Why I believe, though I’m not certain of God or his existence

Uncertainty is difficult to accept, and I’m uncertain of two enormous things. First, I cannot, with absolute and complete certainty, tell you God exists, or that I’ve seen him logically proven. Second, I’m uncertain of God’s thoughts and plans. God tells us hard things. Take up my cross and follow him? Lose my life and it will be saved?

The definition of “certain” is this: “known or proved to be true; indisputable” (from Merriam-Webster’s 11th ed. Collegiate Dictionary). I’ll admit to you that I’m not 100 % certain of anything. Everything can be doubted, and to a certain extent, everything should be doubted. How do you know you’re awake right now, rather than dreaming or in a coma?

I’m not certain God exists, but I am convinced he exists. With some thought and reading, I’ve decided that it’s exceedingly more likely that God does exist than that he doesn’t exist. So let’s say I’m 80% certain. What do I do with the other 20% of uncertainty?

This is why faith is essential to being a disciple of Jesus. Faith is not a blind acceptance of an unsupported fact. Faith is a wise and necessary assumption that something likely to be true is true. If God does exist, then this fact is terribly important, and I need to do something about it. Because so much hangs on God’s existence, we can’t afford to waver back and forth for very long. We need to decide. By faith, I’ve decided God exists, but my faith isn’t without reason.

My second uncertainty came after I decided God exists. This second uncertainty centers on the challenging commands in the Bible. Love my enemies? Rejoice when I’m persecuted? I still don’t understand these extreme acts of self-denial. I also don’t know how I can ever do them. I’m a selfish, broken person, and I’m not sure how God will use me even if I can take up my cross and follow him.

But this is where I need to continue having faith. I need to have faith that God is wise, that he will give me the ability to deny myself and follow him, and that at the end of time, he’ll make everything right again.

Faith is necessary both to believe in Jesus and to follow him. I find it hard to accept uncertainty, and I sometimes doubt the most fundamental aspects of my beliefs. But these doubts motivate me to think harder about what I believe, and by faith I can set my doubts aside and press forward. Without accepting uncertainty, I would never accomplish anything for the kingdom of heaven. We need to be convinced of God before we can take action, and we need faith to be convinced.


3 responses to “Why I believe, though I’m not certain of God or his existence

  1. Do you think faith can overcome uncertainty? What I mean is this, we reason that we can trust the Bible, that God exists, and so on and so forth, and using the evidence we cannot prove God as you wrote, but can the uncertainty of God’s existence disappear as our faith grows?

    I think that it can.

    And also, if we have a relationship with God, and we know God personally, than shouldn’t we also believe that the one we have the relationship is 100% real? Or does it matter?

    I’m not sure if it matters, although, I think if you asked me to I know that God exists, I would say yes. And if you asked me what degree of certainty do you have, I think I would say 100%. But then again, if you asked me why, I’d have to say because of faith. Which I think is pretty much the same thing you are saying really.

    I love you brother. 🙂

    • Hurrah! Ethan’s here!
      Yes, I think we are pretty much saying the same thing. I guess I was more talking about how I came to be convinced that God is real. In my freshman year of college especially, I was doubting God’s existence, but I realized that a big part of faith is accepting uncertainty. It used to bother me that I couldn’t prove God, and that there was no incontrovertible evidence of his presence. In fact, it used to bother me so much that it got in the way of my Christian growth, when really, I was 95% certain that God is real. But faith is what helped me move on from that and start actually living the Christian life.

      As I’ve grown in my faith and trusted God enough to pray to him and read my Bible, the best evidence of God’s existence has become his direct influence on my life and on my thoughts. Now, to deny that God exists would be like to deny that you exist when we’re having lunch across a table from each other.

      So yes, I think we’re saying the same thing. 🙂 I love you too old friend.

  2. This was a good read and I hope I am just one of a large number of people to read it.

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