The pursuit of growth regarding my faith in God is the most impactful journey I will ever undergo. Years ago, I found myself questioning my belief and faith in God. How do I know God exists? Was Jesus Christ actually God in a human body who gave his life to cover the sins of mankind? Is the Bible true, or simply books of fictional stories? Does history disprove biblical stories? Does science disprove the Bible? Is the Bible full of contradictions? Do the Old and New Testaments of the Bible contradict each other? Is there evidence outside of the Bible to support Jesus’ life, and his resurrection? How can an all-powerful and good God allow evil and suffering in the world? If there is a God, is it possible that all religions are true, and simply different pathways to God? Are the religions of Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism true? Or, is science the key to unlocking the secrets of the universe?
I spent years researching, studying, and uncovering the answers to hundreds of my questions regarding God, Jesus, the Bible, and the world’s religions. In conclusion, the answers I obtained built up an overwhelming belief that convinced me that the biblical story of Jesus Christ is true, and my personal quest gave me the confidence to commit and engage with the Christian religion. I embraced Jesus’ infinite act of grace, and his message of selflessness, service, and love of God – which often requires me to sacrifice my personal desires and interests for a higher purpose with a much greater reward. I view my continuing growth in my faith in God as a celebration that will never end.
Studies show that year after year there is an increase in people who do not share my belief. A new Pew Research study shows roughly 3 in 10 adults in the United States are religiously unaffiliated, describing themselves as atheists, agnostics or “nothing in particular” when asked about their religious identity. These numbers are growing rapidly.
My interactions and conversations with the religiously unaffiliated share a common thread. These individuals have many difficult and very fair questions about God and the Bible and have been hurt by people who consider themselves followers of Jesus. Similar to my journey years ago, they have many complicated questions that start with “why?”
I believe the answers to these questions require intentional focus and include a commitment to learning about God, our purpose, and what it means to have a relationship with our creator.
Perhaps the best place to start in your pursuit of growth in faith in God is by asking yourself the question, “What do I currently believe, and why?” Are you basing your beliefs on feelings, assumptions, perceptions, or evidence and truth? Can you make a strong case for your beliefs? What can you explain seamlessly? What do you have difficulty explaining? What have you always wondered about but never taken the time to explore? Taking a thorough self-examination of your beliefs will naturally raise a lot of questions. Write these questions down. Whether they are simple and basic or confusing and complex, answers are available with work and dedication! Do not feel intimidated or embarrassed by any questions you have about God or your beliefs. Even the most basic questions are important to creating the desire for your growth.
There are numerous resources at your fingertips that can answer theological questions. Two online tools can help provide insight and understanding for your biblical knowledge and spiritual growth include The Bible Project and Got Questions. The Bible Project features videos less than 10 minutes long that outline and illustrate the shape and core themes of each book in the Bible. These videos are entertaining, educational, and biblically accurate. The process of viewing each of these videos will address and answer hundreds of questions surrounding God, Jesus, and the Bible. Got Questions is a website dedicated to answering specific questions about theology. Search the site by asking your difficult questions about the Bible. To date, over 677,580 questions have been answered, including a list of the top 20 most commonly asked questions.
I believe the pursuit of growth in your faith in God will lead you to understand your origin, your ethics, your purpose, and your destiny. These are the primary foundations of all faiths, and the discovery of your true beliefs will answer the question of how you were created, how you should live, why you were created, and what happens after you die. Is there anything more important than understanding the answers to these questions?
My hope is the religiously unaffiliated will one day believe in the grace of Jesus Christ, and pray the following:
Jesus, I know that I am an imperfect person and a sinner who makes mistakes, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died to erase all my sins from the past, present, and future, and YOU rose from the dead and overcame death to provide everlasting life for me. I repent from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior.
Live The Pursuit of Growth