| losing my faith|
I have posted on here many times about this and felt like this place was a refuge for pouring my heart out and for telling everyone my struggles. For me sadly I have got better in certain things and many prayers have been answered, but the one prayer of mine that has not been answered has been the one about my relationship with Jesus Christ. It has now been about 4 years or so since i began to notice my heart was getting hardened towards the Lord and that i no longer was feeling the Holy Spirit lead me anymore. This past year or two i have sought God like i never have before whether its is prayer, reading his word, attending church, etc. I really have sought the Lord, but it seems my heart is only getting worse and more hard. Over the past month or two my faith in Christ has got to the point where i am just doubting him completely and his word, i have doubted before, but my heart always still believed, but now it is like i am really doubting now in my heart not just in my mind. I see myself just getting worse. I mean how much can someone get prayed for and seek God on his own and everything still get worse. I just dont understand. Is their any hope for me?
| 2013/9/21 12:09||Profile|
Phoenix, Arizona USA
| Re: losing my faith|
Brother, have you discussed this with your church leadership? Do you have a group of brothers that you can meet with and discuss these things?
You know, the old Methodists used to get together weekly in small groups called class meetings and discuss the practical matters of walking out the Christian life. The emphasis of these meetings was not lecturing or preaching but rather on present and personal growth. In such an environment you may be instructed and encouraged by others who go through the same struggles. It seems that such a gathering may be beneficial to you, perhaps you could discuss this with your pastor?
| 2013/9/21 15:35||Profile|
| Re: losing my faith|
As I read your post I weep and pray for you. I am, perhaps, not the most qualified to answer this question nevertheless in this case I will share. The words I will say have no doubt been shared with you before. Please do not take them as flippant, or an attempt at an easy answer, or an effort to minimize your pain. I believe there is hope for you. As you have written you are seeking Christ in every way you know. Your heart has been broken and according to this and previous testimony you have walked in repentance and obedience according to the light that you have, however dim it may seem. According to the Word which is established forever in heaven you will have what you have what you seek. Now, according to Luke 18 "God will avenge his elect which cry day and night to him though He bears long with them." The whole reason the parable was given is found in the first verse "that men ought always to pray and not faint." It seems that God has promised to answer the persistent petetion, however, it will be in his time. Again this may seem like pouring salt in the wound, after all for 4 years you have prayed, sought, and fought for your faith but in fact this is just the circumstance that this portion ws written for. To remind those seekers that God is not unjust nor uncaring but allowing true faith, not based on feelings but love, to mature. To use the illustration of the refiner's fire. You are the gold being purified and it is the refiner,not the gold, that determines when the process is done. This process is just what it sounds like,painful agonizing even, and that can be seen in your posts. I personally have heated metal and know that as it heats it groans and creaks from the changes taking place but if not taken to the place of purifying the dross it becomes brittle and worthless so the heat is turned higher until that perfect tempreature is reached when the groaning ceases and it is not only malleable but, when slowly brought to cool it is stronger than it ever would have been had the thing not been fired. You are groaning and rightfully so but the question of losing your faith is the same asked of Jesus. Will he find faith on the earth? Will you persist until He deems you complete? What makes you doubt? Is it the length of the struggle? Is it the constant barrage of attacks? Is it that God does not draw near in an emotional or manifest way? I do not know and will not try to guess but these all seem plausable. In any case the Word still stands whether you doubt it or not. A preacher at Times Square church, Brother Wilkerson or Conlon said in a sermon, concerning the Word, that we are not called to understand it only believe it. Smith Wigglesworth had as his motto in life "only believe." Intellectually this is difficult, to surrender reasoning to faith, but it is sometimes necessary to get beyond our own timelines and deadlines and into the eternal plans of the Lord. Your struggle has been long and I pray for an end, in God's time. Until then I pray that you will have grace and the strength to stand and that your faith will remain intact. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding... and remember in all things God is in control. Your brother in Christ
