Why I Believe God Exists: Part 3

After seeing God doing some amazing things in my life, I started trusting Him--more than before. But there were more questions to be answered. I was still struggling to swallow some of the claims God made in the Bible.

Was this Hebrew God really the omnipotent God of the entire universe?

If so, was He concerned enough and capable enough to meet my needs?

Could he provide for me and satisfy me?

Could He give me peace in my heart, mind, and soul?

These questions needed to be answered.

The Bible provides a very sharp edge on which to separate believers from non-believers. The sharp edge is forged by the intensely dogmatic claims made by God Himself. 

He says things like:

Isaiah 45:18 For thus says the LORD that created the heavens--God Himself that formed the earth and made it--He has established it. He created it not in vain. He formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD, and there is none else. [Emphasis added]

Isaiah 40:17 All nations before Him [God] are as nothing; and they are counted to Him less than nothing, and vanity.

Daniel 2:21 He [God] changes the times and the seasons. He removes kings, and sets up kings. He gives wisdom unto the wise and knowledge to them that know understanding.

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me [Jesus] all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

John 4:13-14 Jesus answered and said unto her, "Whosoever drinks of this water [from the well] shall thirst again; but whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

God is making some pretty heavy claims. He says He created earth and all life on it. He says that he is far, far greater than ALL the nations of the earth combined. He claims to be able to dictate the rulers of the world--kings and lords of every nation.

God claims to be able to give me rest from the weariness and stress of a world in turmoil and despair. He claims to be able to satisfy the internal, spiritual thirst that plagued me.

Either God is telling the truth or He is a very, very narcissistic liar.

That's the sharp edge. 

There's no grey area when it comes to God. He's either the real deal or He's garbage.

Don't misunderstand my position. I believe He's the real deal; but if your faith is weak, if you don't believe what He says completely, then He is a sham (to you).

Paul the Apostle acknowledged this when referring to the power of God necessary to raise Jesus from the dead:

I Corinthians 15:17 And if Christ be not raised [if God is not real], your faith is vain [useless, empty].

Jesus confirmed this idea that there is not room in the middle. It's black or white. In or out. Real or fake. Believe it or reject it.

Luke 12:51 Suppose that I [Jesus] am come to give peace on Earth? I tell you, "No, but rather division."

Matthew 12:30 He that is not with me [Jesus] is against me; and he that gathers not with me scatters abroad.

Don't live on the fence. Don't sit there and wonder. Don't idly pass the days in the foggy haze of "maybe."

My personality lends itself to extremities. I consider the furthest extremes of every idea that passes through my brain. Sometimes it's helpful and sometimes it's just plain annoying. 

In this case, I had to consider that God was either absolutely real and powerful and just as awe-inspiring as He says. Or all this Biblical hyperbole was little more than fanciful nonsense invented to fascinate the imagination.

Maybe God was not the answer; because it's hard to be the answer when you don't exist.

I decided to test God. Call me faithless, but that's what I did.

Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good. Blessed is the man that trusts in Him.

Sounds like a test to me.

Check this out.

John 20:25-28 The other disciples therefore said unto him [Thomas], "We have seen the LORD." But he said unto them, "Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe." And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace be unto you." Then saith he to Thomas, "Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side. And be not faithless, but believing." And Thomas answered and said unto him, "My LORD and my God."

I can relate to Thomas. He was probably into science. He liked facts. None of us are afforded the luxury of watching Jesus rise from the dead and putting our fingers into the nail holes in his hands; but Thomas was. 

And there I was in my teenage years, asking God to prove it. Instead of harshly telling me that I'm a wicked reprobate and I should be ashamed of my faithlessness, God kindly responded with, "Watch this."

This brings me to the second reason I believe God exists.

#2 Spiritual Fulfillment

Inside of me there was a longing for something deeper--something substantive. I wanted a reason, a purpose, and a direction for my life. The shallow goals of material living seemed (and still do seem) empty and meaningless.

Even the most "successful" people in the world--those that obtain power, wealth, beauty, fame, fortune, and allegiance--fell victim to the emptiness of earthly living. Inevitably, they would all succumb to death and be whisked away from the land of the living and into the unknown abyss of death.

It all seemed so futile.

Then I learned about the depths of God.

It didn't happen quickly. And it's still happening right now. It's a relationship that develops in time. It deepens. It becomes richer and clearer and more satisfying with each passing year.

I learned about a God so vast, so painfully intelligent, so stunningly beautiful, and so willfully self-sacrificing, that it often distracted my attention away from this world of self-promotion and violence.

I learned that His omnipresence was real, since everywhere I went, He remained faithful and powerful. He acted just as swiftly in the dark, evil places as He did in the bright, virtuous places. He was everywhere, and I could depend on Him. 

Like Visa, He is everywhere you want to be. Unlike Visa, He is also everywhere you don't want to be; and He doesn't send you a bill. (He sent the bill to Himself.)

The presence of God became something I enjoyed. I could sense it. I could watch Him move. He could nudge circumstances here and there, or He could completely overtake them and mold them to His will. He could operate with the cooperation of humans or without it. He was limitless, boundless, matchless, and absolutely everything He claimed to be.

As I grew closer to Him, I began to love Him.

I John 4:19 We love Him because He first loved us.

But this love is permanent, unwavering, and not controlled by external forces.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I realize that none of this is "evidence" for you to believe in God; but I didn't title this post, "Why You Should Believe in God." Did I? Nope. This post is about why I believe He exists. 

He satisfied me spiritually. He became my Friend, my companion, and my God.

But believe it or not, I had more questions for Him.

At least now we had a relationship going so I could come to Him with my questions. I had faith, but I wanted more faith.

Mark 9:24 And straightway [immediately] the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" [Emphases and punctuation added]

[Continued in Part 4]

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