CAN I REALLY BELIEVE IN GOD?

Is God real? Does God exist? 
How to look for God! How to connect with God.
How to build Christian faith. And yes, how to believe in God.

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1.    INTRODUCTION

Many of us ‘thinkers’ are led these days to accept that neither ‘Christian faith’ or ‘belief in God’s existence’ can be based on sound logic.

And look, I know how difficult it is for so many people to accept the possibilities of religious belief. Completely understand! I was once a very serious atheist myself. Please see the article, “Too good to be true?

(For the ‘who’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ of this website please click here. That article explains, in particular, how the majority of this website is the result of a serious long-term audit of ‘practical Christianity’. Although I am retired from work now, professionally I had been a qualified, experienced, senior auditor. Yes, I definitely know how to investigate, analyse and evaluate. The website’s advisory team, on the other hand, is largely made up of qualified Christian clergy.)

And I can now confidently write that once you know HOW to find it, there IS evidence available that can lead you to accept both ‘belief in God‘ and ‘Christian faith‘ for yourself. Plus … there are rewards for you, such as real contentment and purpose in life, that can flow from that evidence. Absolutely!

2.    THIS WEBSITE’S INFO

Yes, the website’s contents are underpinned by my deeply ingrained ‘investigative’ approach. I tested … and re-tested … every aspect of both faith and belief!

As you would expect from what I have already written, this article provides basic guidance on how each of us really can come to accept the basis of Christian faith AND believe that God is real, i.e. recognise that he really does exist!

This article also introduces the website’s primary (or main) section, “Journey of faith”. Please see above for the Menu Bar/ Navigation Bar on a computer screen, or the 3 horizontal bar icon found on a cell/ mobile phone.

Other sections of the website go on to support the guidance offered here, in this ‘primary’ area.

3.    CONNECT WITH GOD: BELIEVE IN HIM

So, what did I come to find, as the auditor that I was, from my own detailed analysis and evaluation?

Well, I now consider that anyone at all can come to believe in God by personally ‘connecting with him’: by entering into that ‘all important relationship‘ he wants each of us to share with him.

Yes, if we want evidence-based belief in the Lord, this is where we start!

4.   GOD, THE BIBLE AND CHURCH

Firstly, we do need to join a church; a fellowship of faith. Look, I absolutely tried at first to skip that step. But it just doesn’t work well enough. Again, please see the article, “Too good to be true?“.

The Church is indeed vital to us during that process of engaging, or connecting with God: building that relationship he wants to hold with each and every one of us.

Within the Church, we get together to learn from the Bible, have fellowship with both other churchgoers and our Lord. Plus … we CAN also, as explained later in this article, GATHER EVIDENCE of his actual presence there within the church for ourselves. Just have a quick read of some following subheadings if you like: subheading 4.3 relates to subtle ‘evidence’ available; subheadings 4.4 and 4.5 discuss solid ‘evidence’ on offer. Let me say though, that ‘going in search’ of that solid evidence is by no means mandatory on our journey. (But yes, it did help speed things up for me personally.)

However please come back, if you do choose to read those subsections ahead, and read all of this article.

4.1    Is the Bible important?

Hmmm … I admit that when I began my journey of faith many decades ago, I did at least have trouble with the question in the ‘subheading’ above. BUT, I did figure out that I HAD to know a bit about God, BEFORE trying to believe in him. Yes, I knew that I had to give the Bible a serious ‘look-see’.

And what did I come to find, after eventually putting the Bible to use through that deep and long term evaluation of mine? Well, I now know just how wrong I was when doubting the Bible’s value. It is, in fact, an essential guide for us. Once we know how to understand its messages of course. I came to realise there is just so much wisdom and guidance there in that ‘big book’!

Please read the article, “Our amazing Bible” written by Rev Dr Bill, also a member of my advisory team, for a brief overview of its content and how to understand it. I also offer a link to an ‘online app’, under Heading 6 below, that can help anyone to understand the content and messages offered to us in the Bible.  

4.2    Building our faith through church

Anyway, as beginner Christians, the messages of the Bible begin to ‘sink in’, guided mainly by our ‘church of choice‘. And, you know, I’m not saying we need to be experts at first! However, the sooner we grasp what God has ‘done for us‘ through Jesus, the sooner we can understand his loving nature as a minimum. I admit that I played down possibilities about Jesus, and it slowed my way forward … big time! However, the more I actually applied my analytical skills to it all, the more probabilities I found arising.

