Crisis of faith

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Travelsong, Dec 23, 2002.

  1. Travelsong

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    Has anyone here ever gone through or known someone who has gone through a crisis of faith? I'd be interested in hearing any insights you might have about the experience including what events brought you or a loved one through the trial and back into a more assured walk with God.
     
  2. Aaron

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    I recognize the jargon from Experiencing God.

    Yes, I know several people and I for one. Will I go into details? No.

    But this I know, no one truly has faith unless they can honestly say they would love Him if all He offered them was pain and suffering.
     
  3. Helen

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    Tavelsong, I don't think there is a Christian alive who has NOT gone through a crisis of faith. First, as young adults, we really must wrestle with God. There is no way around that. Maybe the wrestling will take place later, but it must take place, just as it did with Jacob.

    But there are other crises of faith, too. When life seems to tumble down and all we can do is wonder "Why did God allow this to happen?" I had a severe crisis of faith right after my husband of 20 years left me (eleven years ago). I had prayed for him so much! Didn't God hear my prayers? What would happen to me and the six kids now? How on earth could any of this have come out this way? Did God even care at all?

    I cried myself to sleep for a solid year. But, through time, God picked up the pieces of a shattered faith based on my intellectual understanding and analysis and replaced it with a faith based on a personal relationship between Him and me. Something far more quiet, and deep, and sure than my own mind could ever be.

    God did not allow me to 'lose faith,' but rather He changed the basis of my faith, and therefore its very character, to something He not only preferred, but knew was far better and more stable for me. Bless His Name!
     
  4. Pastork

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    I think I would need a better understanding of what you mean by the term "crisis of faith" before I could give a clear answer. For example, are you referring to an event in which a believer contemplates rejecting Christ as his Lord? Or are you referring to a difficult time in a believer's life in which he has to learn to trust God more fully? Or are you referring to a period in which a believer doubts his salvation? It seems the term "crisis of faith" could be appropriately used in any of these ways.

    Pastork
     
  5. Ben W

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    Phillip Yancey writes a book called Disapointment with God which deals with this subject. maybe it will help you?
     
  6. Travelsong

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    What has been going on for several months now is an increasing sense of doubt about everything. That's the only way I can describe it. Sermons ring hollow, my own convictions which seemed so solid in the past now require a bit of acting to pass off. I've fought off doubt like this by simply turning to the Bible in the past but now it just doesn't work. I don't know what to say except maybe I'm turning into a doubting Thomas or possibly even an agnostic.

    I was raised in a Christian family, and have always up to this point known Christ as my saviour. No matter how far I've strayed from my Christian walk He's always been there to pull me back, dust me off, and point me in the right direction again-except now.

    That sounds like real wisdom to me. I will pray that God might also show me where my faith needs to be redirected. Thankyou Helen.

    Never heard of it. Those are my own words, and they are more than jargon.

    I have no intention of being an attention freak here, I just thought that some of you might have insights into this problem and could offer me some help. I don't think I can turn to my family or church with this although I might eventually have to.
     
  7. Abiyah

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    Travelsong--(That name brings up great images!)

    I have been through this, the last time about four
    years ago. I had doubted much of what I had al-
    ways believed re the Bible, church, and everything
    about them, until I came to the point of even losing
    faith in the existance of our God.

    The last time, my solution was to turn to the Bible
    and to deeper study than I had ever done before.
    I would take those parts or ideas I doubted and
    research until I got to the the only solution possi=
    ble. This research often took me to not only the
    Bible, my own library, and the original languages,
    but to the Internet, the public library.

    Although my biblical questions were getting an-
    swers, in the midst of it, I still, as I said, began to
    doubt our God. When this happened, I remember
    the day I told Him, "I refuse to act upon this doubt.
    I am going to continue on in my life as I have since
    I first began to love You, until You prove Yourself
    to me again, even if You never do!" My mind was
    set; I was both determined and stubborn about it.

    Obviously, He answered my prayer. Today, there
    is no doubt. My faith in Him is stronger than ever,
    although my faith in humanity still waivers--with
    good reason. 8o) I learned that it was my trust in
    human beings that brought this crisis on, rather
    than anything else. Regardless, I am glad I went
    through it, because as a result, my faith has been
    removed from certain entities and placed squarely
    upon our God, rather than on those who can and
    did fail me.

    This is all I can go on--my own experience. I ask
    you to hang in there, doing what brings you back
    to full faith. He is able and wants to bring you
    there.

    [ December 26, 2002, 08:17 AM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  8. Molian

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    There is another force that we must not forget about in our times of "crisis of faith". Satan truly loves to plant doubt in the heart of a believer. We must be aware that spiritual warfare exists and be on guard. In my experience, prayer, bible study, and fellowship with other believers helps pull me thouugh.
     
