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  • Need some advice (teenager)

    Good afternoon and thank you for taking the time for me. Over the last couple of months I believe I have reached the pinnacle of sadness, in envy and wonder of the seemingly joyful and content lives around me. I expect no sympathy; only comfort in the responses I receive. The feeling I have is I ineffable because I donít know how other people make it
    through the day. I feel that life is more of a burden to live than a gift, for instance.

    Well, the first question I ask is how do we know God exists? I know this seems absurd and as quite a shock to many, but I still canít seem to take that leap of faith all the way. I always hear (on this forum) of the wonderful things God has done to transform their lives. I am not denying them. I also know the importance of Christís love and the reason for dying for our sins: eternal life.

    I just need some truth, to know if God is there, to know if He is all-knowing, because the way I see it is that there like no possible way to know everything, that most of knowledge is subjective and like how does God know everything?

    I know Iím going to get a lot of, ďoh you just have to believe/have faithĒ answers but I need some substance.

    As I see that life has either no meaning or either a lot of questions. Iím just a person with so many questions.

    This is a restless period of my life-no sleep, stress, bags under my eyes, I feel like something dark, lethargic, and very melancholy.

    Iím seventeen now. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    I noticed you have selected that you are a Christian on your thing there...but posting in the forum for nonbelievers??

    Sounds almost like you need to change that to 'seeking'...

    I understand what you are saying...no one can just make themselves belief...or just have faith either. Faith is given by God as the bible says.

    Many have come to believe through needing more as you say...this is where Christian apologists comes in....which I think is great for people like you.

    First there is alot of outside evidence the bible is true...historical and archeological evidence...evidence of fulfilled prophecies..and they are finding more all the time. You may see a news article from time to time like finding the cave of John the Baptist...things like that.

    All of creation speaks of God the creator too!

    I am going to give you some links with information that I hope helps. Weigh the evidence..and pray. The bible says if you draw nearer to God, He will draw nearer to you..

    This first one is a video...may it calm you and fill your soul with peace:

    Creation Calls -- are you listening?

    Fulfilled Prophecies and Other Evidence that the Bible is the Word of God

    Bible history

    May the Lord lead you in your search for answers.

    I have tons more if you need them.

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

    Comment


    • #3
      moonglow, thanks for the video. It cheered me up.

      But I also want to know if you have more links...

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by TruthFaith
        Good afternoon and thank you for taking the time for me. Over the last couple of months I believe I have reached the pinnacle of sadness, in envy and wonder of the seemingly joyful and content lives around me. I expect no sympathy; only comfort in the responses I receive. The feeling I have is I ineffable because I don’t know how other people make it
        through the day. I feel that life is more of a burden to live than a gift, for instance.

        Well, the first question I ask is how do we know God exists? I know this seems absurd and as quite a shock to many, but I still can’t seem to take that leap of faith all the way. I always hear (on this forum) of the wonderful things God has done to transform their lives. I am not denying them. I also know the importance of Christ’s love and the reason for dying for our sins: eternal life.

        I just need some truth, to know if God is there, to know if He is all-knowing, because the way I see it is that there like no possible way to know everything, that most of knowledge is subjective and like how does God know everything?

        I know I’m going to get a lot of, “oh you just have to believe/have faith” answers but I need some substance.

        As I see that life has either no meaning or either a lot of questions. I’m just a person with so many questions.

        This is a restless period of my life-no sleep, stress, bags under my eyes, I feel like something dark, lethargic, and very melancholy.

        I’m seventeen now. Any help is greatly appreciated.
        Hi TruthFaith,

        I'm seventeen as well, I was fortunate enough to be brought up in a fairly religious household, I've never had to worry about the existence of God. I know you want substance, but that phrase is something you have to hear. You do have to have a lot of faith, something that I think would help you is to read the Bible.

        sAs for substance, there is a book called Handbook of Christian Apologetics by Peter Kreeft and (don't remember the first name) Tacelli. In chapter three, it has some rather interesting "proofs" for the existence of God, I put it in qoutations because they don't give undeniable proof that He exists, but they all convinced me! (there's 20 of them!) Some of them are kind of hard to wrap your head around but the ones that you can wrap your head around I'm sure will satisfy your needs. I don't have the book with me right now so I couldn't give you one, but I think I should be able to this weekend, if you like.

        I hope this helps!

        Pax,
        Zach

        P.S. Hang in there! Whether you believe it or not, God is with you. He will help you through all your troubles!

