PDA

View Full Version : The gift of faith



Silentscream
03-02-2009, 07:37 AM
I have been an Atheist for 30 years and can give you the best arguments on why their is no God, I have been in debates and always hold my ground.
Now facing this monster in my family, I find science has let me down and the only place left is "a higher power"
What a great thing it must be to believe with all you heart.
To believe that God does not give you more then you can handle.
That someone is watching over you and keeping you safe.
That suffering will only bring you closer to him etc etc.

I am no longer in the business of changing minds just wish I had that faith.
After being away for church (12 years of Catholic School) I find myself walking into church, I was driving down the road yesterday and there was a statue of the virgin Mary outside a Church surrounded my flowers and a wood bench to pray.
I made a u-turn and sat there, talking to a statue and making every deal, offer, negotiation I could think of. "If you save my kid, I'll do this or that...

I wish I had the faith. I wish sins of the father were not passed to the innocent.

sick n tired
03-02-2009, 09:40 AM
I will agree with you...I am at a loss how anyone handles something so huge as disease or for some death...just anything monumental without God. I can say He is a source of comfort for me. Jesus Christ being the Son of God and Dying on the cross for me is a great comfort. Right now the docs are unsure what is happening to me and I have the comfort if I do die, I know where I am going.

rob
03-02-2009, 10:58 AM
Over the years, I've found that I just don't believe. I have wanted so much to have the comfort of believing in a higher power, something, anything. I just have not been able to believe anything I can't see with my own eyes. I have people who are friends here, who have some tough times they are going through, and they ask for people's prayers. I can't tell my friends I won't say a prayer for them. So I muster all the sincerity I can find, and say a prayer hoping there is someone, or something that will hear them. I don't know, but maybe that's how faith begins.

Rob

Angel Oliver
03-02-2009, 02:28 PM
Silentscream, Sick n tired & Rob,

First of all i send you all gentle hugs and so hope life gets better for you all.

I so want to believe. I believe there is 'something' n 'somewhere'. At Christmas when i was in so much pain, i actually walked and sat alone in the chapel.My first visit since i was a child. I was so desperate and in so much pain and just needed a hug. I spoke to myself in my head to the statue of Jesus, yet still thought to myself.....what if i am talking just to myself? As i walked in and sat there....i did feel 'something'. Dont get me wrong i did not feel it on my skin, but deep inside i felt that hug, like someone somewhere heard me. I walked away from the chapel thinking, mmmm i wonder if there is a place? The next day they pulled out that dreaded infected and ulcerated tooth that had plagued me. Coincidence...maybe, but i think this is when like Rob said the belief begins.

More recently, i found myself praying or 'talking in my head' again. I so prayed for god to give me the strength to call a vet (which i promised i would never ever do) and to make sure my dog did not die in to much pain. I found that courage and made that call....they arrived so quick and she died so fast and very peacefully.
I thought later....coincidence? Now i question myself.....what proof is there that there actually is a god? This is where the learning to believe in a faith comes in. I am trying to believe in god. I just do not have the tools to do it on my own. I know there is something....and somewhere....there has to be.This can not be the end. Too many coincidences i think for this to be it...the end. I hope i find the faith like many people. Ive never been very religious, but i feel something. I like reading peoples posts here and feeling that 'belief'.I wish i felt it 100% now. Maybe as i learn one day i will.

Love
Angel.xx

Angel Oliver
03-02-2009, 02:43 PM
Silentscream,

I am glad you sat down and talked to the statue. I hope you did feel 'something' and keep believing that your prayers will be answered. I realise i waffled on in my post a bit, but i know what you were saying and so understand. You must feel so much pain. We are all here for you and hope we can help a little. :)

Love n hugs
Angel.xxx

mountaindreamer
03-02-2009, 04:32 PM
as i have said on previous posts, i very much believe in angels....i know my grandmother, and my dear friend send me messages and signals. I believe they do many other things that go unnoticed. I feel an occassional hug, i feel their brief presence. I feel a calmness after talking to them/god/myself....whomever it is.....

If believing provides some relief from our world, then believing is the right thing to do. Because true belief is personal . Silentscream, i am glad that you followed the angel guiding you to that bench. Sounds like you got some comfort from the little chat.

phyllis

Oluwa
03-03-2009, 12:57 PM
Silent Scream...hugs.

It is understandably hard to open your heart, your trust to something you thing you can't see, feel or meet physically. But that is what faith is.

Being an atheist, I am sure you heard all the reasons why, and no doubt have had many discussions with those who believe that you can indeed see Him and feel Him. In the dormant plants, the feeling your heart literally feels...the pain in your stomach...That is Him..and etc. And discussions why people have diseases and etc...so...

