First, God is not a myth. While there are different ideas to who or what God is, I’ll rather state that in this article, I refer to the God the Christians believe in, not an idea, and definitely not the universe. To begin with clarity, I’ll also like to make an appeal that this is read with open-mindedness. In our search for God, I do not believe that those who at least possess faith – even though they choose a ‘different God’ – have completely lost all hints to finding God. Someone once compared it to an arithmetic problem where in a search for the solution, there is of course a right answer, and there are also answers that although wrong, they are not also so far for the true answer. Our position should therefore not be scorn or mockery, or even hate but rather compassion.
Some people (Christians included) have trouble understanding God and reasonably so, while we hope for certain things to go our way praying in all earnestness, sometimes it seems he pays deaf ears, and then comes the big question on our faith, “Is God really there?” I dare to hope that I’d provide answers to your doubts in this article and those who have wounded hearts can be strengthened completely.
Let us indulge a bit on why I started this article with a declaration that God is not a myth. On the matter of faith, what proof do we really have that there is a God who listens to us when we pray to him? What proof do we offer to one new to the faith who still wonders if he/she is on a pointless journey? Indeed, there should be a proof to why you should believe, this is the point argued by non-believers. The question about God’s existence is far from being modern so it is expected that there are several answers from different people trying to prove the existence of God. Personally, I’d answer this question by drawing your attention to the concept of faith. Why, this is important because the concept itself influences ones believe. This is where I begin my point from, using English dictionary definitions of faith,
The process of forming or understanding abstractions, ideas, or beliefs, without empirical evidence, experience or observation.
It is the complete trust or confidence in someone or something. A strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather proof.
The writer of Hebrews made a comment in his letters about faith, “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” (Heb. 10:38-39). The members of the church were going through difficult times of diverse persecutions, and he found it necessary to remind them of who decides they live, and what it truly means to live. In the next chapter, he goes further to explain what faith was and made references to the lives of those who lived worthy lives because they held on to their faith. This is his definition in different bible versions,
KJV – “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen.”
ISV – “Now faith is the assurance that what we hope for will come about, and the certainty that what we cannot see exists.”
Now that we have an established view of what faith means, you will agree with me that it is pointless to hope for to receive something that you already own. What I mean is this, you received a promise from a friend that they were coming to visit you on a certain day. It is pointless to still hope that the person comes to pay you a visit when the person is already in your house. The person made a promise to visit you but of course you really don’t know if they’ll come until they actually arrive. In truth, there is no prove other than the person’s word that they would come but you hope, expecting them to come. Having evidence is never faith, but reason.
You see, it’s funny when people ask for the proof of a belief – not that there isn’t any, but the manner in which they ask changes the meaning from faith to reason. They are not asking for the proof of your faith (that is what your faith has led you to or has produced), they are simply saying you do not have a reason to have faith – there is no proof for your faith to be established. Using the instance of the visitor, they are asking how you know your visitor will come. To this, I quote Apostle Paul, “Hope that is seen is not hope” in other words, faith is not reasonable, at least not until it is proved by the result.
This is my explanation to anyone asking me the reason for our Christian faith; faith has no need for proof but rather patience. This is not an answer of delusion or hypocrisy shying away questions made on our faith, it is simply a matter of what faith truly means. This is to say therefore that the one who seeks proof other than the hope we already have has not found faith.
The End of Faith
Now, to talk about the proof of our faith is and should be the results that our faith in God has led us to – the end of our faith. If this was a conversation with a Christian, or anyone who knew enough of Christianity whether they believed or not, I am fairly certain that some would mention miracles, signs and wonders as the proof of the Christian faith in God. While these things are great indeed and wonderful to rejoice in, I however do not see them as the proof of our faith. Not that they are inconsequential in any way as proof, but I believe that they are the smallest of what proof a Christian has to offer. I usually tell people, “the biggest miracle and proof of our faith is the salvation of our souls”. Why is this? How is this more proof than the more awe-inspiring miracles we see from the early church till date? It is fairly simple actually; what would be a greater miracle than being saved from being an enemy to God – an eternity in hell?
The first thing faith about faith is an acknowledgment of personal inadequacies, inferiority and inability to be anything good. In fact, it is the reason for faith. To seek faith is to hope for redemption, and in Christianity, it is a complete reliance on God for salvation, for something better. Faith is useless to a man who is satisfied and self-sufficient, why should he hope for salvation when he considers himself saved? The reason we claim the Christian faith is that we realize that we are sinners (enemies of God), unable to please God, judged and condemned. Our hope is for a savior, one that will reconcile us back to God, justify us and then show and give us the ability to please God. This, is the end of our faith, the result of our hope. Let me show you what I mean.
All the points I have made so far have said that faith is simply faith and it requires no reason other than hope for it to stand, yet I have also mentioned that faith has an end, and that result it produces is our proof. Using our earlier visitor example, this is what I mean; when you were asked why you believed your visitor will come as he said he would, your answer was simple, “he will come”. And then finally, he came. Then you turn around to your questioner, “see, I told you he’d come”. His coming becomes the proof of your faith. For Christianity, our faith is a hope for a savior – and the proof of our faith becomes that salvation. For the sake of those without faith, who hope for a saving, lets discuss the proof of this salvation – but first, what we are really saved from?
