Growing up I never doubted God’s existence. I was raised in a Christian home. I was involved in numerous church activities. And I saw evidence of the supernatural.
It wasn’t until later in high school that I began to question my beliefs. Did God really exist? Was the Bible trustworthy? What made Christianity more reliable than other religions?
I came out of that process better – it actually culminated in my baptism – but it was difficult. I had to come to terms with the fact that no matter how many books I read, experts I talked to, or prayers I prayed there would always be an element of faith involved in following Jesus. I wanted to eliminate all uncertainty, but God wanted me to trust him.
Now, at 33, I can look back and identify some of the reoccurring themes in my faith journey since taking the plunge:
- Grace – God has been incredibly patient and forgiving as I’ve stumbled along the way and even left the path deliberately at times.
- Guidance – The best things in my life have always been divine setups. I can’t take credit for them any more than I can take credit for being born.
- Intimacy – I’ve seen God continue to draw me closer to him throughout the years, resulting in greater trust, dependence, security, and maturity.
- Community – God’s brought me friends, mentors, and people to pour into as I’ve continued to follow him. It’s amazing how God knows exactly what we need and when we need it.
- Character – Throughout the years God has continually revealed weaknesses, blind spots, growth points, and opportunities for change. I’ve come to realize that he does this because he loves me and wants me to be fully alive.
One of my favorite Bible passages is found in the book of Jeremiah. It describes what life with God can look like. I hope you find some encouragement in it too:
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit.” (Jer 17:7-8)