        [EDIT] P.P.S. I understand how hard it is to understand all of Gods characteristics like Him being all-knowing. I myself cannot grasp the fact that God always existed and was never created, but I accept it because I DO understand that my finite human brain cannot comprehend things that are beyond my understanding. So, all I can say is that you're just going to have to except it, that book I told you about covers many of these subjects as well, it's definitely a good read.
        Last edited by catholicdude; Jan 8th 2009, 01:33 AM. Reason: I left something out
        Matthew 6:34
        "34 So do not worry about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

        Comment


        • #5
          The substance you seek is all around you. You may have heard this before but just look at the universe. Why should it be here? There is no real reason for anything at all to exist. Without a God nothing could exist at all. Think about it. Why would it be possible for you be even reading this right now? Either God made everything or nothing did. If you believe in the big bang and you study it out, scientists tell you that the big bang started out as a singularity which means an infitesmal dot. It is infinetely small which if interpreted to mean what it really says, it means nothing. If something is infinietely small then we must conclude it takes up no space whatsoever and therefore does not exist. So either nothing made everything or God made everything.

          Then there is another argument that goes well what if the universe existed forever, it was always here. If this is true and the universe has existed forever then consider the following.

          The 2nd law of thermodynamics states that everything tends toward disorder. For example, if you build a house and let it stay there, soon enough things on the house will start to deteriate. Given enough time and enough years there is no house there any longer because elemenets from the sun and other forces of nature will have destroyed it. This is true not just with a house but with any physical thing. Energy is consumed and the physical object deteriates.

          If the universe has existed forever then that means that everything contained in the universe would have been destroyed, consumed and used as there would be no more energy left.

          The other thing that doesnt make sense about this scenario is this. Suppose for a second the universe has existed forever. That means before the present an infinite amount of time would have passed, meaning that an infinite amount of events within that time would have passed. Infinite generations from other worlds would have come and gone, the earth would have been hit by an infinite amount of asteroids since that chance is infinitely possible in this scenario. The point is this though, if this is true you can never reach the present cuz there would always be one more thing that would have to happen before you can get here. BUt alas we are indeed in the present so this scenario makes no sense.

          So really this rules out the only explanation about the universe. It was created by a God that is not bound by space or time. For He himself created both.

          Hope this helps and isn't that confusing for you
          "Never forget, you're unique, just like everybody else."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by TruthFaith View Post
            Well, the first question I ask is how do we know God exists? I know this seems absurd and as quite a shock to many, but I still can’t seem to take that leap of faith all the way. I always hear (on this forum) of the wonderful things God has done to transform their lives. I am not denying them. I also know the importance of Christ’s love and the reason for dying for our sins: eternal life.

            No one is asking you to take Kierkegaard's leap of faith. In fact Christian faith is quite the opposite of what Kierkegaard proposed (which is unfortunate, I quite like Kierkegaard). Christian faith is evidenced based faith. There's a story in the New Testament where Paul is speaking on the resurrection. In the course of his excogitation he doesn't say, "believe me at my word, take a leap of faith!" he says, "there are almost 500 living witnesses, go ask them".

            I will ask that if you're to take a "leap of faith" at all (and I dislike using the phrase), that you would believe the evidence presented in the New Testament, attesting to the life of Christ. I will not ask you to simply "have faith and believe" for that isn't good enough for me, I don't see why it would be good enough for anyone else.

            Originally posted by TruthFaith View Post
            I just need some truth, to know if God is there, to know if He is all-knowing, because the way I see it is that there like no possible way to know everything, that most of knowledge is subjective and like how does God know everything?
            He knows everything because He knows everything. That's what Scripture tells us about God. You can believe or disbelieve this according to what Scripture reveals to us about God and His character. Many things don't make sense; quantum physics, super string theory, multi-worlds interpretation... But that doesn't make them any less true simply because they're hard to believe.

            Originally posted by TruthFaith View Post
            I’m seventeen now. Any help is greatly appreciated.
            The true issue here is how you view truth and knowledge.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TruthFaith View Post
              Good afternoon and thank you for taking the time for me. Over the last couple of months I believe I have reached the pinnacle of sadness, in envy and wonder of the seemingly joyful and content lives around me. I expect no sympathy; only comfort in the responses I receive. The feeling I have is I ineffable because I donít know how other people make it
              through the day. I feel that life is more of a burden to live than a gift, for instance.

              Well, the first question I ask is how do we know God exists? I know this seems absurd and as quite a shock to many, but I still canít seem to take that leap of faith all the way. I always hear (on this forum) of the wonderful things God has done to transform their lives. I am not denying them. I also know the importance of Christís love and the reason for dying for our sins: eternal life.