I feel we fear betrayal, we fear ridicule believing in something that goes against our logic of seeing is believing. When we bear our soul or inner most feelings we feel vulnerable. Especially to human beings that is why I think some feel the same why towards God, religion, Christ. Untrusting...

Faith...how to get, have it. Open your heart and mind that He does exist. Let him happened...when you feel the weakness in your stomach surrender your love, your trust to Him. Usually people surrender when they feel they have no where else to go and wait for that miracle. And judge when it doesn't occur. Living a life filled with compassion for others, understanding the suffering of the world and believing when we die there is a better life that awaits us. That is faith.

And with that faith our perception of the world, of ourselves changes and we can see the miracles, big and small and endure our sufferings.

Knowing there is a better life, without suffering after this finite life on earth guides us. The hope gives us calm, to find happiness in the world's suffering, the suffering in our homes, with our children..

I feel He talks to me, while I pray out loud, in my heart, in my thoughts. I hear Him in my head, answering the questions I ask of Him. Though I am not well, His words give me hope. I believe in his promise, I am with you always, even to the end of age...

To me it is not illogical to believe in something higher than myself. I realize without faith I have no hope. When I say I am losing hope..I am questioning my faith. And reaching for books, not only the Bible..I enjoy Buddhism too..the books give me back the fading hope...and not let my own suffering cause it to disappear. Without it, I will have nothing. Without it I am nothing.

Love,
Oluwa

Silentscream
03-03-2009, 04:00 PM
Thank you,
I admire your faith.
May I ask a basic question?
If God is in charge of all. He allows or even gave my daughter, you and others Lupus. Good innocent people. Is that a God of love? He has the power to cure and chooses not to.
Thanks


Silent Scream...hugs.

It is understandably hard to open your heart, your trust to something you thing you can't see, feel or meet physically. But that is what faith is.

Being an atheist, I am sure you heard all the reasons why, and no doubt have had many discussions with those who believe that you can indeed see Him and feel Him. In the dormant plants, the feeling your heart literally feels...the pain in your stomach...That is Him..and etc. And discussions why people have diseases and etc...so...

I feel we fear betrayal, we fear ridicule believing in something that goes against our logic of seeing is believing. When we bear our soul or inner most feelings we feel vulnerable. Especially to human beings that is why I think some feel the same why towards God, religion, Christ. Untrusting...

Faith...how to get, have it. Open your heart and mind that He does exist. Let him happened...when you feel the weakness in your stomach surrender your love, your trust to Him. Usually people surrender when they feel they have no where else to go and wait for that miracle. And judge when it doesn't occur. Living a life filled with compassion for others, understanding the suffering of the world and believing when we die there is a better life that awaits us. That is faith.

And with that faith our perception of the world, of ourselves changes and we can see the miracles, big and small and endure our sufferings.

Knowing there is a better life, without suffering after this finite life on earth guides us. The hope gives us calm, to find happiness in the world's suffering, the suffering in our homes, with our children..

I feel He talks to me, while I pray out loud, in my heart, in my thoughts. I hear Him in my head, answering the questions I ask of Him. Though I am not well, His words give me hope. I believe in his promise, I am with you always, even to the end of age...

To me it is not illogical to believe in something higher than myself. I realize without faith I have no hope. When I say I am losing hope..I am questioning my faith. And reaching for books, not only the Bible..I enjoy Buddhism too..the books give me back the fading hope...and not let my own suffering cause it to disappear. Without it, I will have nothing. Without it I am nothing.

Love,
Oluwa

Angel Oliver
03-03-2009, 04:31 PM
HI Silentscream,

Just to say you are in my thoughts and sending you hugs.

love
Angel.xx

Oluwa
03-03-2009, 06:29 PM
Thank you,
I admire your faith.
May I ask a basic question?
If God is in charge of all. He allows or even gave my daughter, you and others Lupus. Good innocent people. Is that a God of love? He has the power to cure and chooses not to.
Thanks

Hi Silent Scream...hugs.

For, me my beliefs from my understanding of the Bible, your are referring to See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. Deuteronomy 32:39 ( I had to look it up...)


Diseases, plights, accident are not for punishment..and I believe no one is innocent in that sense of it. No one deserves a disease, if you will. Young, old..and etc. I believe it is a plan, a plan for spiritual growth. Mine or another's who lives intertwine with mine....

I also believe diseases are a natural part of life. Sometimes it's a consequence of past choices and events.

Faith is not questioning the plan he has set out for us....which is hard to do, in this turbulent world. Faith is believing in Him and what he has set out for us. Enduring, growing in faith. To trust Him. To rejoice and weather...we know with the knowledge of faith that we are able to see beyond this 'madness' if you will.

We have to keep walking, enduring through the trials and tribulation that have been set out before us in ever deepening faith...finding a form of enlightment.

For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:36....I had to look it up too. I don't remember verses..I recall them...general idea where they are.


