Faith Column: What do you believe?
October 16, 2015
I saw a church sign that said, “What do I believe.” Made me think about how I came to recognize what I believe. I always went to church and accepted what my parents, pastors and teachers told me to believe. But when my life fell apart in my 30s and again in my 40s, I wasn’t sure the God I was told about really did much to help people. I had no personal experiences that showed He was interested in me. I believed heaven and hell were real places, but God was busy doing "God things" and wasn't involved in people's day-to-day lives.
One night as I was agonizing about leaving an abusive husband, I sobbed, “If anyone up there is listening, I need to know what to do down here.” The next morning I woke up knowing I should call an attorney and see what would happen. I had the courage to get the divorce, but I didn't make the connection that my knowing what to do was an answer from God and meant He cared about me.
My second crisis was worse than the first — divorced (again), body seriously hurt in a car accident, unable to work, facing eviction, no help from family or friends. I hurt all the time and was really angry with God. This time I said, “God, You are supposed to be a God of love, but if this is what Your love feels like, I can't take anymore of it.”
For several days Bible verses I had learned in parochial school played in my brain. I repeatedly asked God, “Where is the love in this?” In response I experienced something like a computer download: all at once I realized I didn't believe what the Bible says. I didn't believe there were consequences to my disbelief, or that I had acted contrary to how God says we are to live (that's sin – Romans 3:23). I knew I needed to do a 180 (that's repent) and ask the Lord to forgive me, and then I needed to believe He would, and accept His forgiveness, love and mercy: If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8,9
The Bible says: God is good (Psalm 100). He is involved in your life and cares about you (Psalm 121). He has a good plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11-14). He wants to have a loving relationship with you. Faith in Jesus will bring you into that loving relationship (Ephesians 2:8,9). And He will accept everyone who believes Jesus is His Son who died and rose again to forgive their sins, which gives them the "right to become a child of God" (John 1:12).
Until we truly know the only true God of the Bible, we are all like children separated from our loving Father at birth. You may know about Him, but do you know Him? He doesn't force or coerce anyone to believe in Him, or love Him back. Check it out for yourself. Read Luke and Acts in your Bible — if you don't have a Bible (or need one that is easier to understand), come to the Pregnancy Center and we will give you one — and talk with you more about this if you'd like. So, what do you believe?
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Vicki Van Couvering is the executive director of the Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center.Vicki Van Couvering is the executive director of the Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center.Vicki Van Couvering is the executive director of the Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center.