Questioning your faith

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by milby, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. milby

    milby
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    I was talking to a relatively new Christian today and he asked me something I didn't know how to answer so I request your help.

    He came to Jesus several months ago and has been on fire for the Lord ever since. He witnesses to everyone he has the opportunity to, hands out gospel tracts, and has really had a wonderful conversion experience.

    The other night his car broke down on the interstate. He was able to limp it into a rest area but had to leave it there overnight. He prayed to God that He would watch over his car and protect it as this is his only vehicle. He had faith that God would protect it and slept well that night. The next day when he went to tow his car he discovered that it had been vandalized during the night.

    Now...He also has a little grandaughter that he dearly loves and means the world to him. He also prays everynight that God will watch over her and protect her.

    He said he truly believed and had faith that God would protect his car and because his car was vandalized he said his faith is shaken and now he worries about his little grandaughter.

    How would YOU answer this? Another question would be why doesn't God hear or answer our prayer every time?
     
  2. mont974x4

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    Learning to trust God in all things is part of our growth. If we are honest we would all have to admit to having times of doubt. However we must rest in Him.


    Rom 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
    Rom 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;
    Rom 8:30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
    Rom 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
    Rom 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

    Note that ALL things will work for our good if we are His. That means even the times of great trial will produce greater faith, greater trust, and righteousness in our lives.

    The below is a note from my sermon "God's Sovereignty in Trials"

    Isa 45:5 "I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me;
    Isa 45:6 That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun That there is no one besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other,
    Isa 45:7 The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these.
    Isa 45:8 "Drip down, O heavens, from above, And let the clouds pour down righteousness; Let the earth open up and salvation bear fruit, And righteousness spring up with it. I, the LORD, have created it.
    Isa 45:9 "Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker-- An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, 'What are you doing?' Or the thing you are making say, 'He has no hands'?

    Verse 7 tells us that God causes well-being and calamity. This passage tells us that there is no other besides God. God is the creator of all, including us, and we are not in a position to question God. We are the earthen vessels created by God and for God. God desires men to know Him and He will do what is necessary to shows us His glory.


    If it would be helpful I can email you my entire sermon manuscript.
     
  3. mont974x4

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    The prayer question is a separate issue. He does answer our prayers, every one. The problem is we sometimes think that prayer is for us getting God to do our bidding. It is not.

    A man named Robert Law said, “Prayer is a mighty instrument, not for getting our will done in Heaven, but for getting God’s will done on earth.”
     
  4. Winman

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    True faith is always based on a promise of God. Can a person know for certain they will be saved if they call upon Jesus to save them? Yes, because God has promised this.

    Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

    Can your friend (or anyone) know for certain they are saved if they call upon Jesus to save them? Yes, because God has promised this, and God cannot lie.

    Did God promise your friend that he would protect his car from being vandalized? No. So, your friend's faith was not a biblical or scriptural faith, and it was not founded on a promise from God.

    I would tell your friend to study the scriptures and discover the many promises God has made to us. Can these promises be depended upon? Yes.

    But if God does not make a diirect promise to you, you cannot presume that that prayer will be answered. This is why Jesus did not leap off the temple when the devil tempted him. The devil quoted a promise of protection from God, but he left out an important part of that promise.

    Here is what the devil said;

    Mat 4:5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
    6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

    The devil was being very tricky here. He was quoting scripture, but he did not quote it verbatim. Here is the scripture he was quoting;

    Psa 91:11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
    12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

    Did you spot the very subtle difference between what the devil said to Jesus and what the scriptures actually say? The devil left out four little, but important words. The devil left out;

    IN ALL THY WAYS

    The promise of protection in Psa 91:11-12 ONLY applies if you are following God's ways, that is, you are obeying his commands. "in all thy ways" is not speaking of our ways, it is speaking of God's ways.

    If God had commanded Jesus to jump from the temple and promised to send angels to catch him, then that is exactly what God would have done. But God did not command Jesus to jump from the temple, and so even Jesus could not presume his protection. There is no protection promised when you take it upon yourself to do whatever you wish. No, you have to be obeying God and following his commands, then and only then does he promise to protect you.

    God did not promise to protect your friend's car, but your friend can be certain that God is looking over him and his grand-daughter.

    Explain this to your friend. Tell him to study God's promises, and then he will know which promises he can claim as a child of God. He will soon see that God always keeps his word, and his faith will grow.

    But if he prays outside of God's revealed will, he can expect disappointment and his faith will waver. It is not God's fault, but his own.
     
    #4 Winman, Jan 26, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2012
  5. Baptist Believer

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    Great quote.

    Sometimes we get the idea that prayer allows us to dictate what we think should happen instead of submitting our will to God to let Him decide what is best for His glory. Don't get me wrong, I think we should be bold in our prayers, but at the same time recognize that there's a good chance we won't get what we pray for because God is working things out another way and/or we are asking for the wrong things.