Yes, I had been misguided by my old ‘closed thinking’. And look, there is an article, “Jesus as God” on the website that explains how this kind of stuff does literally fit together. You can also have a read of the article, “The Big Picture” in the “The human Jesus?” subsection of the ‘Deal with doubts’ website section.

Importantly too (as I keep writing in this website), the Church has a lot to offer as far as believing in God’s existence is concerned. With guidance, I assure you that we can come to recognise his ‘actual presence‘ there in church services, as he engages with us. Yes, this evidence may be ‘subtle’ at times, but it can also be quite ‘solid’ if you are in the right church at the right time.

Let’s look then…

4.3    Subtle evidence of God in church

Even in traditional/ mainline churches we can come, as a minimum, to recognise God’s ‘subtle connection’ with each of us individuals and the entire fellowship. That includes for example the way he ‘sets-up’ or orchestrates messages to individuals, and the fellowship as a whole, throughout events in the service. You should find that other gentle ‘belief-building’ stuff really does happen there as well.

These little wonders never fail to impress good old analytical me. Please access the article, “The subtle stuff of God in any church” to read more on the subject. 

4.4    Solid evidence of God in church

HOWEVER, if we choose to attend fellowships in the Pentecostal/ Charismatic ‘movement’ then we should witness, and even come to experience, relatively obvious evidence of his presence there. “Whoa”, you might well say? But, my golly, they can be so real to us. Yes indeed!

And at times, the evidence can even be what I call ‘palpable’. Yes, you CAN feel it. Or you can witness things happening that are so obviously Spirit-driven they ‘rock your socks’! Proof that is ‘definite to you‘. Again, I say ‘absolutely’! I offer a ‘taste’ of what is available there in the article, “Experiencing the Holy Spirit“.

If you like, have a look at some of the advice within the article mentioned above (click the link). Yes, see info under Heading 4 in that article. It offers my thoughts on God’s motivation for beginning the ‘movement’.

4.5    ‘Final word’ on God’s presence in church

I know how crazy that stuff written above could look to people with no exposure to the ‘movement’. And look, I didn’t have a clue about it either before checking it out. I just went into unfamiliar territory and tested it for myself … decades ago. ‘In all honesty’, I admit that I was a bit of a ‘nervous Nellie’ there at times and that slowed my progress. But yes, I can now truly write, “I’ve been there, done that, and I know amazing stuff does happen there!”  And I know it is still happening! Yes I’ve been there lately, checking it out.

And PLEASE have a look at the article, “Is this ‘Holy Spirit’ stuff real?” if you have time. As the name implies, it describes how I seriously put it all to the test for myself, over the years.

You may have already guessed that your ‘church of choice’ will influence both your spiritual experiences, in that place, and your personal journey of faith. See the article, “Choosing a church” for more info on that.    

Many articles that offer guidance for building Christian faith and belief in God, through church attendances, are presented in the website section titled, God in church”. Please see the Menu Bar above.

5.   GOD IN LIFE

Secondly, we apply our growing Christian faith to our daily lives. And that actually opens us to God’s loving and positive involvement there! Yes, through his ‘grace’. Meaning more evidence for us. The term “grace” relates to the Lord’s unconditional love for each and every one of us.

So, once armed with some knowledge of what Christian faith offered me in theory, I seriously opened myself to God in day-to-day life. I mean through the relationship with him that I found was awaiting me. And the more I came to trust him, the stronger the evidence became. Remember the article, “A relationship with God” follows the article you are now reading. On my part, I’m writing about thirty-plus years of experience.

A complete section of the website, “God in life” has been developed to guide you on how to connect broadly with God in your life.

5.1    Beginning to engage with him there

Initially, once you know how, it should even be possible to locate some subtle evidence of his presence just by looking ‘back through your life’. I am meaning maybe even while you were still an unbeliever. Some advice on how you can do this is provided in the article, “God’s guidance” for example. It is the first article in the subsection, “God’s guiding hand” – again, under the Menu Bar heading “God in life.”

There are other methods that God can use to guide us as well. Remember, God knows exactly which direction each of us should be travelling in life. We can, for example, look to his guidance when faced with hard choices. Even ‘ask for it‘! We can also ‘turn to him in prayer‘ whenever we are faced with challenges, or ‘real’ needs, in life. Note that I am not talking about ‘wishlists’ here. 