Though being a believer of God...I recommend reading Buddhism...have you? It will help you to find a center, a place of understanding..a peace, if you will as a human being with emotions. To help accept the suffering of the world, of your daughter. To help you find a connection..a spiritual one within yourself. I know it has helped me...by adding to my faith but you may like it alone or it may lead you to a path of religion.

It pains me your heart hurts..I can't imagine a life without hope..no God to hope to or have faith in. It is probably the same feeling with a different subject you may have..like how can I have hope and believe in something I can't see, eh? or something like that...

I hope I was able to answer your question...

Love,
Oluwa

mountaindreamer
03-03-2009, 08:08 PM
hi silentscream,

Finding "a spiritual connection within yourself" is where you can find the strength to accept that which you can not change, and where you will find some peace while struggling with the turmoil of your daughter's pain.

I can find this connection within myself by simply sitting in the mountains and engulfing the gift of beautiful nature. Finding your own inner connection will help you stand strong next to your daughter. You will remain strong even during times when she must lean on you.....

I can't provide any logistic debate about the practicality of inner connection. It comes from our core, our soul. It is personal, and it is what keeps us from being beaten down during the trials of life.

keep searching our friend,,,,,you are obviously an amazing dad.

phyllis

rob
03-04-2009, 06:50 AM
I am no longer in the business of changing minds just wish I had that faith.
After being away for church (12 years of Catholic School) I find myself walking into church, I was driving down the road yesterday and there was a statue of the virgin Mary outside a Church surrounded my flowers and a wood bench to pray.
I made a u-turn and sat there, talking to a statue and making every deal, offer, negotiation I could think of. "If you save my kid, I'll do this or that...

I wish I had the faith. I wish sins of the father were not passed to the innocent.

I'm very much like you. I am not a religious person at all. I suppose you could consider me an athiest. I know many athiests actively push religion away, and want nothing to do with it. I find myself wanting that faith that I see so many other people taking comfort in. I want to believe in a higher power. I mentioned before that I say prayers for my friends who are in need. I don't know who or what might be listening, but saying the prayers is a form of faith I think. I don't know what I believe, I haven't "seen the light" or had some miraculous conversion, I find my thoughts and beliefs changing just a little at a time. Maybe that's how it happens for some people.

AyahsClan
03-08-2009, 05:24 PM
After reading this thread, feeling the pain, I wasn't even sure how I could express my faith that would give someone peace, so please forgive me if I do not succede in that.

I do not have to reject science in order to embrace an Intelligent Creator. Science leads me there. But that's a whole nother subject.

When I came to a place in my life, a place near death, I surrendered my soul to Jesus because He came for me. Then HE did all the work. It was as if two countries were at war and it would never come to an end until one side surrendered to the other. The Creator does not surrender to His creation, it has to be the other way around.

Jesus is called the Good Shepherd because He will never lose his sheep. When they run away from Him as sheep will sometimes do, He will risk His life to fight our greatest enemy and bring us home. Sometimes in this crazy world it is hard to see or hear Him but He is here in the face of every suffering child, every mourning mother for her child, every victim of persecution.

On suffering; if I see my life as if this is all there is, then yes my suffering seems unfair. When I see my life on earth as but the blink of an eye compared to eternity on the other side, then suffering is now in its proper perspective. This is not easy to accept but for me, suffering and adversity has changed me. If I can leave the bitterness behind, suffering teaches empathy, sincerity, authenticity, that can deepen who I am. In the book of Job it tells of a man's terrible suffering. People talked smack to him and about him. His faith was so strong he said these words; though He slay me, yet will I trust him.

I have lost faith in religion, in mankind, in my friends and family. I have suffered terrible things no woman should ever suffer, but my faith in God is unshakable. After I surrendered to Him, He then revealed more and more of himself to me. He guides me and comforts me in ways words can not describe.

Wishing you peace,

Ayah

sick n tired
03-08-2009, 09:11 PM
Ayah...well spoken and my sentiments exactly.
I, too, have lost faith in 'religion' and the hypocrisy of many churches but my hope and faith in Jesus Christ remains firm. Nice to meet you, sister...(if I knew where the "more" button is I would now post a large smiley face) :-)

sick n tired
03-08-2009, 09:12 PM
Look at that all I did was make a typical smiley face on the post and a smiley came up...cool....;-0 (trying something different) ;-)

AyahsClan
03-08-2009, 10:09 PM
Ayah...well spoken and my sentiments exactly.
I, too, have lost faith in 'religion' and the hypocrisy of many churches but my hope and faith in Jesus Christ remains firm. Nice to meet you, sister...(if I knew where the "more" button is I would now post a large smiley face) :-)

LOL best chuckle I've had all day! Ok here goes : ) : ( ;)

AyahsClan
03-08-2009, 10:30 PM
Ayah...well spoken and my sentiments exactly.
I, too, have lost faith in 'religion' and the hypocrisy of many churches but my hope and faith in Jesus Christ remains firm. Nice to meet you, sister...(if I knew where the "more" button is I would now post a large smiley face) :-)

Nice to know you too my sister.