  9. Helen

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    Travelsong, what you are experiencing is perfectly normal and not only that, but necessary, especially if you are, as I am betting you are, in your twenties (and probably in your early twenties).

    So, first of all, don't panic. God is real and when He is done allowing/leading you through this area of your life, your faith will be founded on HIM as a person, and not on any history of faith you may have had, or anyone's teachings, or anything other than Him Himself. This is what it means to 'know' God and for Him to know you. (Remember the warning that there were to be some who would hear, "Depart from me, I never knew you!" ?)

    Secondly, grab onto the one thing that you know is sure: Jesus Himself. You know He was historically true, and you know that if He was NOT Lord, then He was either a liar or a lunatic, and you know He wasn't one of those. So, like a little child, hang on to Him fiercely and with total determination as you walk through this time.

    This is a wrestling with God time. And it's OK. You are not about to be lost into the darkenss, but rather you will find a new relationship with Him far deeper and more real than anything you have known before. Work your way through your thoughts, bit by bit, and don't be afraid of this, OK?

    Just hang on to Jesus. You know He is for real even if everything else isn't.
     
  10. Pastork

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    Travelsong,

    I second the other points that have been made thus far, but in order to help you further I would also like to ask you a question. In the midst of such doubt and temptation, why do you suppose it is that you keep believing enough to be troubled by your doubts and seek help from other Christians?

    Looking forward to your answer,
    Keith

    [ December 26, 2002, 01:30 PM: Message edited by: Pastork ]
     
  11. Ben W

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    Here is a suggestion my friend, read four chapters of the New Testament each day and really make an effort to pray for more than a few minutes. When things come against us and make us feel like things are not worthwhile, sometimes we need to take the Billy Goat approach and press in and meet them head on.

    Another thing to think about is where your personal ministry for the Lord is heading, and give it some work. [​IMG]
     
  12. Jim1999

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    Whilst I have never experienced a crisis of belief in the Lord or my salvation, I did face a trial regarding my calling to ministry.

    In my opinion, there is nothing like a good and faithful friend with whom to share your doubts. I knew the scripture regarding the calling, but it took a close friend to convince me about my vocation.

    The last word: You take care of your spiritual relationship, and God will take care of your gegraphical location.....in other words, wrestle it out, in prayer or with a friend, and God will take care of the rest.

    Cheers, and God's speed,

    Jim
     
  13. mesly

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    I went through this very thing about a year ago. What has really helped me is to re-read the gospels and to fall in love with my Savior all over again. All too often we lose sight of the Person and allow other things to cloud our vision of Him. I feel revived again!

    I will keep you in prayer.
     
  14. Travelsong

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    Sorry it took so long for me to get back to you but it's been real hectic with the holidays and all.

    My first impulse is to turn to other Christians because I am sure that there are some if not many who have gone through similar experiences and can offer first hand help based on those experiences.

    I wouldn't turn to athiesm because it cannot explain my condition apart from biological imperatives and millions of years of evolution. If I felt the need to convince myself that faith in the unseen was irrational because the rules of human logic dictate it, then perhaps I would begin an academic pursuit in more secular outlets.

    I also wouldn't turn to other religions because as far as I am concerned, The Bible and the Gospel of salvation explain who we are and what we are here for better than anything I have ever encountered. Basically what I am saying is that although I may have doubts I am not about to go off searching for truth elsewhere.

    Thanks to everyone who responded, I really appreciate the efforts to help.

    Oh and Ben W, I ordered that book-thanks for the tip.
     
  15. Aaron

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    Two works:

    Hinds' Feet on High Places

    and

    The Pilgrim's Progress.
     
  16. Travelsong

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    Thankyou Aaron [​IMG]

    I'm already a reader of Bunyan, but I will definately look into Hinds' Feet on High Places
     
  17. Pastork

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    Travelsong,

    It sounds as though your faith is stronger than your doubting. But why would you continue to have faith even while doubting? Could it be that in the midst of your doubting you have discovered a faith stronger than you can take any credit for (after all, you are doubting)? In other words, if you are doubting, then where is your faith coming from? Could it be that the reason you continue to have faith even in the midst of doubting is that the Holy Spirit is keeping you safe from the fiery darts of the evil one? And could it be that He has allowed you to go through such doubting in order to show you His work in your life? There appears to be a faith in you that goes deeper than anything you can explain as a result of your own efforts, a faith that perseveres in the midst of the strongest doubts, a faith that only the Holy Spirit can produce. Am I right?

    Pastork
     

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