| 2013/9/21 16:04||Profile|
| Re: |
Brother, your not alone, I think if most here were completely honest, we have all been in your shoes. It's not easy living for the Lord in such a dead world, you said something that caught my attention, "I have doubted before, but my heart always still believed" I can relate so much. I don't want to make this thread about me, its not about me, so I am just saying this to let you know to hang in there. I went through a divorce after 38 years in 09 "she was on some powerful prescription drugs and filed" she passed this past year of a overdose, then on 2-24-13 of this year my 19 year old son took his life. Brother I am a living testimony you can make it, no it's not easy, it's not easy at all, but it's worth it. I sometimes want to just go jump off the deep end, but God keeps telling me if you do I will catch you, see he won't even let me get away from him. We all have pains, some just handle them better than others and that's ok, God made us all different. The most powerful thing we have in our artillery to fight our battles in life is Prayer, and trust me it works! but on Gods timing. Yes I hate waiting, it's been 4 years for me since my battle started, I just feel as though I am at crossroads in my life,"bet you do also" but I am not chasing after the Lord, I don't have to he is right here by my side, he is my comforter, he knows me better than I do, he is helping me pick up the pieces one day at a time. Brother, I feel your pain, but remember, no matter how much you might think you are falling away from Him, he is always there to catch us, we are the kind of folks God drops everything for, if we can just keep trusting him. Going to Church, reading your Bible, seeking him is always good, but he knows our hearts, he knows sometimes we just want to give up, get alone with Him, just talk to him as you would your on father. I know most that have not been in our shoes won't understand this, but sometimes we can "over seek him" been there done that, it just made things worse, so I just let it all go, Church, Reading my Bible, and just focused on Him alone, and I grew closer to Him than I have ever have been in my life. Remember, were all as dirty rags, all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags. Kick back Brother! he is right there with you, right by your side, you might think your falling away, but you can't he won't let you, I could write you a book on wanting to get away from God, but you can't and you know it, he loves you to much, and you love him to much.
God Bless Brother!
Your Not Alone!
| 2013/9/21 19:40||Profile|
| Re: |
The very fact that you are on-goingly concerned about "losing your faith" is actually the greatest evidence that you haven't. You won't lose your faith unless God decrees it; for He alone is the Author of it, not you. Before God, I can tell you I have never known Him to lose any of His own children - and it can be demonstrated from scripture that those who once professed faith in Christ but who are now apostate have "gone out" for the sake of exposure that they were never truly Christ's to begin with (I John 2:19).
The sons and daughters of Satan are left in darkness, but God punishes His own wayward sons and daughters severely, often to the point of absolute misery and despair, but He does not give up on them. There would be no hope for any of us if that were the case. Where would the cut-off point be? How long would you have to go without prayer, without Bible study and fellowship before God finally severs the lifeline? Nobody can answer that question.
It is not your hold on God that saves you, but His on you. If it were dependant on your responsibility to clench your teeth and not your "lose faith", you would have plenty to boast of once you reach heaven's golden shoreline. You could boast for all eternity of how you held on to God while on earth and postulate that all the unfortunate "ex-children" suffering in hell lost their faith because their hold wasn't as stalwart as yours.
Dear friend, if you are God's own, He will deal very strictly with you. You will not be afforded prolonged pleasure in sin; your screaming conscience will prosecute you to no end. God may let you wander for years and years before He pulls you back. It may come via some tragedy, the death of a loved one, financial ruin. He knows when to prick the balloon of our self-sufficiency and bring us reeling back home to repentance.
You know there is always that gnawing awareness of God within you, no matter how low you go, no matter how deep and dark the night. Prior to your adoption in God's family, there was no awareness at all in you - just a void. Guilt and sorrow now fill that void, where joy once occupied. But, notice, the void is still filled, even if it is with God's rod. I would rather have God's rod on my back than Satan's kiss on my cheek.
