Struggling to Believe in God?

You are not alone.

If you sometimes struggle to believe in the God of the Bible, you’re not alone. A lot of  intelligent and thoughtful people struggle with questions about how a God who is all good, all-powerful, and all knowing fails to meet our expectations or do the things we want.

In a recent sermon series, the teaching team at Crossroads Church addressed 5 of the top reasons we hear from people about why they struggle to put their faith in God. 

Have you ever thought to yourself, how can I believe in a God who ...

  • Allows suffering

  • Doesn’t answer my prayers

  • I don’t need

  • Has followers who are hypocrites

  • Says there is only one way to heaven 

    If so,  check out the topics below for some thought-provoking answers that might help.

#1 Why does God allow suffering?

A lot of people wonder: If God is all powerful, all knowing, and all loving, why do bad things happen to people? If God is all-powerful, and yet allows suffering, does that mean he doesn’t love us or doesn’t care?

Or maybe: If God is all-knowing, and actually cares about what’s going on, He can’t possibly be all-powerful or He would DO something about it!

When Jesus’ friend Lazarus was dying in John 11, we see him enter into and feel the pain we all experience in this life. We can learn a lot from this story, but maybe the most important lesson is that God is not emotionally tone-deaf. When Mary pours out her heart to Jesus, he just breaks down in tears and we see the true heart of God… but then why does he allow the suffering in the first place?

Watch the message: I can’t believe in a God who allows suffering

#2 Why doesn't God answer my prayers?

Perhaps you’ve heard the old cliché, Prayer changes things. But what about the times when it just doesn’t? You ask for something from God, something good, and nothing happens—it’s like he wasn’t even listening. 

When Jesus said in Matthew 7, “For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” Does he actually mean that everything we ask for, we get? The obvious answer is no. And Jesus follows this up with, “… how much more will your Father give good things to those who ask him?”

Those are important words, God gives good things. Only good things. He doesn’t give serpents to children. “Ask and you will receive” doesn’t mean ask and you will receive the very thing you ask for when you ask for it in the way you ask for it. Jesus didn’t say that, and He didn’t mean that. Pastor Matt Manning helps us understand God’s answer to our prayers even when it feels like he isn’t listening or just doesn’t care.

If we take the teaching as a whole, it says that when we ask, seek, and knock — when we pray as children reaching up to our heavenly Father, he will hear us and he will give us GOOD things in response to those prayers.

Sometimes that means he will give us just what we asked, in the way we asked for it, when we asked it - just the way we desired. And other times he gives us something better, or brings it in his own way or timing with the greater goal of our spiritual growth in mind. And other times, like a wise dad he says “no.” While that sounds a lot like silence to us, and can even seem heartless,  knowing his heart towards you is full of love, kindness, and compassion can help build your trust and faith that He’s ultimately giving us only what is truly good for us.