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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Elliee Offline
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how to regain faith? - February 14th 2010, 09:32 PM

I apoligise for the length in advance but I feel my background might be beneficial to understanding my problem..

I grew up in a christian family, went to church and learnt about God from a very young age. It didn't mean much to me and I didn't really understand it but my dad was a pastor. At the age of 11, I went to a conference week with my dads work and had a realli good time and prayed with my parents that I could accept Jesus into my heart.. From then on I thought everything would be okai because I could just ask for forgiveness. But it wasnt and I didnt lead a good christian life. I got to the point where I stopped going to church when my parents split up. Although I didn't believe anymore, I kept asking myself: 'If God existed then why was he doing this to me?'

That year, in march 2003, I moved back to England. I was very confused and wanted a fresh start so I prayed and asked God to help me. I joined my local Girls Brigade (GB) Company and eventually started going back to church and helping out with the church activities. That year I was also invited to a christian camp called Rempstone. I had a great time and my faith was slowly building up. But then I got severely ill and everything just went wrong again, I was in and out of hospitals constantly, I couldn't keep school up and went through traumatic experiences. Things got slowly better and i tried getting my life back on track.

It wasn't until August 2007, where I was invited to Soul Survivor that things changed. It turned out to be an amazing experience. Nothing happened at first and I was upset and frustrated that God was talking to other people and not me. I kept praying but still nothing. It wasn't until the last night where I prayed to God saying: I'm here and listening, reveal yourself in me' that something happen. I felt his presence for the first time and that night became a reborn Christian. I got baptised with my sister in December 2007.

Since then, life has has its ups and downs.. I continued to go to GB all through this and I am currently working to be an officer for my Company. I am also a leader at two other youth groups. 2008 was a tough year for me, my faith went downhill, i got ill again and eventually had to drop out of my scholarship. 2009, i decided to go back to college, i got a part time job which i am doing well at, i am still not 100% better, and i still went to the church activities but totally lost my faith at Soul Survivor where i relapsed. Since I have not been to church, I have been getting more ill and I'm barely coping to survive. I don't know what to do, I don't know what to believe no more I am so confused. I find it astounding that my faith was so strong 3 years ago and slowly it has disappeared.

I find myself being a hypocrite as I am still doing church activities yet, I don't know if i believe anymore. I have even decided not to go to Soul Survivor this year because of that reason. I am lost.. Helps?
   
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Re: how to regain faith? - February 15th 2010, 01:53 AM

I think it would be good for you to check out other religions and faiths. Just because you believe in God, does not mean you believe in what Christianity teaches and believes. There are so many different belief systems out there. You really need to do some soul searching about what you really believe in. What do you think about God, what do you think about life after death, what do you think about things like Karma? Once you start to figure out what feels right to you, in your heart, then you can start to find similar beliefs in other faiths.

So, my point being, you don’t have to give up God and going to church. Just be yourself, and realize that this is your life. And you need to decide what is right for you.




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  (#3 (permalink)) Old
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Re: how to regain faith? - February 15th 2010, 04:04 AM

I know exactly what your going through. I felt the same way. I've grown up in a (semi) Christian home as a pastor's daughter. I always grew up to know what was expected of me. I knew of God but didn't get to know him until I went to kids camp. After that, my relationship with Him grew. Then middle school came and I turned back. I went through my most traumatic experience then and just gave up hope. When I turned 16, I decided to become a counselor at the same camp I received Jesus. That was the greatest experience to be at camp and it changed my heart again. But then I went back to high school... I drank, cursed, did sexual stuff, etc... I wasn't following Him...again. So throughout my life I've been flip-floppy. But this weekend God truly showed himself to me. I'm apart of a small group with 7 other girls. well, my small group leader told me something I already knew but NEVER shared with anyone.... I needed to make a huge decision that would affect my family, friends, and my life. I knew exactly what she was talking about but how did she know? GOD!