God's compassion upon you, His child, is infinitely more than you can comprehend, for you are but a visceral being, emotional, logically-geared and subject to interpreting spiritual signals through the corrupt filter of the flesh. This "dark" filter is like the glass Paul makes an analogy to in scripture. Satan is ever on standby to futher obfuscate the truth of God's compassion, for Satan knows that if he can get you to think you will "lose your faith" if you don't do the right things to please God, you will never learn to see God as your Father in eternal sonship, but rather as a celestial magistrate with an ambivalent, conditional and performance-based attitude toward the preservation of your salvation.
A wonderful book I can recommend is Octavius Winslow's "Personal Declension and Revival of Religion in the Soul". It is a little-known gem, full of divine wisdom, encouragement and outstanding scriptural exegesis relating to the subject of backsliding and the subsequent restoration of the backslider.
Paul Frederick West
| 2013/9/21 22:15||Profile|
Whittier CA USA
| Re: losing my faith|
Friend, only God truly knows whether or not you are truly born again, and He exhorts us in His Word to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith. If you have not listened to it I would highly recommend Paul Washer's message "Examine Yourself" found here on SI.
There are only two very real possibilities concerning your situation. Either you are a true believer struggling with certain areas of sin in your life and God is dealing with you, or you are not saved but deceived and going through the motions of a false profession of faith. I don't mean to sound harsh but I believe that's the honest truth in accordance with His Word.
God commands and invites all of us to come to Him in sincerity and humility, to repent and believe in Christ. And He promises all of His children full assurance of their salvation as they abide in Him by faith. Will be praying for you. God bless.
| 2013/9/21 23:36||Profile|
| Re: |
I would rather have God's rod on my back than Satan's kiss on my cheek. Paul West
What a wonderful saying!
| 2013/9/22 7:19|
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"There are only two very real possibilities concerning your situation. Either you are a true believer struggling with certain areas of sin in your life and God is dealing with you,"
I don't think being in the "desert" necessarily has to have anything to do with being disciplined for some struggle with sin. I think a true Christian who is not struggling with sin can be in the desert as well. God may be using it as a trial, but it doesn't mean it is a punishment.
I think we must be careful about making such blanket pronouncements. The original poster did not say he was struggling with sin and that that is the reason for his trial. If he had said so, it would be a different story.
Two quotes from Oswald Chambers:
“Patience is more than endurance. A saint's life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says--'I cannot stand anymore.' God does not heed, He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly. Trust yourself in God's hands. Maintain your relationship to Jesus Christ by the patience of faith. 'Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.”
“At times God puts us through the discipline of darkness to teach us to heed Him. Song birds are taught to sing in the dark, and we are put into the shadow of God's hand until we learn to hear Him...Watch where God puts you into darkness, and when you are there keep your mouth shut. Are you in the dark just now in your circumstances, or in your life with God? Then remain quiet...When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you get into the light.”
| 2013/9/22 8:25||Profile|
| Re: |
One thing I have found when I am in the "valley" is to try to take the inward focus off myself and try to get out and serve others. Sometimes by doing what Jesus tells us to do, we find that our faith really is there.
We don't prove our faith in God by intellectual assent; our faith is proved by doing what He says.
| 2013/9/22 8:31||Profile|
| Re: losing my faith|
by bible4life: I really have sought the Lord, but it seems my heart is only getting worse and more hard. Over the past month or two my faith in Christ has got to the point where i am just doubting him completely and his word, i have doubted before, but my heart always still believed, but now it is like i am really doubting now in my heart not just in my mind. I see myself just getting worse. I mean how much can someone get prayed for and seek God on his own and everything still get worse. I just dont understand. Is their any hope for me?
You need to pick up a little book called "The practice of the Presence of God" by Brother Lawrence, it is a very little booklet really and sells for 2 or 3 dollars, if you do not have the money let me know and I'll send you a copy this week.
Until you get that booklet just know that Paul told Timothy to be instant in season and out of season, we have those times. Let me know if you need that booklet.
| 2013/9/22 9:25||Profile|