So, by actually OPENING your life to God, and engaging with him through faith, that evidence of his presence will again become much more obvious and positive. Of course, once again, I don’t expect that you will be convinced by just one little incident. But … once you start putting your growing faith to the test in life, you will begin to notice an ‘awful lot’ of unlikely ‘high odds’ events with positive outcomes happening there. (I offer a bit more about this stuff below.)

As you may well guess, there are some responsibilities for us within our relationship with the Lord. The article, “Building sound faith” in this website section briefly discusses them there under Heading 3.

5.2   As our relationship deepens

Stronger evidence of the Lord’s presence in your life will become obvious as you begin to shape-up an ongoing, reasonably ‘faithful’ and trusting relationship with him. You see, as our ‘trust in the Lord’ grows, so can his efforts on our behalf. Again, I refer to our real needs here. There are a few articles on that subject in the “God in life” section. The article, “Trusting God with your life” is the final one.

That is, it all becomes ‘quite obvious’ as your faith grows and your relationship with God deepens. And then the evidence does pile up. We literally end up just recognising his ‘grace’ as an expected and very important part of our lives.

Yes again, it all becomes a matter of ‘more of the same’, ‘more of the same!’ Eventually it just seems … natural … to us. That is, the positive effect of his ‘grace’ in our lives.

(Of course, again this does not refer to stuff like ‘wishlists’ or ‘fame and fortune’. No, I’m talking about events that lead to a truly contented and purposeful life.)

5.3   ‘Final word’ on God’s presence in our lives

Without a doubt, I can write that his existence certainly becomes very solid within life as our faith becomes ‘sound’. Again, see the article, “Building sound Faith” later in this section of the website for an explanation.

Remember there are also many articles, presented in the website section titled, “God in life”, dedicated to applying our growing faith to our lives. They range from beginner Christian practises all the way through to those used by deeply committed Christians. That last group come to develop the ‘sound’, very rewarding, faithful relationship with the Lord mentioned above.

6.    OTHER OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE

There are certainly other directions you can take to gain knowledge of faith and belief in my opinion. In particular, I recommend attending an ‘Alpha course‘. These are available in 100 countries across the globe. Over 28,000,000 people have attended Alpha, so it’s got to be doing something right! Yes, I have been involved with running these courses myself.

Churches offer them through the cities, suburbs and out to far-flung towns. Just look out for the advertising banners at churches. The courses basically allow participants to explore ‘life, faith and meaning’ in a relaxed and respectful manner. No pressure.

All Alpha courses provide an understanding of Christian basics. What Christian faith is about. They also explain simply how to engage with God in our lives through the use of that faith. And they offer the chance, not guaranteed of course, of actually experiencing God’s presence in a way you may never forget. Looks impressive? I hope so. Of course, I am referring to the Holy Spirit’s possible involvement (as in the ‘movement’).

You can also access an online app, “The Bible with Nicky and Pippa Gumbel” That ‘app’ offers ongoing daily lessons about the Bible’s content and its advice to us (you can either read or listen to the lessons).

7.    CONCLUSION

In summary then, as far as ‘believing in God’ is concerned, it largely happens through recognising his loving care and the way he works for our benefit in life. But, when I write “benefit” of course I yet again mean our ‘needs’ rather than our ‘wants’ (and not those wishlists mentioned earlier).

All of this can be explained in that one word: “grace“!

It all happens during our journey of growing faith, as the Bible actually explains – both in our ‘chosen church‘ and our ‘day to day lives‘ through the use of that faith.

The closer we walk with our Lord in life and engage with him through sound Christian faith, as indeed he wants us to, the more real he becomes to us. AND as a result ‘the rewards‘, such as a real sense of ‘purpose and contentment’, unfold in our lives. YES indeed … faith can be empowering! The final article in this section of the website explains all about that.

A basic ‘understanding of Christianity‘ is available in the website’s final major section. If you feel the need for ‘belief’ and ‘faith’ in your life, then please read on through this website. Just like me, I am sure you will find that it is a good idea to care whether God exists!

So, is God real? Can we believe in God? Is the Bible’s info acceptable in this day and age? If so, can the Lord help us in this life, and beyond? Oh yes! To each question.

Please give it a go!

Continue on to the next article relative to your journey of faith, “A relationship with God“. If you wish, you can also read the article, “Framework for evidence” which explains what is meant by the term in this website.