So what I'm trying to say is satan will tell us that because we've turned away from God that he doesn't want us because who would want someone who can't make up their mind? Well, as I'm sure you believe, the devil is a liar and will tell us anything to get us to turn away for good. I encourage you to talk to your pastor about what your feeling. YOUR NOT LOST!!! It just takes a lot of praying and believing to stay on track. Let God help you through this... He just wants to take care of you.

All of those horrible things were traps set by satan. He wants you to believe that because that stuff happened, you aren't worthy of God. That He was somehow punishing you. DON'T BELIEVE HIM!!! I went through similar experiences and sum different ones. My baby sister was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 2. I asked myself why God would let a child go through that. Though it wasn't of God she went through that so she could tell the world how God saw her through. She's 4 years old and is COMPLETELY healed. SO I know you have doubts but just crack open ur bible and you'll see hundreds of reasons to rely on Him. I hope my answer wasn't too long but if you have any other questions, just PM me.


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Servatis a maleficum...
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  (#4 (permalink)) Old
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Re: how to regain faith? - February 15th 2010, 09:07 AM

I went to a catholic boarding school for 4 years and I've also been to India where their religion is totally different once again. I have explored other faiths a little. You ask what I thought of God, to be honest.. I not really sure.. At times he confuses me, other times he makes me angry, other times i can't thank him enough.. But then my question atm is: 'Is their really a God?' I just don't understand if we have this all so great mighty and powerful person then why is this world in such a state and there is so much suffering? See I been told its because of the choices we made.. but I really can't accept that this is what is happening, and maybe I do..

Annastesia.. its not that I dont feel worthy of God.. I'm not sure what it really is.. you say crack open the bible, but my question again is: 'What is this bible?' Surely it could have been written by anyone.. isnt it just a book?

I find it ironic as well because I went on an Alpha course to try get some answers but ended up getting even more confused..
   
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Re: how to regain faith? - February 16th 2010, 03:52 AM

You don't "accept" Jesus. This is an unbiblical teaching that I believe is damning many people. You have to be born again -- this is key to Christianity and lies in John 3 with Jesus talking with Nicodemus, read it.

The hardest part with Christianity is reading the Bible and praying God to reveal things to you. Why? Because you want to go off what people are telling you; you want to believe that people have the best intentions. And granted maybe they do, but it doesn't mean what they're telling you is going to save your soul.

How can you restore faith? Paul tells us faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Just keep reading and keep praying. The Bible promises if anyone seeks they will find, it doesn't say when, it may be your last breath... just don't give up.

You seem to doubt the validity of the Bible, there are many resources that you can research to grow in your understanding that the Bible is the divine Word of God, but ultimately it's faith.

There's a band called mewithoutYou and the lead singer Aaron Weiss says in one of his songs, "the cure for pain is in the pain." You have to go to the source your doubting and learn about it in order not to doubt about it. If you don't grow in understanding in something how can you ever trust it?

Good luck.
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Re: how to regain faith? - February 17th 2010, 03:58 AM

Hey Ell. I know we talked earlier, but I just wanted to let you know that I think you should sign up for Soul Survivor. You loved it in past years, and it could be a good oppurtunity to regain your faith. You will probably regret it if you don't go.

God is always with you and always there for you. He will never leave your side and has never left your side. Trust in Him. <3


There is always hope. PM me anytime.
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Re: how to regain faith? - February 17th 2010, 04:31 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by hopefaithlove View Post
Hey Ell. I know we talked earlier, but I just wanted to let you know that I think you should sign up for Soul Survivor. You loved it in past years, and it could be a good oppurtunity to regain your faith. You will probably regret it if you don't go.