This is the problem with salvation; no one can be saved unless they seek saving. So, big question – from what? Someone once said, “Christ did not come into the world to make bad people good. Christ came into the world to make dead men alive.” It sounds unreasonable at first reading or hearing, but when you think about it and understand God’s perception of the world then you’ll understand just how true the statement is. God sees those who hope in him as alive, and those who do not as dead – not physically of course, but spiritual deadness. It refers to a person’s inability to respond to God, or to please him. It is this deadness that we are saved from, or hope in God to be saved from. The difference between a spiritually dead person and one who is spiritually alive is in their ability to communicate with God. Just as we all agree that evil communications corrupt good manners, it is also true that communication with goodness and righteousness corrupts bad manners. The statement is not contradictory; it simply means that Christ came to do more than just turn people good. So in answer to the earlier question, we are saved from ourselves. God saves us from our self- dependence which will eventually lead us to our self-destruction. By self-dependence I refer to how we do everything on our own, independent or ignorant of a standard until we fail. We think of ourselves as good people until we find ourselves in a position to be good but turn away from it, and do it with an excuse to suit your own conscience. I think a lot about the movies and novels we produce sometimes, not that I don’t enjoy them, but I see how much of ourselves we wish to be in the characters we produce, but we never are. Superman – whose other superpower is always seeing the good in people, Batman – who believes everyone still deserves saving. These are good models, but how many of them ever become real? I do not doubt that there are good people in the world who are not even Christians, but how far can their goodness be stretched? It will depend on the reason why you decided to be good in the first place, which is usually materialistic. If anything, I realize that we cannot be better in doing the things we wish to do. We are humans, and we make mistakes, people often talk of how our mistake should not define us – true, but how often do we become better? This is the reason for hope, that you can be better by relying on someone better than you. We are saved from our mistakes, our poor choices that have led to consequences that make us hate ourselves, we are saved from an eternal loop of struggle to become better persons to everyone around us.
Now, the proof of this salvation is the changes we see in our lives, we actually begin to do better. We can now move on from our mistakes knowing that we will do better. There becomes a certainty to it. I grew up in a Christian home and had a proper upbringing. When I gained enough years to figure out a little about life on my own, I did not deviate from the part I grew up on, at least not the way my parents expected me to anyway. I had always been a reserved person, more calculating and observant than being quick to speak. I was what you’d call a good person, always somewhat likeable and probably boring to some people, but I was a good child. But as I advanced in years, still retaining much of my personality, I began to give thought to my own actions. I was good, but only because I wanted to be. It did not mean I could not be mean to whomever I decided to be mean to. I never lied much as a child, my mum always knew how to tell when I lied – she was the only one who could tell, so I wasn’t really a bad liar. The reason I never lied was not because I considered it to be bad, of course we were taught “thou shalt not lie” as part of the ten commandments, but rather because I realized that the more truthful you were, the lesser people suspected you when you lied. I was selfish – the funny thing about this one is that no one could have ever known because I seemed to always be willing to share. However, I shared only because I knew I was going to be liked and talked about for sharing things with someone else. This was my normal life, and truthfully, this is the normal life of an average man. Getting to know God changed me a lot. While I did things – even good things – for myself, now I do them simply because there is a need, simply for the sake of God, never more than that. What is the proof of my Christian faith you ask? What is the proof of God? My experiences, the changes. If God is real, and God is love, then I learn to love everyone simply for the sake of love, unfeigned love.
The proof of God is in those who put their faith in him. It is no different from asking a man what proof he has to offer that he is an artist, he will simply show you his work. Ephesians 2:10 (BSB), “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life.” This is not to say that there are Christians without fault, in fact, our faith does not abolish our mistakes or imperfection, at least not at once; we have faith because we hope to become perfect. So you might wonder about Christians whom you feel should be better people, and yet they are not. First, I’d like to say that any Christian without an eventual proof of a relationship with God must indeed question and reflect on the faith he/she professes for it is most likely not genuine. 2 Peter 1:10 (KJV), “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” This was Peter’s comment after mentioning the good works God expects from us. Secondly, our experiences are different and so is our lives. We learn, we grow and then we do better. It would be unreasonable to conclude on a person’s faith as false because they made a wrong decision. Christ’s intention is first to save, how long the work of refinement will take mostly depends on him.
Why you should Choose God
The reason you should choose God is that you realize you need ‘saving’. Saving from yourself, your troubles, your mistakes, your inability to live right. Christianity is not a scam, most people feel it is though. This is not a “come solve all your problems campaign”, it is more of trusting someone else to guide your life. The benefits are that your problems will never have the power to break you anymore, because you will no longer live for yourself but for him. And so only his opinion of you will now truly matter, and your self-worth becomes defined by him, not by family, society, nor by your failures and successes. This is the miracle of choosing God, he first has called you and is simply waiting to receive you. The hope we have in God is not a dream or simple idealism, it is a living hope, one that you really get to experience. I have offered you a little of my own personal proof, you can talk to those who you know as genuine believers and ask them about their personal proof of a God they have never seen and yet believe so much in.
Christ was/is our model, showing us how an intimate life with God can make us better persons. He did not just teach principles, he commands a transformation in us when we put our faith in him. Romans 8:29 (KJV), “For whom he did foreknow, he also did PREDESTINATE to be CONFORMED to the image of his Son….” The power of Christ transforms the most grievous of sinners into sanctified saints, and faith in him purchases the salvation of your soul – which you receive by faith here on earth (substance of things hoped for), though reserved for you in heaven (evidence of things not seen), to loose it would be to lose your salvation. Faith requires that you are patient and conscious of your salvation. So even when it seems there is no reason continue in your believe, remember what faith is and choose God.