I got to thinking recently about why I believe in God. I’ve been noticing a lot of vehement anti-God things in social media and from various news outlets lately, and while I don’t want to get into any of that, I do want to explain (to anyone who’s interested in hearing) why a twenty-something girl in the twenty-first century subscribes to seemingly ancient, irrelevant beliefs. I don’t really have philosophical reasons for my belief in God, and I don’t know if many people could merely be talked into believing in Him anyway. I believe in God because I’ve experienced too much of Him in my life to believe anything else. Here’s what I mean.
For one thing, I have experienced God’s blessing in the form of my husband. Our whole relationship is a testimony to God’s orchestration; it was all planned, and not remotely coincidental. We never should have met, or started dating, or maintained a relationship, but here we are, ten years on and going strong.
We never should have met because he is from Australia, and I am from Canada. We did meet because his parents are diplomats, and he lived for a period of three years in the nation’s capital, where I happened to grow up. His parents came to the church where I have been going since I was four years old. They liked it so much that it became their home church, and Rob and I became friends, then boyfriend and girlfriend, then husband and wife.
We never should have started dating because Rob was growth hormone deficient. He was part of an experimental study in Australia on synthetic human growth hormone, during which he had daily injections of HGH from ages 5-15, and it worked. I never would have considered a relationship with him if he had been shorter than me (shallow thing that I am), but here we are, both six feet tall.
We never should have maintained a relationship because we were in a long distance relationship for two years, first between Canada and Australia, and then France and England. During that time we were immature and alternately impatient, clingy or emotionally distant, and yet we made it to the altar and beyond.
Because of Rob’s HGH treatments, we didn’t know whether we’d be able to have children. We had been married for just over four years when our daughter Daphne arrived, completely healthy. Her sister Maeve followed two years later, colicky but healthy, too. These girls are a tremendous blessing to me; I have always wanted to be a stay-at-home mother, and because of them, I am. Pregnancy and birth gave me even more reason to believe. My humble body, which I’ve at times despised or at least underappreciated, has been thus far able to bring two very big babies (9lbs 13 oz and 10 lbs, respectively) into the world.
I don’t believe simply because my life has gone well for me; to be honest, my life has been far from perfect, and those who know me well can attest to that. I have my own insecurities, fears, and struggles, and Rob and I have our frustrations and fights. In fact, I believe because of my own weakness and sinfulness. I have done, and continue to do, things that I know to be wrong. And while I may cringe at recalling them, I feel no guilt when I have confessed my sins to God and asked His forgiveness. He forgives me and takes away my guilt.
I believe because when I look around at creation in all its beauty and diversity, I know in my heart that it couldn’t just happen. It had to have been designed.
I believe because I have seen miracles in the lives of people I know well; people who have had terrible, debilitating things in their lives that should have destroyed them, and yet they are stronger in their faith in God than ever. It’s not an act, it’s not blind faith, and it’s not wishful thinking. It’s supernatural in that it makes no human sense.
I believe because I have sat under some amazing teaching that comes from ordinary people used by God in a powerful way. In particular, my pastor, Rick Reed, is able to explain God’s word in a way that is deeply personal, relevant, and practical. Through his teaching, I meet with God every Sunday.
I believe because I read and understand the word of God, and I know it to be true. It has convicted me of sin and motivated me to give my life over to God again and again. I believe because I have experienced answers to prayer, even though they’re not always the answers that I’ve wanted.
I believe because I have experienced God’s provision. By all accounts, my family and I shouldn’t be able to own a house and live on one income. And on many occasions (mostly when we were first married, and I was in school, and Rob wasn't a permanent resident so he wasn't allowed to work), we’ve had God provide for us when He prompted other people to give us what we need, such as money, gift cards for food, even a car.
I believe because I have seen God’s timing. One example among many: on an ordinary Sunday last spring, from the moment I woke up, I knew I was supposed to go and share the gospel with my grandpa. He had been sick for many years, and had outlived his doctors’ predicted life expectancies many times. I didn’t want to go; I get very emotional about matters of faith, and as a result I don’t always speak very clearly. But I went. It was the last lucid conversation I had with my grandpa, and when he died three weeks later, I knew for a fact that at least once in his life, he heard the good news of Jesus Christ and had a chance to respond. Now I want to share that same gospel with you, so that if you happen to still be reading this, you will definitely have heard the good news and had a chance to respond.
We are all sinners. You, me, and everyone we’ve ever met. It started when the first two created people, Adam and Eve, disobeyed God’s command. Since then, every person ever born has had a propensity towards evil. You don’t need to look much further than a young child (including my own) to see this: we don’t have to teach them to do what is wrong, but we do have to teach and reinforce what is right. The thing about sin (our selfish and immoral thoughts, words, actions and inactions) is that it separates us from God, who made us. There are no degrees of sin, by the way. No one sin is worse than another. Homosexuality is as much a sin as talking negatively about someone. Abortion is as much as sin as judging people. God doesn’t compare us to one another, but to Himself. He is so holy that he can’t even be around sin. In fact, sin requires a payment, in the form of death. In the Old Testament, when you sinned, something had to die; an innocent sacrifice had to take your place.
There’s only one person who has ever lived a completely innocent, sinless life, and the Bible tells us that it was Jesus. Not only did he live a perfect life by God’s standard, but He paid the debt that every one of us owed when He was killed. He showed Himself to be even more powerful than death itself when He raised Himself from the grave three days after His death. And if you believe that He paid for your sins, you get to claim His righteousness for yourself. God sees you as righteous, and you get all kinds of amazing things through that. You get forgiveness for your sins, and freedom from guilt. You understand the purpose for your life: to glorify him in what you do. This is what we were made for. You also get to live with Him in heaven forever after you die, and spend eternity the way you were meant to: bringing God the honour He deserves. We don’t deserve this, and we can’t earn it. It’s grace, a free gift to us from the God who loves us enough to send His Son to die for us.
Do you believe that you aren’t perfect? Do you believe that Jesus paid the price for you? It’s easy enough to understand that a child can become a follower of Christ, as I did when I was seven years old, and as I pray my children will do when they are old enough. I am so thankful that I was told about all this when I was young, and I can’t imagine living any other way.
Here’s a prayer you can offer up to God if you believe these things:
I know that I’m a sinner, and deserving only of death. I’m turning away from living only to please myself, and trusting in Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection as my only hope. I accept You as my Saviour and the Lord of my life. Please come into my heart and life today. Thank you for forgiving me and giving me eternal life.
Amen. [May it be so.]