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Old 06-20-2003, 07:29 AM   #1
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How do you keep believing?

The other night something happened to me and I thought that months and months of sadness were over and all my prayers had been answered. I'd been praying for this particular thing to happen many times a day for such a long time and I was overjoyed when it seemed to be happening. Well, long story short, what I thought was real turned out to be a cruel joke on the part of a stranger who picked me to get his jollies from. I was crushed. I've had a really hard year and a half and it seems like none of my prayers have been answered, and the other night it seemed like suddenly I was back in God's good graces. But it all fell apart. I know it's selfish and much like being a spoiled child to feel like God hates me or question His existence. But, nothing has gone right for such a long time and the bad times just keep breaking over me like waves on the beach. How am I supposed to keep my faith? I don't know anymore, but God is all I have left and I don't want to lose Him.
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Old 06-20-2003, 10:00 AM   #2
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When you've asked for something over and over again, and it just doesn't happen, it's time to reassess what you've been asking for. Many times what God has planned for us doesn't match what we'd like.

Look around, think about what you've been praying for, and why you want it so badly. Then open your eyes to what's been happening. Look for a pattern. It may be that be that by keeping your focus on only one thing, you've missed important signs about something else. God doesn't play games, He doesn't play favorites, and He doesn't hate you.


Instead of requesting the same old things in your prayers, try this. Ask God to open your eyes and your heart. Ask Him for help in seeing His will more clearly, ask Him to help you do His will, not yours. Ask Him for the strength to do what He wants you to do.

Try it. It works for me.
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Old 06-20-2003, 12:19 PM   #3
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God will not leave you nor foresake you. That is a promise you can count on.

As Martha suggests, prayer isn't a wish list fulfilled. Overtime, I have found that my prayer changes me so that I am aligned with God's desire for my life.

God will reveal His plan for your life. I have always found it helpful to pray through the Psalms. Take a look at Psalms 6, 22, 31, 32, 42 and 102 for examples. The Psalmists were in agony as they prayed.
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Old 06-20-2003, 09:07 PM   #4
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It's hard to keep reminding myself that there is a reason for everything when everything has been going wrong for so long. I really need something to go right for a change because Im just so...empty.

Thank you for your encouragement and for listening.
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Old 06-21-2003, 01:08 PM   #5
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Hi HandMeDown, I'll tell ya something that I have been telling peoplea lot, so it will sound like a broken record to some, but I think it's very important.

In a 4 year period (from 89 to 93), my brother, my son and my Father died. It was devestating, to say the least. However, God pulled me through. I often didn't "feel" like He was pulling me through, but I can see now that He did. I only wish I knew then what I know now.

Fst forward to the present. My last year and a half has been one of what seems like complete financial failure. I started my consulting business in Jan of 2002, and I am only now getting to the point where I can pay all my bills. Last year, thinsg were so bad, I wound up not even making enough to have to pay taxes. I was dirt poor. It was only by the grace of God and the kindness of my mother, family and friends that I was not living on the streets.

And man, did Satan use that against me. He kept throwing thoughts of depression at me, trying to convince me that I was a loser and a complete failure. To the naked eye, it sure seemed like those things were true. Many time, I "felt" completely and utterly worthless.

But you know what I have learned in the past year and a half? That you can't trust your feelings and emotions all the time. Emotions and feelings are often not indicators of the truth at all, and they are a tool Satan uses against us in an attempt to defeat us.

But here's the glorious truth: that born again Christians are not defeated at all; in fact, the bible tells us that Christ has already given us victory, which Jesus won at the cross. If you are a born again Christian, you ahve the Holy Spirit living within you...God live sthrough you if you let him. Christians are lacking in nothing, absolutely nothing. 2 Cor. 5:17 tells us that "if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, all things are made new". As a Christian, you are complete in Christ, and have all his tools available at your disposal to live a victorious life.

So what do I do? How do I combat these thoughts? It's actually a lot more simple than trying to "work through" them. I look past teh physical circumstances and the emotions and the feelings, and I focus my eyes on the truth in Christ Jesus. I recognize them for their source, that it is Satan trying to derail me. I say "Devil, I know that's you, because it ain't from the Lord, and it ain't from me. I am not a hopeless loser. I am not a failure. My Lord tells me that I am a winner, that I am complete in Christ, and that I already have the victory. Thanks Lord for everything you have given me!"

And that's not some "spiritual pep talk" or some "power of positive thinking". All I am doing is stating the truth; deciding to stand firm on who the Lord says I really am.

Please consider all these things. They are true, and will help.

God bless you,
Michael Bain
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Old 06-21-2003, 05:29 PM   #6
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I find that, psychologically, people find it easiest to believe in God in either extremely happy situations ("God blessing me") or extremely sad situations (God as a coping mechanism). People smack in the center (such as those with chronic depression, who feel that they have nothing tangible to feel sad over) seem to have the worst time.

I don't think that you need to "feel" God constantly to believe. Those who do are likely mentally ill (and I speak from experience). I obviously don't know you, but if you have been in as much mental turmoil as you seem to be as you write here, I would suggest getting professional help. God doesn't really cast things down from the heavens, as much as He works through people.

