LIFE AND THE PUZZLE OF GOD

As I get older I’m more sure of my faith. I don’t mean at all that I become a more wonderful person: I mean that I know what I know. I’ve become as sure as I am of anything in this shaky, decaying world that my God lives and that I’m going to see him one fine, beautiful day.

Image by Sanjeevan Satheeskurmar

Why is that? How can I be so certain? Isn’t it all just conjecture, superstition and wishful thinking? Hasn’t science disproved the God of the Bible? No, science hasn’t disproved God at all, despite the claims of those who want us to think so. Science without God is intentionally not seeing the wood for the trees. And if you don’t believe that there are people working to rob us of faith, hope and conviction-you’re setting yourself up for all kinds of problems for the rest of your life. The reality is that if anything, true science has further served to show what people knew three thousand years ago and more:

“I will praise you, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).

All things are fearfully and wonderfully made, and even those who want us to dispense with God and with conviction and standards of any kind, sometimes unwittingly admit it. I’m not here going into a discussion of what I see as evidence for God. Instead, I want to confirm what Jesus Christ said:

“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32).

Image by Kal Visuals, Unsplash.

I never have wanted to believe blindly, and neither Jesus or anyone else in Scripture calls us to do so. Perhaps the correct term for this kind of knowing is “conviction”. You make a decision based on what you do know that God seems to be good, and that He is there to be found by those who seek Him. Then you find, in time and to your delight, that it’s all true.

Wanting to know God is a vital aspect to the whole faith journey. He is there to be found by those who want to find Him, and not by those who don’t. This is simple logic: why would God take someone into His kingdom, and into His heaven, who doesn’t want to be there?

In my land of origin, the United Kingdom, I see rampant and ubiquitous cynicism, postmodernist thought in which nothing is objectively true, and a determination to believe no-one, except the BBC when they say that Donald Trump and all his followers are racists, fascists, misogynists, are agents of Russia and are ignorant and stupid. This, unfortunately, is another sign of the truth of Scripture: that the movement of humanity is towards global control via propaganda and, to use a now common phrase, “gas-lighting”.

It seems pretty obvious from the point of view of a cynic that if you choose to believe something without question you’re living by blind faith. But I’ve never lived by blind faith: I proudly distrust experts of every description, as regular readers of mine will know. There are two ways to question something. Either you can be somewhat convinced that there’s something in it, and then look at the evidence with an open mind, or you can set your mind and your heart against it from the start. Then you can either ignore it altogether or begin to pile up the purported evidence against it. This is the state of millions of people in the Western world. They’ve made up their minds without inquiry or consideration, they think the experts are right, and they’ve flushed the gospel of Jesus Christ and all his followers down the toilet of their minds.

At my conversion I was convinced in my heart, and as all good Calvinists would insist (I am not one) it is God who draws us to himself. What all good Calvinists also insist is that we can’t respond of our own free will: that’s where they’re wrong. Jesus Christ knocks on the door of your heart: it’s for you to open the door.

Photo by Jonathan Klok on Unsplash

I sometimes see conversion-that moment of decision-as a narrow bridge, which then leads into a broad and wonderful land of truth and evidence. At the time I crossed that bridge there was a huge chasm between what I had been, and what God was calling me to be. I could see from my new vantage point that everything was different, and now I can truthfully claim to have been on both sides of the faith-fence. Through the forty-two years since then (I got the number wrong recently) it’s become clearer and clearer to me that the words of God, as contained in the Scripture we call the Bible, are true. I’ve also come to see that this claim of Jesus Christ is true:

“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6).

Everything fits this claim. Life, death, science and nature, beauty, holiness, the present state of our world, decency, love, past, future, history, relationships and every aspect of life fits with this claim, as surely as nine-hundred and ninety-nine pieces of a jigsaw puzzle fit around the very first piece you lay down. They all make a complete and perfect picture.

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