Question:

I really need some advice. You see, I've tried to follow the path of Christ so many times I don't even think I can count. I have never been baptized, but I want to. I'm just scared "what if I get baptized and I backslide?" I want to follow the path, but I just don't have faith. When I see people like you, it makes me happy, but I have to question how do you know God is real? At times I feel like He's real. I've tried walking with Him, but then the thought of "What if He isn't real, is all this worth it?" I need to know where does your faith come from? How do I know that He's real? I have sometimes felt that He might be real, but I have never said I know He's real. I know God doesn't answer my prayers because when I pray I have no faith. How can I have faith? Please respond I need to know and I want to walk with Christ but I doubt so much.


Answer:

"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17).

You approach faith as a feeling. If you feel something is true, then you claim to have faith. The problem is that feelings change and can be manipulated. "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered" (Proverbs 28:26). Calling a feeling faith means your faith has no real foundation on which to stand.

What the Bible teaches is that faith (what you trust to be true) is based on your knowledge. For example, Paul said, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:18-20). From my knowledge of the world, I have faith that there is a Creator behind this world. The word shows extensive evidence of design. The alternative, random chance, makes no sense because "random" cannot cause design. Therefore, based on my knowledge, I find a basis for a belief in God.

This isn't the only basis, but it illustrates the process. I can examine the text of the Bible, its historical accuracy, its moral code, its consistency, its witness, etc. and find strong evidence that what it presents is a true and accurate portrayal of life. Compare the evidence to any alternative and you find it vastly superior to the alternative.

"To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal and compare Me, that we should be alike? They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver on the scales; they hire a goldsmith, and he makes it a god; they prostrate themselves, yes, they worship. They bear it on the shoulder, they carry it and set it in its place, and it stands; from its place it shall not move. Though one cries out to it, yet it cannot answer nor save him out of his trouble. Remember this, and show yourselves men; recall to mind, O you transgressors. Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure,' calling a bird of prey from the east, the man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it" (Isaiah 46:5-11).

When someone tells me they have no faith, it tells me that haven't spent time reading the Bible and examining the evidence presented in its pages.