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Old 06-21-2003, 05:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
I find that, psychologically, people find it easiest to believe in God in either extremely happy situations ("God blessing me") or extremely sad situations (God as a coping mechanism).

I don't think that you need to "feel" God constantly to believe. Melon
I have been God's for a long while now, through some really bad stuff and some really great times, and it's first nature for me to trust in him. For me, it's harder to "not trust" than to trust.

Melon, you're exactly right that you don't need to "feel God" contantly to believe in him. In fact, God doesn't want to be dependant on whether we "feel" him or not. I've seen this in people: they ahve this great "feeling" experience of God, and the minute that feeling goes away, their faith crumbles.
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Old 06-22-2003, 11:47 AM   #8
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It's odd how things work...last night I went to see the movie Bruce Almighty and I was actually shocked to see how much of my own life was in the plot. Things have been going wrong for so long that I constantly ask God why He hates me like the title character in the movie did. I guess God's love isn't about what you want, it's about what you NEED to have happen in your life. Maybe these hard times are teaching me something. Actually, I know they are teaching me something. That doesn't take away from my sadness or the longing for something I used to have, but at least I can make a little sense out of it.

Towards the end of the movie the main character has a choice to ask God for what he wants or to ask God to make somebody he loves happy, thus sacrificing his own happiness. Maybe that's the way I need to go. I've been awfully selfish for a long time and sometimes to show how much you love somebody you have to let them go and hope that they find somebody to love them the way you should have.

The other day when I started this thread I felt like I wouldn't survive, like there was nothing to keep me going. Today, I feel very sad and lonely but I know I will keep going and hopefully things will turn around for me. Whatever happens will happen, and it's all for a reason and I must go through it to become the person I am supposed to become.

Thanks for helping.
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Old 06-22-2003, 12:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by HandMeDown
I guess God's love isn't about what you want, it's about what you NEED to have happen in your life. ....

Exactly.

I'm glad you're feeling a little better.
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Old 06-23-2003, 07:26 AM   #10
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Thanks martha. I don't know if I would exactly call it feeling better but I can see the bigger picture now and I think that takes some of the focus off feeling sorry for myself.
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Old 06-23-2003, 10:16 AM   #11
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The bigger picture can be a very hard thing to look at.

About ten years ago, I learned that we can never question what God does. We will never know the whole reason why things happen the way they do. We can only see our little corner of that bigger picture. That's the way we are as humans. It's ok.
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Old 06-23-2003, 10:57 AM   #12
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Old 06-23-2003, 06:09 PM   #13
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thanks again martha...and thank you to everybody who replied to this thread. It's good to know that I have someplace I can vent and sort out the big smooshed up bundle of feelings I have.


Oh and sula.....
FYI, Viggo is looking better to me by the day. I just might reconsider who I think is the best looking in the LoTR films
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Old 06-23-2003, 08:55 PM   #14
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hehe. yeah, you gotta beware the power of Viggo. He's a grower!
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Old 06-24-2003, 07:56 AM   #15
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hehehe yes he is. I can't wait to see him in the third movie. It's the best of the books so I hope Peter Jackson stays true to it.
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Old 12-10-2003, 02:27 AM   #16
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I find that, psychologically, people find it easiest to believe in God in either extremely happy situations ("God blessing me") or extremely sad situations (God as a coping mechanism).


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The easiest time I ever had believing in God, was when I was in Ireland. There's this place called Glendalough (sp?), just beautiful, there's no way you could convince there is no God.

*****

How I keep believing?, well because of Bono, I've been exposed to writer C.S. Lewis, his apologetics. I've found sites like this one-

http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/qa.asp

How I keep believing.

I've had a tough couple years my self, but I don't blame God for what had happened to me, it was the consequences of other people, that caused me great distress. I guess I sometimes felt maybe He could just force these people to stop doing certain things, but then that would mean no free will, robot state. I get upset about things, sure, I'm sure God's pretty upset over things too.
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Old 12-10-2003, 10:32 AM   #17
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However, God pulled me through. I often didn't "feel" like He was pulling me through, but I can see now that He did. I only wish I knew then what I know now.....It was only by the grace of God and the kindness of my mother, family and friends that I was not living on the streets
I don't understand it when people say God was helping them through other people or through circumstances.
How can it be God's work when something good happened to you?
Don't good things just happen on their own, or isn't all a coincidence?
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Old 12-14-2003, 06:30 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by thrillme

The easiest time I ever had believing in God, was when I was in Ireland. There's this place called Glendalough (sp?), just beautiful, there's no way you could convince there is no God.
Definitely right, it is one of those places in creation that is charged...if you get my drift.

Good things or bad things that happen to me, they have nothing to do with god. If god would intervene, it's not gonna be because I am having a bad day. I believe there would be other priorities.

I believe we are endowed with the ability to make the kingdom here in this beautiful creation we live in. That is how I continue believing.
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Old 12-17-2003, 10:21 PM   #19
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Lately I have been repeating to myself "Not my will but thy will" over and over because a situation has arisen which makes me want to throw my hands up and ask WHY ME? But I am trying to replace my fear with faith and trust that this is the will of my higher power.
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