God is always with you and always there for you. He will never leave your side and has never left your side. Trust in Him. <3
Transformed Conference by Ray Comfort may be another thing to check out. They get more showings later in the year, but it's definitely something you should look into if they hold one near you.

http://www.livingwaters.com/index.ph...sk=view&id=372

and I think this book might help if you are saved:

http://www.amazon.com/Growing-Your-F...6381087&sr=8-1
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Re: how to regain faith? - February 18th 2010, 01:16 PM

My advice to you is the same as Lizzie's: read, learn, and think. No one can tell you what you should believe because none of us know for certain what the truth is. We can provide evidence and arguments, but no proof. So learn as much as you can, or at least as much as you care to, and come to your own conclusions. It doesn't matter how many other people agree with you, as long as it's something that you feel makes you happy and improves your life.

If it's of any help, I typically think about questions like this in three ways:

1. What do I feel is likely, or reasonable? (so do I think it's likely god exists or not?)
2. What do I feel is moral and what do I feel is immoral in each of the above cases?
3. Given what I think is likely and what I think is morally good, how should I live my life?


The atoms that make up you and me were born in the hearts of suns many times greater than ours, and in time our atoms will once again reside amongst the stars. Life is but an idle dalliance of the cosmos, frail, and soon forgotten. We have been set adrift in an ocean whose tides we are only beginning to comprehend and with that maturity has come the realization that we are, at least for now, alone. In that loneliness, it falls to us to shine as brightly as the stars from which we came.
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Re: how to regain faith? - February 18th 2010, 06:55 PM

It sounds like you are in a very similar situation to where I was when I was about your age (a tad younger in my case). I'm a preacher's kid and was a leader in my church's youth group, but during my junior and senior years of high school I really wasn't sure what I believed. I (at least I thought) couldn't very well be honest, because after all I was a leader. If I was honest about my beliefs, it would be a big blow to the youth group (or so I thought). That situation carried on for about a year and a half to two years. During that time, I explored other faiths as well as the lack of a faith (i.e. atheism), and in a gradual process of reasoning came back to the Christian faith, albeit a bit different in my beliefs than before. It's not an instantaneous thing, unfortunately. I honestly didn't even prayer much during that time, as I wasn't sure who I was praying to. I still don't pray as often as I should.

Now, as awesome as things like Soul Survivor (not familiar with what that is, but I'm guessing it's some kind of youth conference or event like CIY in the US) are, they can be very challenging to someone's faith. People that enjoy them are very prone to come out with a "spiritual high," and then are liable to "come back down" and have a spiritual crash. That's one reason it's best to have a balance in your faith between reason and emotion. I'm admittedly probably off balance to the reason side, so I've never gotten alot out of youth conferences.
   
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Re: how to regain faith? - February 21st 2010, 05:21 PM

Hey Elz,

If you believe in God and the trinity etc, then "technically" you should believe in the devil as well. The devil has a lot of power, too much really, and uses it to do so much evil in the world, ruining people and lives, natural disasters, just trying to turn people away from God. That's where all the evil/bad stuff has come from...

I fell away from God straight after I was baptised, thinking about it now the devil saw I was commited to God and decided he would try to do everything in his power to make me doubt or just rebel against God... that's what the devil is like. But I also see that without him I wouldn't really have got here now, looking back I know I wouldn't be here now without him, he gave me things to hang on for, people to hang on for.

I know what you mean about feeling a hypocrite, I still kinda do. It makes me feel really awful! But, it's only something you can control. You can think that or you can think that you are bringing faith to people and helping them advance their relationships with God, having a good influence on them.

I also agree with what people have said about talking to someone in your church, a pastor, friend, youth leader, anyone. Ask them to pray for you again like at Soul, things might change, but you have to be willing.

The problem with places like Soul is that it can make or break a person's faith, it's tough and spiritually demanding of you but then totally worth it at the end! I agree with BigBL87 about spiritual highs, practically everyone drops after Soul because it is so intense and fruitful, then you come back and it just drops! You've got to keep praying after, keeping doing things and to try to keep it up.

Take care sweetheart <3
   
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