    We can have faith that God hears us and will work all things for good (the greater good, not necessarily our immediate personal good) for those who are His intentional disciples and are living and working in the Spirit.
     
  6. Christos doulos

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    My friend. God hears and answers all prayers. Sometimes He answers immediately, other times a little while later, and there are times where nothing happens which means God said, no to what you prayed for.

    God does everything for our good and His glory, what if vandalizing his car resulted in someone being saved? We don't fully understand why He does or allow certain things, but we know we can trust Him.

    God promises us trial and tribulations. He uses them to mold us in teh way He wants us to be-conformed in the image of Jesus Christ.
     
  7. milby

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    If its not too much trouble that would be great.
     
  8. freeatlast

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    Hello milby. You are not the first to ask this. Usually this idea stems from an improper interpretation of scripture. Another problem here is that when people call things something they are not. In this case it is the word faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God, Romans 10:17. What your friend did was assume, hope or trust in his own incorrect belief, not pray in faith. There is no place that says God will protect our vehicles. This kind of thinking of believing something strong enough is faith has come from people like Kenneth Copland as well as others and sadly has shipwrecked a many a lives.
    What God has promised us is tribulation or persecution 2Tim 3:12. It is good to pray and seek God in all things, but it is not good to think just because we believe something we are asking in faith and it will be granted. I would say that the Lord did your friend a favor by stopping him in his tracks over this false belief he has before something serious happens. Your friend needs to revisit his/her understanding of faith, of who God is, and how He is really working in our lives as to what He has actually promised. If you remember even Paul prayed and was turned down 2Cor 12:7-10. If your friend can learn this lesson that Paul was confronted with he will be much better off. Pray for all things but accept how God decides to handle the thing being prayed about and praise Him for who He is even if we do not get what we expect.
     
    #8 freeatlast, Jan 27, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 27, 2012
  9. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    That is a great question you bring up milby.

    I know in my times of trials when someone has quoted me that “all things work together for good” I have wanted to punch them in the mouth. And I have to disagree with mont974x4’s definition.

    Sometimes great trail produces greater faith, trust, and righteousness. Sometimes it produces broken men with no faith and no trust who no longer seek righteousness. When God says “all things work together for good” he has a very different view than we do. From our temporal, human point of view often things don’t appear to work for good. It is only from his eternal view that they do. What good comes out of a horrific death or a debilitating disease? Sometimes we do see good, but often we don’t.

    Your friend should be worried about his granddaughter. And probably should not leave her unattended in a rest area overnight. Seriously, there are no guarantees. We have to accept a God that brings trial and misfortune as well as blessings. For years I prayed for my children’s salvation, long before they were born. I used to pray that if they were not going to be saved then I did not want God to allow them to be born, of course I did, who wants a child in hell. Then one day God showed me that there just were no guarantees for that. My actions, life and testimony can play a part, but there are no guarantees.

    It is good that your friend is learning this early in his Christian life, with a small trial like his car being vandalized. When the bigger trials come he will be better prepared to endure them. That is probably the good that will come out of this, but we can’t always figure out what that is. Sometimes we just have to trust that God knows what he is doing. If, someday, in heaven he chooses to explain why certain things happened then he will. If he never does, well he is God; he is under no obligation to explain himself to me.

    Why do the righteous suffer? And why do the wicked prosper? I have preached on those topics many times and there are several good passages of scripture that relate. One of my favorites is the others in Hebrews 11. In verses 36-39 of that chapter we read about the “others.” After the “hall of fame.” After the wonderful stories of how God intervened and worked miracles. We read about the others who simply suffered and died for the cause of Christ. For every time God stepped into the Lion’s den and stopped their mouths how many were eaten and slain? How many have been martyred over the centuries. How many saints’ blood cries out for justice before the throne of God?

    The real question you and your friend need to ask is not, “Why did God let this thing happen to my car?” but “Will I praise God anyway?”
     
  10. Amy.G

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    Ouch. But thanks.
     
  11. Gina B

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    Because it rains on the just and the unjust alike. God isn't a genie on a cloud that grants wishes. Did he hear? Of course. Did he grant the request? Sounds like he didn't! Sin came into the world, and we live with the consequences. Some criminals decided to sin and vandalize his vehicle.

    God never promises to protect us from the stupid decisions of others. He promises salvation to believers. He promises justice at the end of time. He tells us that ALL things work together for those that love God, meaning that what people do that is evil, he will cause some type of good to come from it and even though we may not find that good or understand it, he promises that we will understand things better in the future.

    Horrible things happen in this life. Until sin is taken away, they will continue. It is a struggle to grasp the concept that we serve a God who is capable of stopping evil things and doesn't. Yet we also know that says he won't, that the world is running her course until He returns and all things are made new and creation is restored back to the original intention.