              I just need some truth, to know if God is there, to know if He is all-knowing, because the way I see it is that there like no possible way to know everything, that most of knowledge is subjective and like how does God know everything?

              I know Iím going to get a lot of, ďoh you just have to believe/have faithĒ answers but I need some substance.

              As I see that life has either no meaning or either a lot of questions. Iím just a person with so many questions.

              This is a restless period of my life-no sleep, stress, bags under my eyes, I feel like something dark, lethargic, and very melancholy.

              Iím seventeen now. Any help is greatly appreciated.

              What a great post! Thank you for your honesty! I pray that you find what you are looking for and expect that you will.

              Did you know that you can talk to God about anything? That is (at least for me) easier said than done. I have talked to God about my unbelief, my lack of love for him, my uncomfortable feelings of the name Jesus Christ, my specific sins, my feelings of lonliness or emptyness, my fears that he is not real, my fears that I am too bad to be saved, or that my faith is not real enough? He has been so kind and loving that he put people in front of me to help me on my journey. That led to the word, and finding a good church. I wish I could tell you that I no longer ever struggle, but sometimes I do, but now I have faith and hope, that it will get better...and it does. I would not want my old life back, the one that excluded God.

              Would you take a small step towards faith? Would you get on your knees and ask God to show you the way and help you to be observant of the things he sends your way? (I actually had a hard time doing this, but did so about 22 years ago. Best thing I have ever done.)

              God Bless you and yours.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Truthfaith...

                There is a great promise given by God in the Bible:

                And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)

                Let share something with you, if I may...a true story.

                I came to know Jesus when I was in my 30s; and with less than 90 days as a Christian I found myself in combat as a Senior NCO with the 82d Abn Div.

                Prior to the launch of the ground assault into Iraq during the first Gulf War, my unit, an anti-tank platoon, was forward deployed near the border.

                I had just finished walking the trace about 0230 one morning, when I heard a couple of young soldiers talking about God, what might happen, etc., (a condition that often happens when the specter of imminent death looms on the horizon)...When I heard one soldier say: "Who the Hell is God to tell me what I should and shouldn't do"...I remember his words to this day.

                We got to talking, and after a bit I heard myself tell him that it was written in the book of Jeremiah that if he'd seek God with all his heart, he'd find Him.

                Now at the time, I wasn't even sure there was a book of Jeremiah...much less what was written in it (less than 90 days as a Christian, remember...)

                Anyway, as we got ready to shift positions a couple of days later, this young paratrooper came to me and said with tears just pouring down his face: "Sergeant ****, I did what you told me to do...I went out into the desert last night and told God that 'I don't even know if you're real, but if you are, let me know'".

                And God spoke to the heart of this young warrior, and I had the great privilege of leading this man to faith in Jesus Christ.

                God will make Himself known to you if you will ask Him in sincerity to do so...If you are really seeking Him, if you really want Him to...He is faithful to answer you.

                But you've got to be ready to accept the answer when it comes...and therein lies the crux of the matter:

                Are you truly seeking Him?
                Ιησούς Χριστός ο κυριος μου και ο θεος μου



                ****When the Lord opens a door, don't walk through it....run full speed; if it's the wrong one He'll let ya know...sometimes He just wants to see if you'll move at all!****


                A Minister of God Ministry - Support and understanding for a Christian serving in the military

                Comment


                • #9
                  Greetings TF,

                  Life sometimes feels like a bad dream doesn't it? Two books of the Bible talk extensively about this. The authors of both Job and Ecclesiastes both lament on the heavy burden of life. Why do the wicked prosper? Why do the righteous suffer? What is righteousness anyway? Why bother? Is it all just vanity? And they aren't asking the questions as some vague philosophical experiment. Here are Godly men LAMENTING. There's a certain amount of passion in that.

                  The good news is that both those books also show balance. They attest to the purpose of righteousness and the authority of God. They're both fairly short books, so I'd encourage you to read them if you've got a Bible handy.

                  Now... how do we know there is a God? Probably one of the most asked questions in history. I don't take my answer for granted, and I can deeply sympathize with your desire for a substantive answer. I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to post 6 links for you to videos by a man named Ravi Zacharias. He is a Christian apologist who's mission is providing the academic and substantive proofs that the hearts of people like you and I long for.

                  Ravi Zacharias - The Existence of God: Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4, Part5, Part6

                  These should at least give you some substance to ponder.

                  Blessings in your search, friend.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TruthFaith View Post
                    moonglow, thanks for the video. It cheered me up.

