Belief, Faith and Trusting in God
Believer's Seekers Atheist and Agnostics
This is an article for believers, seekers, atheists, and agnostics. In this article, I will share the true story about people who were not only non-believers but people who purposefully set themselves on a journey to disprove the Bible and Christianity.
As you read I pray that you will be hungry to learn more about your own journey in life. I hope this article creates questions and interests for the seeker, atheist and agnostic. May God touch your heart and give you faith!
What is Faith?
In the uncertainty of these times we need Faith. What is Faith? Webster’s dictionary defines faith as “belief and trust in and loyalty to God; belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion; firm belief in something for which there is no proof; complete trust.
In this article, I'd like to begin by sharing references about faith and then lead into stories of people who were once agnostic and atheist but who in the process to disprove Christianity found faith in the very real God of the Bible.
I will strive to engage you as we take an up-close look at the following:
- References about Faith
- Why Believe in What Cannot Be Seen
- Begin With the Word of God
- Agnostic Turned Believer
- Atheist Turned Believer
- Take the Challenge - Get yourself a Study Bible - Access Online Resources for Study
If you are left with one thought, after reading this article, I hope it will be, there is no one beyond God's reach!
References about Faith
The Bible is filled with references about Faith - Here is a Sample:
- An Assured Faith: "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." Hebrews 11:1
- A Response to Faith: "Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven." Matthew 9:2
- A Tested Faith: "In all this, you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." I Peter 1:6,7
- A living Faith: "We live by faith, not by sight." II Cor. 5:7
- An Overcomers Faith: "For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith." I John 5:4
- A Saving by Faith: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8
Why Believe in What Cannot Be Seen?
Why believe in what cannot be seen?
Faith brings purpose to those who, having not seen, still believe in God. The Bible says in I Peter 1:8 "Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with inexpressible and glorious joy."
There are those who believe no matter the cost. Back in Bible times, believing in Jesus came with a cost. The newborn faith, in the believer's life, drew attention away from the religious leaders. Those who chose faith were placed under these leader's scrutiny. The religious leaders were threatened by Jesus. A true disciple knew that following Jesus meant persecution and the very real possibility of losing their lives for Christ's sake. Yet Jesus’ true followers' would not deny Him. They had seen the Messiah and knew that He held the power of life and death in His hands.
Just as those living in Jesus' time; Christians down through the ages have clung to a faith whose hope is in Jesus' sure return. Faith changes them from the inside out. Faith brings hope and light into the darkest pit of life's journey. A follower of Christ does not believe in coincidences. By faith, they see the hand of God at work in all things at all times. The believer knows, by faith, that "God works all things together for the good of those that love Him." Romans 8:28
What do people, who have no faith, do when disasters happen and their hearts get broken? Without faith, it would be easy to feel like a victim of circumstances and to concede with King Solomon as he viewed life, apart from God, "Meaningless, meaningless, all is meaningless."
What is Faith? It is belief in a God you cannot see. Though it seems, to some, a concept hard to grasp, it doesn't mean it is not very real. Faith is like believing in the air that surrounds you as you breathe it in. Although you cannot see faith or the air you breathe, you still believe because you see the manifestations. The manifestations of an extraordinary intelligent creator, like the air, are all around us and creation sings of His glory.
Begin With The Word
Faith Comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
The stories I will be sharing with you are about people who started out as agnostics and atheists determined to prove the Bible false. Their plan was to begin their mission by reading through the Bible. During the course of this venture, the Word of God spoke to the spirit of the man.
As God moved the skeptics became aware that they were on holy ground and what he was reading was not a book written by a mere human. They became convinced that the sacred text were God-breathed.
You see, the more time a person spends in this Holy book the more he is changed from the temporary, limited, earth-bound perspective, to eternal truth.
Agnostic turned Believer
The book, entitled, "Daktar," is a fascinating true story about a couple, Dr. Vic. and Joan Olsen, who were self-proclaimed agnostics.
Vic and Joan Olsen were continually challenged by Joan's parents to study the Bible. Joan's parents believed all of the answers to life were found inside this sacred book. The couple got tired of the hounding, as they called it, and set out on a mission to disprove the validity of a personal God who speaks to mankind through the Word of God. But instead of disproving it, they found the flaws in their thinking and proved to themselves that the Bible is God's very word to us.
Dr. Viggo Olsen B.S., M.S., M.D., F.A.C.S., D.T., M.&H., was one of four in his class at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, to receive the M.D. degree cum laude.
Viggo declined the opportunity to become sixth in the prestigious Halsted lineage of surgeons and a professor at an early age. His faith led him to leave everything behind and fly to the other side of the world to serve in East Pakistan.
I own the book, 'Daktar' and know you will be engrossed and challenged as you read the details of this couple's journey - I couldn't put it down.
Can you imagine possessing such high intelligence, and being offered a promising future with all the bells and whistles, only to turn it down as Vic Olsen did? He and his wife chose instead to go to a third world country completely void of comfort, fame or fortune.
This couple left the applause and respect of colleagues to serve the God they found to be real.
Atheist Turned Beleiver
Lee Strobel was an award-winning reporter for the Chicago Tribune and was also an avowed atheist. Lee was an Atheist turned believer. Just like the Olsen's, he also set out to investigate and disprove the Bible.
In "The Case for Christ" he presents compelling evidence and expert testimony for the claims of Christianity. There is also a well-done movie produced, by the same name, that tells Stoebels story. It includes all of the intricate details of his life before he dove into the research and in the process of his intense research. You will see how his struggle affected his emotions, his marriage, and his relationships.
As a seasoned journalist, with a Yale law background, Strobel systematically tracks down his leads to ask blunt tough questions - questions that can make or break the Christian faith. He refuses contrived, simplistic answers.
The Case For Christ
Take the Challenge
If you have never taken the time to investigate the Bible for yourself, I'd like to challenge you to do just that. If you are a skeptic or a believer, I recommend both books listed above.
If you want to learn for yourself and are not sure how to go about reading the Bible, may I recommend "How to Study the Bible" by Kay Arthur or "How to Study the Bible" by John MacArthur.
There are many reliable translations today. This year I am reading through the New Living Bible and would highly recommend it. The Online Amazon store is a great place to find new and deeply discounted prices on used books. I have also included links where you can listen to The Bible Online for free. The internet makes it SO easy for us.
God bless you as you journey - Please take the time to do your own search for Truth and contemplate the complexities of the Universe.
The Bible Online
For those who have been motivated to dig into the Bible, to search the question for themselves "What is Faith," if you don't have a Bible, I have included The Bible Online website where you can read the whole Bible for free.
Read the Bible Online Here:
Bible Gateway - I recommend the Living Bible Translation for those who are new to Bible reading.
I have friends who tell me that they HATE to read. These friends would benefit by listening to the bible. For those who'd rather listen I have included an audio Bible Online. You are going to love it!
Listen to the Bible On-line Here:
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© 2010 Susan Ream