I was clicking through "Christian" TV today and was so turned off. It disgusted me, "send us your love offering", "I'm wealthy and successful you should imitate me", then chanting, ...There are a few TV evangelists I would give my attention to. I have a measuring stick I use to decide if a church is valid or not: what charity do they have? How many hungry people do they feed? How many widows and orphans do they care for? Do they advertise how great they are? Or do they serve the community with a humble heart? If they have no charity they are dysfunctional and invalid.

The gospel message is a simple one; Matthew 25 :37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

It's all about the love, and love gives hope.

mama hobbit
03-14-2009, 06:33 PM
After reading this thread, feeling the pain, I wasn't even sure how I could express my faith that would give someone peace, so please forgive me if I do not succede in that.

I do not have to reject science in order to embrace an Intelligent Creator. Science leads me there. But that's a whole nother subject.

When I came to a place in my life, a place near death, I surrendered my soul to Jesus because He came for me. Then HE did all the work. It was as if two countries were at war and it would never come to an end until one side surrendered to the other. The Creator does not surrender to His creation, it has to be the other way around.

Jesus is called the Good Shepherd because He will never lose his sheep. When they run away from Him as sheep will sometimes do, He will risk His life to fight our greatest enemy and bring us home. Sometimes in this crazy world it is hard to see or hear Him but He is here in the face of every suffering child, every mourning mother for her child, every victim of persecution.

On suffering; if I see my life as if this is all there is, then yes my suffering seems unfair. When I see my life on earth as but the blink of an eye compared to eternity on the other side, then suffering is now in its proper perspective. This is not easy to accept but for me, suffering and adversity has changed me. If I can leave the bitterness behind, suffering teaches empathy, sincerity, authenticity, that can deepen who I am. In the book of Job it tells of a man's terrible suffering. People talked smack to him and about him. His faith was so strong he said these words; though He slay me, yet will I trust him.

I have lost faith in religion, in mankind, in my friends and family. I have suffered terrible things no woman should ever suffer, but my faith in God is unshakable. After I surrendered to Him, He then revealed more and more of himself to me. He guides me and comforts me in ways words can not describe.

Wishing you peace,

Ayah

Ayah, bless you for these words of wisdom and truth.

Rastagirl
04-10-2009, 12:37 AM
I'm coming back to this thread because at first, I couldn't formulate the words I had to try to express my beliefs.

I'm what you might call a newer Christian...so not strongly confident in sharing how I came to my faith, mostly because I'm nonconfrontational and get very uncomfortable when my faith is challenged. I just don't like to argue. I know what I believe...and I believe very strongly that this life on earth, with the suffering and injustice is not all there is, it can't be, or else how do any of us have any hope at all as we go through our lives. It used to scare me to think that once you died, that it was all over...the end...nothing more. I was so afraid of dying. But as I came to my faith in God, slowly, little by little, I finally understood faith, and exactly who God is and what He has done for me. And what He offers me when my time on earth is over.

So when I read a few of your responses, about "'maybe that's the way it comes to you, a little at a time....." that hit home for me. That's exactly the way it was for me. You see, I believe, that God has put a special place in each of our heart's that can only be filled by Him. He made us that way....and that's why we feel empty and hopeless, when we do not have Him in our life. We may search for other things to fill that need, things that are earthly, but we will never be satisfied by them. We will never have our deep desire to be loved totally and unconditionally by any person or thing on this earth, because God is the only one that can do it. So, I believe He draws us to Him...a little bit at a time...sometimes over years...sometimes over an entire lifetime. And he does it by our experiences and by the people that cross our paths.

I personally got scared and ran away from Him many times, but something in my heart kept making me stop and turn around and take a look again. When I was first diagnosed with Lupus, at 18, my world turned upside down, felt like my foundation had been pulled right out from under me. But I grew up without religion in my life, we didn't go to church. My parents allowed me to explore churches that my friends went to, so the seed was planted. But exploring the different religions, mormon, catholic, jewish, etc. had me hearing all different kinds of messages. So I just got more confused. I had no foundation. And no one I trusted that I could ask my questions about God.

It's taken me a very long time to sort out my faith and what I believe, and I think that each of us is given the time on this earth to do that for ourselves....even if it takes us a lifetime to do so. So I believe, that faith comes to some of us a little bit at a time. But it is well worth the time that it takes to get there because it helps us to be the person that God intends for us to be.

Fondly.........and because I care,

Lori :heart: