Monday, August 21, 2006

Who is God and what is faith?

For months I’ve been kicking around the thoughts regarding God and faith and what it all means. I’ve been a member of a Faith church for 5 years now and I’ve come to accept what they preach as the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Things like, “God always heals if you just have the faith” and “God always provides for your needs” and “the promises of God are yes and amen.” The flipside to this belief is the thinking that if things don’t go according to plan then obviously it’s the fault of the believer. Maybe they didn’t have true faith or maybe there’s some hidden sin that prevented God’s promises from coming forth. When my father-in-law died 2 years ago I was told it was because he had lived an unhealthy life full of mayonnaise and cigarettes, so no amount of prayers could have saved him.

A few weeks ago a 5-month-old little girl died despite the prayers of 200 Faith believers. I would have thought that out of 200 or so people at least one of them would have had the right faith. And the baby was too young to have committed any hidden sins. So why wasn’t she healed? I was told that now is not the time to ask why but to pray for those who are grieving.

But here’s my dilemma: why pray if we’re not sure God will answer? If God arbitrarily decides who He’ll hear and bless then how can I have faith I’ll be the one He hears? And if I don’t have faith then what’s the point of voicing my petitions to begin with?

I know God is compassionate and I know He has helped me in the past. But I know of times when He hasn’t helped, too, and I’m having difficulty trusting any of His promises when it seems He has failed to abide by one.

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