Looking in the wrong places

A friend says he has lost his faith in God and is trying to find it again.

My guess is that he has a flawed understanding of God and of faith.

His struggles are sharpening my own views.

He tells me he had faith in God from childhood and finally gave up when the Lord did not answer a prayer of his. He is reluctant to tell me what that prayer was and I don’t probe.

But he tells me he very much wants his faith restored. I can see that longing because he has raised the subject with me several times.

I have told him I believe Jesus loves him so much that he gave his life for him on the cross.

But he believes that God is disgusted with him and that he will never be worthy of God – and will never see God.

I agree that none of us is worthy of God. But the whole story of Jesus is about how passionately he wants a relationship with us despite our unworthiness. This is something my friend finds hard to understand.

I believe his problem is that he thinks God is exactly like us. We lash out angrily at people who hurt us or disappoint us. But God seeks us even when we fail him.

I wonder, too, what he expects faith to be.

Andy Stanley has said that faith is believing Jesus is who he says he is and that he will do what he has said he will do.

It is hard to have faith in Jesus if you don’t believe he is what he says he is.

As I said in an earlier blog post, only God can open our eyes to that truth.

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