(cont.) and I’m about to move out of state. Because of my anxiety I’ve been having panic attacks almost every day. I can’t eat or I start throwing up and I can’t sleep because I have terrifying nightmares every night. I know that I can’t get through this without God, and I’m trying so hard to put my trust in Him. But I feel so scared and alone and I don’t understand what I did to deserve this. The thing that scares me the most is that I’m starting to doubt that God even exists. I don’t ever want to turn my back on God but but why is He letting me suffer for mistakes that I didn’t make? My question is- How can I put my trust in God when I’m not even sure if I believe in Him anymore?
You’re not a bother at all. I’m sorry it’s taken so long for me to respond.
What you are feeling makes a lot of sense. You’ve been cheated on, you’ve been dumped, you’ve struggled at school, you’ve struggled at work and you’ve dealt with the stress of a move. So of course your anxiety disorder has been triggered. Anyone would have difficulty facing all of those things at once, and you haven’t done anything to deserve it.
That’s why I hope you hear love in what I’m about to say, because it’s probably going to be hard to hear. But I’m saying it because it’s the truth:
If your troubles have caused you to doubt God’s existence, it might be because the god you believe in doesn’t really exist.
The god We Want
If we could write a job description for God, it would probably look something like this:
“God wants us to feel good. He wants us to be secure. He wants us to be successful. He wants us to be comfortable. And more than anything, He wants us to be happy. So He’s going to use His power to protect us. He’s going to protect us from uncertainty. He’s going to protect us from disappointment. He’s going to protect us from difficulty. And more than anything, He’s going to protect us from heartbreak. God is going to make our lives predictable, fulfilling and easy.”
And that all sounds great. But if you look for that god in the Bible, you won’t find him.
Instead, this is what we find:
Additionally, Timothy warned us that those who follow Jesus will be persecuted. Paul wrote that we would be afflicted, perplexed and struck down. The Psalmist wrote that righteous people will have many troubles. And Jesus said the world would hate us.
To be a disciple of Christ is to accept a life of difficulty, opposition and heartbreak. We worship a God who died on a cross after all. And this is why Jesus told us to count the cost before choosing to follow Him.
Clearly, the god who makes our lives predictable, fulfilling and easy does not exist.
The God Who Is
A job description for the God of the Bible, however, would look more like this:
God wants to save us. He wants to make us holy. He wants us to know the truth. He wants to give us purpose. And He wants us to be His. So He is with us in our heartbreak. He forgives us. He overcomes. He makes us pure. He makes us new. He gives us His righteousness. He gives us life. And most of all, He loves us.
And someday, God is going to take away all the heartbreak we’ve experienced, and He’s going to restore us.
As Christians, our ultimate good isn’t found in a predictable, fulfilling and easy life. It’s found in Jesus.
That’s why Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego would rather die than give up their faith. It’s why Stephen could look to God even while being executed. And it’s why Job could say:
“Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him.”
So when life gets rough I strive to remember this: Whatever pulls me away from God is bad, no matter how good it seems. And whatever draws me closer to God is good, no matter how bad it feels. Our basis for evaluating our lives and experiences is always our relationship with God.
I don’t know if that’s helpful to you, but I hope it was. And with all my heart, I pray that things get better for you.
No matter what, the God of the Bible exists, He is good and He loves you.
Peace, love and Jesus,
yes!! and we already know the outcome, because God has already won the war, and the hope for us for the Lord’s coming is so great!