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Mygary - I'm trying to find God but am struggling.

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Over the past few months I have been struggling with the idea of God and the afterlife. I was raised Christian-catholic and went to a catholic elementary/middle school, but was never that serious about the faith and only went to church because that's what I was supposed to do. Sometime around the start of high-school I stopped going to church because I never enjoyed it and always felt like it was a chore. Since then I haven't really identified with any certain religion, instead I just ignored the question. I guess that "agnostic" would be the best word to describe my beliefs, meaning that although I don't subscribe to a specific religion I do feel like there is something mystical and important going on with the world. It doesn't make sense to me if we just take a pure scientific view towards life. At the end of the day, we're just matter and energy interacting. I'm not saying the science isn't true, but it removes the deeper meaning from us and throw's away purpose. The meaning of life according to science is to create more life. But that doesn't include the afterlife, which is the most important mystery for everyone. I am 21 now and have had more time to think seriously about life and religion, having my own personal challenges dealing with mortality after losing my father from Leukemia a little over a year ago. I've been trying to re-visit Christianity and learn from a more mature perspective, but I'm not sure that I can become a believer. I want to believe in God for the security of knowing that death isn't final, but I still have the same thoughts and questions that won't let me believe. Concerns like how people know Christianity is the Truth when every other religion also claims to be the one true religion so adamantly. There's also the problem of eternal hell with Christianity, and how to deal with something so horrible if it is to be believed. I really do want to believe, but at the same time I don't think I can truly believe in my heart unless I come to peace with questions like these or something in me changes. I almost feel hopeless, like a lost cause, but figure this is worth a try since it would be the most important thing in life if it is true. I'm more interested in talking to believers about this than non-believers because I am searching for supernatural meaning, not worldly meaning. I have already been exposed to enough atheism, hate, and disbelief towards religion via the internet and the culture of today's society. I know that not all atheists and non-believers are hateful people inherently, but their world view is to bleak and boring to me, it's rather sad. It is time to return to true believers and find out why they believe, and how I can believe also. Please let me know your thoughts on all of this, and if you are believers please pray for me that I may find God. Thank you. 🙂

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There is a belief that in order to find God we must see first how everyone else sees him, and what they think on the matter. We must search the key to it all in the bible, but wait, that doesn't quite give the whole picture, hmmm.... Perhaps King Georges? Oh, no that isn't quite right either. So it must be the old testament, wait no the new testament...The Quran? UGH none of this even makes any sense! And so, we go in circles around and around and around trying to find the right answer, trying to find what feel right in our heart, the piece of the puzzle that will fill that missing space perfectly and allow us to see the whole picture. The problem is that you're just grabbing handfuls of pieces and trying to see which one fits, when if you just looked inside, you would know how the piece is shaped.

What I am saying with all of this is that you must look inside yourself, and inside your soul and search THERE for God, because that's where the little rascal was hiding all along. He wasn't waiting around the corner of some ancient cathedral, or hiding in the pages of some dusty tome, he was with you the entire time, looking over your shoulder with a curious look on his face wondering what you were looking for so hard. Find out what god means to you by listening to what your heart tells you. That's the only way you can be completely satisfied with the answer. 

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I'm with Sumner on some points and others im opposed, but i suppose we are all different  so that is to be expected. 

I'm  sorry about your father, and these types of events tend to bring thoughts of what happens after death to the forefront of our mind. But I think what you are actually going to want to find is not the answer to a question, but instead the God that put you in the place to ask those questions. 

The Bible and the Quran for that matter are not meant for find God in them entirely.  Indeed they are words on paper and if you were to worship the Bible instead of the God who spoke it, that would be a shame. Instead they tell us who God is. For the saints, the Bible is the Word of God. How would you understand who someone was without listening to the words they spoke? You wouldn't  know they thoughts about you, or what they had planned or what they expected if you just ignored the words they said. 

So I agree with Sumner that you don't  need to hear what other people think to find out who God is, but I disagree that you would find God as a part of you. If we try to make our god, what fits in that hole we find in ourselves we end up with something  imperfect. We try to fill that hole with  many things and a god who is built by us to fill that hole will only last for a while. 

He is who He is. The Bible speaks very seldomly of Hell and very little of heaven  and yet this is what we spend most of our time concerned with the book about. When in reality, is a book about being present with God. In war, in trial, in peace, in joy, in sadness, in longing, in depression.  

God is with you in all of it, and i like Sumners analogy of a father watching over your shoulder the entire time as you search for him. But finding Him is as simple as asking him. When you cry out "God show yourself" and her turns out to be right there, its like one of those movie moments where one person is helping their friends search for that person. 

If God is as He says, He is not troubled by your questions, He is not mocked by how little we understand, and doesn't think us foolish for asking. Therefore in your pursuit of the truth ask for God boldly. Not as a pretense for receiving anything, but as a cry for God. The Bible is filled with stories of God proving himself to man. When Peter walks on water (Matthew 14), when Elijah confronts  the worshippers of Baal (1st Kings 18), and the entire book of Job where the man does nothing but ask God to answer him and the Lord appears to him. 

I don't believe because I think a certain way or I have been raised a certain way. I believe because the Lord of the universe considered it important  enough to take the time to convince me. Through the changes the have impacted my life, both the explainable and the inexplicable. Through the people that surround me both in person and onthe internet. Through His Word which has survived as long as it has. 

But your story is different, your life is different, and thus He is going to show you differently.  

And I am certain Joe and Ryan's  response will be just as different.  

Love

Joseph Bohan 

One of the Real Ones. 

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