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Where does your faith come from?
  • I'm just curious, but where does your faith come from? What makes you believe in God and have faith in the Lord?

    From where does this come from?

    Many atheists say: "If something good happens, its God's Will. If someone bad happens, then this is due to Free Will". How do you answer them?

    Thanks
  • I like your question Zoxasi. Hope it becomes a fun discussion.

    "Faith is the evidence of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

    I really believe faith is a marvelous mystery. It is essentially the exact proof of the existence of God. But to have faith one must hope. And it is specifically that hope that makes us believe. Each ones faith, in my opinion, is a personal experience where one had to hope and trust in God. I remember listening to Fr. Lazarus of St. Anthony. He was initially an atheist - an atheist professor I believe. And it was his mother's sickness/death, that made him start questionning/hoping in the existence of God. And was as he was doing a metania for the first time, that he felt embraced in the womb of St. Mary.

    Anyways, that being said, it is that encounter when we want nothing but God and hope for nothing but God that establishes our faith. The more we do that, the more we live in faith, the more we grow in faith.

    Now as for the atheist statement.
    "If something good happens, its God's Will. If someone bad happens, then this is due to Free Will".

    That statement is flawed. Was it not God's Will for Christ to be crucified?
  • This is interesting - because Abraham, when he trusted in the Lord and went off to sacrifice his son Isaac, it is said that his faith was counted to him as righteousness.

    I feel that we lose faith when God allows bad things to happen to us. Don't we? Is that a fair statement. Does God allow them? I think he allows them to test our faith in Him.

    A bit like the story of Job - Satan accused Job of simply being righteous because God had blessed Job with many things - take away everything you blessed him with, and I bet he'll insult you.

    Job was sincere to the Lord despite suffering many hardships.

    I think many atheists become atheists because their prayers were not answered, or they were bitter about something. "Why is that criminal out in the streets and my mother who has done nothing wrong to anyone is dying of cancer" - said one atheist to me. 'What kind of God is that?"

    We see so many injustices, and we cannot help but put our trust in the Lord to save us from them, to find that our prayers are not answered. These things affect your faith.

    It is IMPORTANT for God to answer prayers and its important to ask sincerely also. Why? Because its through God answering your prayers that you grow in faith.

    St Mary, the Holy Theotokos, asked our Lord to help the Married couple in Canaa of Galilee. Who told her that He could do something? What gave her that idea? She had ALREADY 30 years experience with LIVING with Christ herself, from her miraculous Birth, to raising the Son of God. She KNEW already that He could miracles.

    And what about us? Are we not also allowed our experiences to see miracles. Hence, to be honest with you, this is what is lacking : unanswered prayers. We are lacking in them. If our prayers were answered, even if the answer wasn't what we expected, but we received AN answer, then our faith would grow.

    But to receive silence - then you won't grow in faith, will you?
  • Who says that all prayers are not answered ? We could just as much say I was just to stubborn to listen. How many times does a question like this pass through our heads: 'if this was His answer, it doesn't satisfy me'? Couldn't we be sometimes to closed-minded to hear something we don't expect and say something "God would never say something like that"?


    For all the evil in this world, of saying God doesn't do anything about it, well how exactly do we know He hasn't? It shouldn't be, 'Hey, God it's my solution or you don't exist.' What if that person is now in heaven? What if that persons death led many who didn't believe to start questioning and looking for answers? What if, what if, what if... etc..

    I once heard an analogy that I liked. If you ever see a 'knit painting', there are 2 sides. On one side, a beautiful picture that can truly show the creativity of an artist. On the other side, a mess. A bunch of strings of different colors going all over the place. Often, we look at that side of God's work. We are so persistent on looking at the messy side that we forget that He sees the whole picture. Only God has all the facts.


Memorial for HH Pope Shenouda

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