                    But I also want to know if you have more links...
                    Glad the video cheered you up...here is another one:

                    Father's Love Letter

                    More information links:

                    Answers in Genesis

                    CARM (The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry) Has an easier more simple approach to some of the harder questions but can get more indepth in certain areas.

                    http://www.christian-thinktank.com/
                    A Christian think tank.

                    This is for those that want to do the really indepth studies on certain things in the bible. His resource list is huge! He doesn't refer to Christian only books to come to his conclusions on any studies either. This may not be what you are looking for right now as its not about outside evidence for the bible..but it may be something you could use down the road.

                    The Proof of the Bible
                    The BIBLE—Superstition or AUTHORITY?
                    Did you ever stop to PROVE whether the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God?

                    HAVE YOU ever stopped to really prove whether or not the Bible is divinely inspired by a Creator?

                    I am going to give you the proof. And I am going to tell the skeptics how to disprove the Bible, if it's not inspired, and how to disprove the very existence of God, IF THERE IS NO GOD.



                    Extra-Biblical Historical Evidence for the LIFE, DEATH, and RESURRECTION of JESUS

                    God bless
                    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Would you read 2 Chronicles Chapters 34-35 for me? It's about a very young man, Josiah, who became king when he was 8! 18 years after becoming king, some of his officials & the the high priest find and bring him the Book of God's Law.

                      The wounderful thing is he responded to it. Perhaps you'll find the whole story encouraging and a positive reason to read the bible regularly but also to respond to it?

                      Last night I was listening to a pastor, not at my main church, saying God's work begins when you leave here, not while we're worshipping & praising together. That is when the Spirit should become active and show you what God wants you individually to do. Recognise the gifts of the Spirit you have recieved and use them!

                      You need to stop seeing yourself as seperate and start seeing all the people around you. Go to a local church or 2 or 5! Join in the service, but also get to know the people.

                      When I help the flower ladies, I've got no interest in flower arranging! But I can go up the ladder, carry heavy things and mend their shed. When I take an elderly lady shopping, she blesses me more with her faith and life stories. Visit that sick person you've been told about, even if you've never met them. Visit the bereaved, dying and sick. Believe me a little effort on our part and the reward is in this life, almost immediatly is huge. Love and friendship. SofTy.
                      1 Corinthians 1:12-13 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos: and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

                      Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptised in the name of Paul?

                      KJV

                      May the power of the Spirit of our God unite us. SofTy.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi TrueFaith

                        I understand. I also feel that life is more burdensome than joyful and will be happy when it's over. I have often wondered how I can continue to feel this way since becoming a Christian many years ago.
                        Guess I'm just not an optimistic person by nature. Combine this with an empty marriage (still tuffing it out after 29 years though) and losing the one optimistic person in my life four years ago.
                        I have to force myself to go through the motions of life and like I said, "just tough it out."
                        I came to belief in the Lord by reading scripture, no one could force it on me. I have to say that one other book also convinced me that Jesus is Who He said He was, and that was "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis.
                        It's a great read, as Lewis was an athiest who set out to prove that there is no God.
                        Just try to do the best you can in your life. Not everyone is born to be Little Miss Merry Sunshine!
                        Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held it's ground.
                        ********************************************
                        MAY WE IN EVIL'S HOUR, TRUTH'S SWORD WITH BOLDNESS WIELD

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TruthFaith View Post
                          I just need some truth, to know if God is there, to know if He is all-knowing, because the way I see it is that there like no possible way to know everything, that most of knowledge is subjective and like how does God know everything?
                          The other people in this thread have given good answers for you to know that God is indeed there. Once you realize that your other questions will fall into place.

                          Does God know everything?

                          By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 1 John 3:19-20

                          How does God know everything?

                          God knows everything...because He created everything!

                          Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
                          Romans 11:33-36

                          And since God has comprehensive knowledge of everything, since He Himself created everything, it follows that we as humans, that is, created beings in the image of God, cannot know comprehensively as God does but we can know truly as the Scriptures teach.
                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            what about philosophy and things that you don't neccesarily create but are more like ideas and CONCEPTS

                            Does God know those kinds of things?


                            I'm frustrated on a daily basis by some of these things and I wonder if He knows how philosophically screwed up I am.

                            This whole personal relationship sounds kind of crazy to me.

                            Also, is life going to be joyful (with-out the trials and tribulations included) for Christians?

                            And why does God make it so hard to believe in Him?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I know now that God is the creator, but just because you create does not neccesarily mean that you know everything like philosophical ideas etc.

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