Tag: faith

What If We Knew For Real?

Since my dad passed last month, I have revisited the issue about what happens after we die. I have asked a few people about their beliefs and I posted my own thoughts here as well.

I wish we knew for sure.

I have wondered why we don’t? Wouldn’t it be better if we did? If we knew for sure what happens on the other side I think people would act differently. So why don’t we?

It’s funny how adamant people are about their beliefs. Some folks are borderline militant about it. I have to ask the question if they have been to the afterlife and come back. The truth is they no one REALLY knows with absolute certainty. You can’t base it on scientific facts because there is no evidence of life after death. Sure, there are numerous accounts where people have died and came back to tell about their experience but there isn’t much consistency in their stories. Science often explains them away.

Honestly I think it’s a bit unfair that we don’t know. So now all we are left with is faith that there is something there.

Faith. That makes it hard. Especially when you need to know for sure. Faith is a belief.

I still would like to know for real.

What if someone that has passed could come back to tell us? That would be irrefutable proof wouldn’t it? Maybe. Maybe not. Humans are so fickle and unpredictable so there is no guarantee that anything would make us believe – even a visit from someone that has come back from the dead.

This is the great unknown. Yes I know what the Bible says about it and what every other religion or non-religions say about it. We are left with not knowing and most of the time not even thinking about it. We are all headed there but we aren’t wanting it to get here anytime soon.

I still believe what I believe about it but I have no proof. None. That’s what stinks about this.

Instead of dwelling on it, we should make our lives count. We should make a positive impact on the people around us. Since there is absolutely nothing we can do about the end and whatever happens after that, we have right now.

We all have to find our own way.

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Where Is God When…?

bad thingsThere is no doubt we have all asked some form of this question in our life.

God doesn’t spare us just because we are believers.

It’s very hard to believe when things are going wrong and you are hurting.

Just because we do good deeds doesn’t guarantee a God will “pay us back” in times of trouble. He said to lay up your treasures in Heaven.  In Matthew 6:19-20 He tells us we should store our treasures in heaven and not on Earth.  While that is well and fine for eternity, sometimes we would like Him to withdraw a little of that when we are going through the bad times in our lives.  When a hurricane blows away our home or when our loved one is diagnosed with cancer.

Where is God?

That is a question we all ask during these times.  It is difficult to see Him in the bad times.  He says that He never leaves us or forsakes us but He can certainly be quiet.  It would seem that He is playing some kind of cosmic game of hide and seek.  It can be very annoying to serve God during these times.  He is apparently doing something for our purpose.  He never leaves us but at times He is silent. Not because He’s playing some game of hide and seek with us but to help us in some way.

Ever notice that the only time people seem to come together is when disaster strikes? Why does it take that for us to come together?

Why is it that God heals some people while He allows others to die? Why does He allow destruction to hit some people and not others? Those are some heavy questions and when you are going through those seemingly unfair times you don’t feel much like singing those cute praise and worship songs. You want to fuss and demand answers.

I won’t sugar coat this for you. God seems cruel sometimes. The problem is that no one can answer for why God does what He does. That’s kinda why He’s God. He does what He does for His own reasons. He doesn’t owe us an explanation and we hate that. We can’t fully understand God’s plans or His ways.

We lose sight of the fact that this world is not the end. The Bible says

“We do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”

Yes, but I’m dealing with something here on Earth right now today!

I would like to say that I stay cool and calm when facing the bad things that happen in my life.  It would be nice to be the example of calm and patience with my hands in a praying position during these times but I’m not.  I often fuss and complain to God about them.  I’m doing better in some situations but I have, in no way, mastered it yet.  I have heard people talk about the “patience of Job” when everything was going against him but have you ever read the Book of Job?  He may have been patient in that he continued to trust God but the man did complain and fuss about the situation.  God even called him out on it in Chapter 38 of Job.  God kind of puts Job in his place.

So, it doesn’t matter how good of a Christian you think you are or how many people is on your prayer chain.  God isn’t impressed by that.  No one can give you and answer as to why God goes silent sometimes when bad things happen to us.  It isn’t about being spiritual or speaking in tongues or being any kind of faith superstar.  The important thing is for us to keep our focus and be faithful.  Really, there isn’t much of a choice.  It’s okay to be frustrated and upset.  God understands that but we have to deal with whatever is allowed to happen to us.

There is a God and we aren’t Him.  He doesn’t tell us everything.  That’s the thing which frustrates us.  We have to trust an unknown situation in our lives to the God who knows everything.

 

Trust God: He’s Got This

Trusting in God and His timing is one of the hardest things for me to do. I am pretty sure that I am not alone. We are impatient people. We want what we want when we want it. We don’t want to wait. I’m sure it drives God nuts in how impatient we can be.

My wife has been planning a trip for us and she will routinely tell me that she’s got this. It is her way to keep me from stressing out about it. When someone says “I’ve got this” it means you don’t have to worry about it. They are handling it so don’t stress about it

Worry is such a nasty word. I hate to worry yet I often find myself there. When we pray, we are presenting our desires to God but many times we walk away and continue with stressing about the very thing we prayed for.

God knows us and knows more than anything we could. This is a God who knows the very details of how many hairs we have on our head. Nothing that happens to us surprises Him and you won’t hear Him say “oops”. He’s got everything under control.

Okay, let’s be honest here. It sure doesn’t seem like He does. I know I will even look up in my despair and ask Him does He even see what’s going on. The fact is that He does and He’s not under any obligation to share every little detail of His plan with us.

Just this past week I offered up a prayer about a particular need. It wasn’t one of those on-my-knees-crying-out-to-God prayers. It was a rather weak request but it was sincere, honest and from my heart. I talk to God just like I would talk to you. I presented my request to Him. I would like to tell you that I had all kinds of faith that God was going to do something. I did have a measure of faith but certainly nothing you would be impressed with. The very next day God not only answered that prayer but He did above and beyond anything that I expected. I was totally overwhelmed. I spent the rest of the day thanking Him for it. It was incredible.

I also asked God to help me to remember that moment. Remember how it felt when a prayer was answered. I want to always keep moments like those on my mind when prayers aren’t being answered or when it seems God isn’t listening.

I assure you they God had a plan. Timing with God is important. We pray things and we expect to get them right away. I’ve been doing this a long time and I can tell you that it is very rare for a prayer to be answered right away. Most of the time, it takes time.

There are times when God had to answer prayers around the free will that people have. God isn’t going to force people to do what He wants them to do. He’s moving the chess pieces around to get things in place to answer our prayers. God will often work in ways we cannot see and get our prayers answered in ways we would have never thought of. It can come from totally unexpected places. I know because I often find myself trying to visualize how God is going to do it. Sometimes I will even try to help Him with His plan which I am sure amuses Him.

I’m glad that God is in control and I can have faith that He’s got this.