first time I started to understand the suffering he went through because he personally knows us and cares about us, like a friend, like a human, basically God relating to humans. I felt a connection. The next few years my faith was tested, so to speak, by me discovering more and more about what God wants, and I was tested to make some changes in my life and grow. 

 

I found my faith tested because there's a lot of misinformation on Christianity out there. For example, from what I believe, hell is not a place of eternal conscious torment, as often believed. Reading the Bible carefully it says evil people will be destroyed there. They'll get destruction (which is eternal), not an eternal life of suffering. The only eternal life people get is a good eternal life in Heaven, which is what God wants for everyone.

 

My faith was also tested because deciding how literally to interpret the Bible can lead to different beliefs about who God is. Some Christians interpret it very literally, but some like C.S. Lewis believed early parts of the Bible were used to convey spiritual truths, and not necessarily detailed physical facts--ancient people would have been interested in spiritual wisdom so some parts of the Bible can be best understood looking through the lens of the culture which wrote them.

 

In the end I resolve many of the tests about who God is by keeping a living, breathing relationship with God, and by remembering the two greatest commandments Christ gave: 

 

 And He said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'

 Matthew 22:37-39

 

Every interpretation of the Bible, for me, should be guided by the Holy Spirit, and the idea of loving God and your neighbor (and yourself).

 

I think Rachel Held Evans' blog can be a good resource for learning about different interpretations of the Bible, some of which make more sense to people in this modern age, while still being true to God. http://rachelheldevans.com 
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I always believed in a good God of light and love, but wasn't raised with religion, so I'd always try to figure out for myself what seemed 'good' and 'right' and 'just'. I made some good choices and, some not-so-good ones.

Then things changed in my 20's, when I was stranded in the snow in Alaska. I got on my knees and said "God, forgive me, I know I've done some bad things, but I love you and I really want to follow you. I really want to know who you are and change my life to live for you." It was Jesus who answered and for the first time I started to understand the suffering he went through because he personally knows us and cares about us, like a friend, like a human, basically God relating to humans. I felt a connection. The next few years my faith was tested, so to speak, by me discovering more and more about what God wants, and I was tested to make some changes in my life and grow.

I found my faith tested because there's a lot of misinformation on Christianity out there. For example, from what I believe, hell is not a place of eternal conscious torment, as often believed. Reading the Bible carefully it says evil people will be destroyed there. They'll get destruction (which is eternal), not an eternal life of suffering. The only eternal life people get is a good eternal life in Heaven, which is what God wants for everyone.

My faith was also tested because deciding how literally to interpret the Bible can lead to different beliefs about who God is. Some Christians interpret it very literally, but some like C.S. Lewis believed early parts of the Bible were used to convey spiritual truths, and not necessarily detailed physical facts--ancient people would have been interested in spiritual wisdom so some parts of the Bible can be best understood looking through the lens of the culture which wrote them.

In the end I resolve many of the tests about who God is by keeping a living, breathing relationship with God, and by remembering the two greatest commandments Christ gave:

And He said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'

Matthew 22:37-39

Every interpretation of the Bible, for me, should be guided by the Holy Spirit, and the idea of loving God and your neighbor (and yourself).

I think Rachel Held Evans' blog can be a good resource for learning about different interpretations of the Bible, some of which make more sense to people in this modern age, while still being true to God. http://rachelheldevans.com

You've brought me to tears. I'm actually listening to the Revised Christian Version of "Say Something" by A Great Big World it was switched up by a group called "WorshipMob." Listening to it as I read your story helped me with something I've been going through. Lately I've been feeling stranded but all I can say is "God I know I'm a sinner and you've never given up on me. Thank you for that and I promise to never give up on you because I know you have me in your hands teaching me how to walk again like a child learning to take their their first steps. Please continue to teach me to walk in Your way and not my own. I love you with all that I am and wish to be. In Jesus' name amen" Thank you for sharing and God bless you.

http://youtu.be/MgSmQdTJFIM

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My faith has always been tested. As I grew older, I wanted to get away from all of it. My parents were very religious people. Everything was bible related or a biblical lesson. I basically drifted away from religion and told them I didn't want to follow any "god" that spewed so much hate towards people or follow all the bullshit rules. I briefly stated I was an atheist. Since I didn't believe in a "god" I didn't have to follow all that bullshit what my church and parents taught me. They didn't need to shove their religious beliefs down my throat. I started questioning everything around me. Of course stating I was atheist brought out more you're going to hell stuff(which i fought back saying if I don't believe in your god or any god that means I don't believe in hell)

I don't know where I heard it from probably from a teacher or a book that there are different types of Christian's and some people mold the bible into what they think is right or wrong. People have different interpretations on who or what God is. So the bullshit my parents and church told me, I rejected. Of course I knew in my heart that in order for me to keep a sense of sanity and hope when all else fails, I had to believe in something. So eventually I did reconnect with my faith. I did wanted to follow a different religion but decided to apply biblical teachings that I felt were right to my own life.

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Wow, just wanted to update since my views have changed so much. I posted above quite a while back and at the time I was very new to Christianity. Authors who considered that some of the creation stories like Adam and Eve in the bible didn't literally happpen were approachable to me, because I learned about evolution as a child. Now I have come to believe in the bible much more literally. We all come from two great plus grandparents, Adam and Eve. I would no longer recommend Rachael Held Evans blog and views that the world's history is anything short of dramatically miraculous and the bible's events are literally true.

What has kept my faith during times of test are a number of different things. The supernatural signs God has shown me and others. The transformative power of the gospel. How spiritually tangible God feels. God answers prayer! Prayer works. And also how God is the most logical explanation for the existence of the universe. There's also the prophetic schema of the bible. The historical evidence of Jesus and miracles. The knowledge God has given me. Other things too...

Faith is a growing thing

:)

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