Struggling with faith is something that every Christian will go through at least once in their lives. It’s a difficult season of life to be in, and once there it is very difficult to come out of it. Most of the time there is no indication of when it will come or go, and it hits you like a train. I would be lying if I said I haven’t struggled with it in the past, especially when I felt I was fighting a losing battle with depression. But here’s the thing: It’s normal.
As a matter of fact, I would say that it is an important part of growing in your faith. When we are children (whether literal children or children in our new lives as Christians), we have a faith that is built on what others have told us to be true. This isn’t inherently bad, it just means that we need to at some point own our faith. At some point, we have to move on from what everyone else is telling us and come to our own conclusions about the God that we love and believe in. More times than not, that requires a crisis of faith, a return to the Bare Foundation on which our faith is essentially built.
So, for those of you who are currently struggling with a crisis of faith, I thought I would share some of the aspects of my Bare Foundation. These were put into words by a friend of mine that has also struggled with this, and I agree 100% with the statements made. So here we go.
1. The Universe had to be created by some sort of intelligent being… it just doesn’t make sense otherwise.
I know that there is a lot of argument between the Creationists, the Evolutionary Theorists, the Big Bang believers, and so on. The argument is often made that it takes too much faith to believe that there was an intelligence behind the creation of the universe. To me, however, it seems that there would have to have been so many random coincidences for the creation to have happened the way that it did without someone or something guiding it along. To believe that all of those occurrences just happened to lead to the creation of life is above and beyond the faith required to believe that an intelligent being created the universe. I am choosing to believe the more logical one.
2. At the very least, the Bible is a collection of stories about the Israelites and their God.
The stories within the Bible were written by many different people from many different walks of life and time periods. It wasn’t readily available for just anyone to read what had already been written to check for consistency. With that being said, the common themes throughout the Bible are staggering. Many things that are prophesied in the Old Testament come into being in the New Testament, and the stories that are repeated in the New Testament are repeated very consistently. Not to mention, the stories and histories within the Bible are consistent with the historical context of the time period in which they were written. The stories about the people known as the Israelites and their God are eerily similar to us today. Again, too much of a coincidence to ignore.
3. The stories about Jesus in the Bible can’t be a scandal… there were too many people involved.
The Watergate scandal only had like 5 people involved… and it still managed to be blown open within a matter of months. There were thousands of people that witnessed Christ’s birth, life, death, and resurrection. If any of it was false, somebody would have noticed and made a huge deal of it, effectively destroying the credibility of the entire book. Considering no such evidence exists, there is nothing to indicate that these stories are false. We must believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life free of sin, was crucified, dead, buried, and rose again from the dead 3 years later.
4. If we are to say that the stories of Jesus are true, then we come to the conclusion that he loved humanity.
Let’s be honest. If any of us were told that we were going to be killed for something that every single person on Earth has done except us, and it would completely absolve the others of their debts, we would most likely run the other direction. Jesus could have very easily refused to be crucified for the sins of everyone but his own. The fact that he did (which we established already) speaks volumes about the amount that he loves humanity. To sacrifice yourself for the benefit of everyone else through one of the most torturous deaths known to man takes an unearthly love. A love from God Himself.
5. Jesus is fully God and fully man, so therefore God must love us that much as well.
Again, we are relying on the idea that everything the Bible says about Jesus is true. With that being established, we can’t argue that Jesus is the Son of God, in fact the incarnation of God Himself while still being completely human (yeah, very difficult to process, but we can’t understand everything). Since Jesus was so unconditionally loving that he endured death for us, we can say that God is equally loving. This love is impossible for us to comprehend, and to experience it is inexplicable.
There is still a lot of faith required for an unwavering faith in God and his unconditional love for us. However, to me, there is nothing wrong with that. If God were to give us all of the answers, we wouldn’t need to rely on Him. Whatever love we would have for Him would be an obligatory love that comes from an undeniable fact. If we didn’t have faith, our love wouldn’t be genuine. Life with genuine love is so much more fulfilling, and therefore life with faith is fulfilling.
I don’t have all the answers, but I hope that this can help some of you come back to your Bare Foundation. It’s on that foundation that God will build an amazing life of faith.
“For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.'” -Romans 1:17 NIV