When faith gets confusing

Faith can be so confusing, can’t it? 

Maybe you’re a new believer. You know Jesus loves you and forgives you, and you’re excited to be part of his family. Still . . . you try to read the Bible that a friend gave you, but—holy moly—there’s some weird stuff in there. Other parts are so far over your head that you get overwhelmed. Maybe you have questions but aren’t sure you want to ask them out loud because you don’t want to look stupid: 

  • What are the Ten Commandments that so many people talk about? 
  • My church stands up and sits down a lot. Why?
  • What’s this “Communion” thing people talk about?
  • I think that John 3:16 sign at football games might have something to do with church, but I’m not sure. 
  • Does God really love me? Does he actually forget my sins? I mean, the things I did in my past are so embarrassing.

Maybe you’ve been a believer for as long as you can remember. Your parents took you to church your whole life. Still . . . no matter how much you read the Bible, sometimes you still feel distant. You’ve heard the Story more than once, but it still seems confusing. Maybe you have questions but aren’t sure you want to ask them out loud because surely you should know more by now:

  • God says that with faith as small as a mustard seed I can tell the mountain to throw itself into the sea. I believe, and I’ve prayed for my family member to be healed, so why hasn’t God said yes?
  • God says to train children in the way they should go and they won’t turn from it. But my child has completely turned away. What did I do wrong?
  • God says all things will work for good. Why don’t I see it yet?
  • Does God really love me? Does he actually forget my sins? I mean, the things I did in my past are so embarrassing.

You know what? You might not get all the answers you’re looking for in this world—and you will have to wrestle with whether what you believe about God is backed up by what the Bible says about God. Plus, there are hard parts of the Bible where two truths seem to conflict. This can all make your mind race. So, for all of us, even as we follow God’s command to grow in faith and in the knowledge of God, sometimes we need the reminder to keep faith simple.

When you get overwhelmed, instead of getting caught up in how much information there is to learn or stressing if you’re doing it right or worrying about your standing with God, listen to an elderly man named John who talks like a loving grandpa as he’s reassuring us all:

“This is how we know that we belong to the truth . . . because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us” (1 John 3:19,22,23).

Today, if you’ve been feeling overwhelmed, remember that instead of being confused before God, you can know that you belong to the truth because you keep it simple:

  1. Believe in Jesus. 
  2. Love others as he commanded. 

 

Linda Buxa is a writer and editor who was raised in the church and has read her Bible multiple times and still sometimes skims over hard or confusing parts.

 

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