I was once very skeptical of the God I now fully believe exists. After researching and looking deeper into the evidence to support a Creator, I realized that the doubt I had was really confusion.There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking questions to better understand something. To find Truth...we must ask questions. But I have come to the realization that many people are not seeking Truth. There are those who simply want to validate their own idea of truth.
God's Word is constantly being twisted and misrepresented by both believers and non-believers. But possibly the most disturbing are those who take an antagonist approach with malicious intent. These blatant attacks against God and the Christian faith used to really upset me because the stabs felt personal. As a believer, God is a part of us, He lives within us. Therefor any words of opposition towards God felt as though they were denying who I am, what I stand for and in turn denying my very existence. It was hard to shake that off. I didn't understand how people could be so ugly towards me simply because of my faith. I don't agree with many of the beliefs that other religions have but I don't spend my time attacking those religions and viciously mocking them. What would be the purpose in that? As a Christian I am called to share God's love and live according to Christ's standards. Behaving in any other way would go against my God and everything I believe in. So for a long time I asked God, why are these people acting so hateful toward me? His response was:
The important thing is that GOD LOVES US and He always illuminates the darkness. He revealed to me the purpose of this persecution. It brought me closer to Him. I developed a deeper understanding of who God is, what He has done for us and for me personally and strengthened my faith and relationship with Christ. Because of these attacks, I was forced to ask questions that I may not have otherwise asked and to seek the Truth as I had never before. What was obviously a devilish tactic to shake my faith and to encourage doubt ultimately brought me closer to God and gave me a deeper appreciation for the One who continuously shows me the true meaning of selfless love, compassion and faithfulness. The devil's greatest weapon is doubt, but we hold the shield of faith!
The purpose of this entry is to empower those who are currently under religious persecution. There are those who are just waiting in the shadows for us to fail. And we inevitably will...we are imperfect. But these same people forget that simply because we serve a perfect God does not mean that we are perfect. They will use our imperfections to justify their theories by superimposing our flaws onto our flawless God. I know - because I once did this. There have been those in my life who called themselves believers but their actions did not line up with their faith so I not only wrote them off...but I turned my back on God. We as Christians need to realize that we are endorsers. How we act can bring people to God or can lead them away from Him. People are more likely to come to Christ if we try to emulate Him instead of trying to please ourselves or others. The truth is, if you have ever claimed to be Christian or you have been involved in some way with a religious organization - you are being watched. You are under constant scrutiny. But don't let that intimidate you because we have been chosen to shine a light in a dark world. We have the Lord WITH us in every battle we may face.
"As you know, we suffered rough and insulting treatment. But our God gave us the courage to tell you His Good News in spite of strong opposition." (1 Thessalonians 2:2)
Don't be afraid to share God's Truth. If you are unsure of a proper or valid response to questions from those who doubt Christ and His teachings, don't be afraid to say "I don't know, but I will get back with you after I have researched what God has to say about it." This confirms that we as humans do NOT have all the answers, but we know who does have the answers and where to find them. It also shows that you take the subject seriously and that you are not looking to simply be right by blurting out just any un-researched answer. And it also reveals your genuine commitment towards their own spiritual assurance.
We will all face overwhelming opposition in our lifetime so we must be prepared to stand up for Truth. Studying God's word, the Bible, is the primary tool for wisdom when faced with opposition. For those who want more scientific-based evidence I recommend reading books and research by Dr. Stephen C. Meyer who holds a Ph.D as a Philosopher in Science from Cambridge University and can offer fundamental arguments for intelligent design by a Creator. His book, Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design investigates how new scientific discoveries are pointing to intelligent design as the best explanation for the complexity of life and the universe. I also recommend you watch the film The Case For A Creator based on the book by Lee Strobel. In this film, Stephen Meyer adds commentary along with other respected scholars, philosophers and theologians. These are excellent sources that use science to support the argument that there IS in fact a Creator. After all, our role here on earth is to lead others to Christ by providing them with the Truth in love so we need to be well-equipped if we are to see hearts change.
I hope this was helpful. I hope this finds you encouraged. You can be assured of my prayers!