    And tell him it takes a long time for that faith to build. A lot of us spent years with those same struggles and just when we think our faith is stronger, something else shakes it. Part of getting through being shaken is just having it happen repeatedly, AND IT WILL, but then we learn from it and have something to look back at and say "God got me through that, he'll get me through this" and as life goes on, that gets a little easier until you finally reach a point where yes, one naturally will feel some fear or anger over a certain situation, but it doesn't shake your faith anymore. Or you start realizing it takes a whole lot more for your faith to be shaken, and you start having faith that your faith will be totally restored too and you learn to wait quietly for that and rest in the knowledge that you'll be fully restored to a quieter spiritual state.

    Sounds weird to say "have faith in faith," but that's the point I got to about midway between having it easily shaken and having a much more solid, firm faith.
     
  12. DaChaser1

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    The Lord promises to watch over and protect us, but at times we will suffer in this world, as it is still under control of the Wicked One system wise, and we all experience trials and tribulations, but God will grant us peace and promise to bring us through until he calls us home!

    He promises to watch over us, NOT to though watch over and protect our property and physical goods, as His relationshipis with us, NOT the physical ggods that He blessed us with!
     
  13. milby

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    No No NO you misunderstood. He didn't leave his grandaughter with the car. Because he prayed for the cars safety and then it was vandalized caused him to doubt whether or not his prayers for his grandaughter were in vain.

    Very good response though, I appreciate it.
     
  14. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    Milby, sorry, yes I did understand, I know he did not leave his granddaughter with the car. I was simply trying to make a point through exaggeration. We can’t simply say a prayer for protection and then ignore common sense and good decision making. Do I want God to protect my children and my possessions? Of course I do, but I also take steps to protect them myself. I can still lock my doors and stay away from places I know are dangerous.

    There was nothing else he could do about the car in this case, but he recognized it was a dangerous situation.

    Nice post Gina B, you nailed it.
     
  15. Scarlett O.

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    Egg-zactly!!! :thumbs:

    What if the friend had not been able to "limp away" and find a rest area to spend the night at? What if the friend had stayed IN THE CAR all night and the wicked people who vandalized the car had killed him?!

    His prayer should be "Thank You, Jesus, that I did not have to encounter those evil people and that I am able to stay here and pray for my granddaughter and help her family."

    Sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees.

     
  16. Scarlett O.

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    milby, I would answer by saying that this is not just a phenomenon with new Christians. Sometimes, long term Christians can experience a tragedy or frightening event and question what they believe. John the Baptist underwent serious doubt while in prison before he was executed.


    It's the ploy of the devil to lead Christians into a life of guilt, despair, fear, and doubt. Remember, he's a roaring lion seeking to devour. God desires us to live with conviction, joy, peace, and hope.


    Tell him not to view life nor God via his circumstances. Circumstances change, are many times out of our control, aren't equitable among humanity, and do not define who we are nor do they define our relationship with Christ. The devil wants us as Christians to gauge our relationship with God via our circumstances.


    Our relationship with God is defined by the blood of Christ and our submission to Him.


    Bad things are going to happen. Children are going to die, people will lose their jobs, our spouses will leave us, evil will run rampant, and there will always be car accidents.

    These events have no bearing on God, His love for us, His Sovereignty, nor our relationship as His children. Being a Christian is no guarantee of a peaceful nor happy existence in this world. But it is a guarantee (literally through the Holy Spirit) of God loving us, protecting us, saving us, and guiding us in spite of dire circumstances.
     
  17. DiamondLady

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    Someone posted this on FB yesterday, but I think it fits this question
    Me (in a tizzy) : God, can I ask you something?

    GOD: Sure.

    Me: Promise you won't get mad?
    ...
    GOD: I promise.

    Me (frustrated): Why did you let so much stuff happen to me today?

    GOD: What do you mean?

    Me: Well, I woke up late.

    GOD: Yes..

    Me: My car took forever to start and at lunch, they made my sandwich wrong and I had to wait.

    GOD: Hmm....

    Me: On the way home, my phone went dead, just as I picked up a call.

    GOD: All right.

    Me (loudly): And to top it all off, when I got home, I just wanted to soak my feet in my foot massager and relax, but it wouldn't work. Nothing went right today! Why did you do that?

    GOD: Well let me see..... the death angel was at your bed this morning and I had to send one of the other angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that.

    Me (humbled): Oh...

    GOD: I didn't let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that might have hit you if you were on the road.

    Me (ashamed): ............

    GOD: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick and I didn't want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn't afford to miss work.

    Me (embarrassed): Oh...

    GOD: Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give a false witness about what you said on that call, I didn't even let you talk to them so you would be covered.

    Me (softly): I see God.

    GOD: Oh and that foot massager, it had a short that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn't think you wanted to be in the dark.

    Me: I'm sorry God.

    GOD: Don't be sorry, just learn to trust me in all things, the good and the bad.

    Me: I WILL trust you God.

    GOD: And don't doubt that my plan for your day is always better than your plan.

    Me: I won't God. And let me just tell you God, thank you for everything today.

    GOD: You're welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I love looking after my children. "

    Scriptural References: II Samuel 22:31, Proverbs 3:5, Hebrews 2:13
     

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