Posts Tagged ‘reading’

Faith is always a difficult thing to understand. Many people believe that faith in God is a blind faith i.e. believing against all the evidence. However, it is far from that. Blind faith is throwing yourself out of an aeroplane at 20 000ft and hoping to land safely. Faith is throwing yourself out of an aeroplane at 20 000ft with a parachute which you’ve packed yourself, checked and double checked and hoping to land safely.

I’ve talked about faith and belief using the analogy of the chair. You may test out the chair before you have faith enough to sit in it. The same is true with belief in God. You don’t just blindly decide one day that you’re going to move from a place of vague belief to a strong faith in God. As with the chair you test it, look at it from all angles and assess it in every way possible. Faith in God is not something you blindly walk into – if it is going to be a real, genuine, living faith you have to go into it with your eyes well and truly wide open.

So, how can I test this belief to see if it will hold my weight? There are many ways that a belief in God can be explored, tested, challenged and built upon. Here are just a handful of ideas…

Find a friend

Do you have a friend who is a faithful Christian? If so I’m sure they will help you explore the whole area of faith. They may not have all the answers but I’m sure they’d be willing to help you find them. Talk to them about their faith – how they made the move from not believing to believing or from a belief to a stronger faith. Ask them about things to do with faith that you don’t understand. Ask them what it means for them to be a Christian. Some Christians love to be asked about their faith, some however don’t like it as they are worried about giving the wrong answer or worried that they might not have an answer at all. If your friend is worried about answering your questions ask them if there is someone in their church who you can ask.

You may want to ask your friend to pray for you as you explore the whole area of faith. Get them to pray that god would help you understand and reveal Himself to you.

Read all about it!

Some people love to read and some hate it. If you like to read there are so many good books out there to help you think through the whole area of faith. Your local Christian Bookshop manager should be able to direct you to the right book or books for you. It is very difficult to recommend books generally as there are so many out there, some not internationally available and you all have differing preferences. However, I would consider suggesting most books by Nicky Gumbel, Lee Strobel and Ralph O. Muncaster. They are writers with well thought out arguments to help you build a foundation of faith.

What better place to start than with the Bible

The Bible may seem like a very daunting place to start, but it needed be. Whatever you don’t sit down and start reading the Bible from the beginning with the idea of reading it like a novel. You’ll find it as difficult as reading a dictionary!!! What I would suggest is starting with the book of Mark, it can be found near the back of the Bible and is the second book in the New Testament. It tells the story of the life of Jesus and is an excellent place to start. As you’re reading it you may want to make notes. Especially of things that you don’t understand. If you do have things you don’t understand you can ask a Christian friend or you are more than welcome to contact us here using the contact tab above. We are always happy to answer questions and receive people’s feedback.

A Short course in Christianity

Many churches offer short courses in exploring the Christian faith. These are relaxed times of learning where you can ask questions and explore with others in a similar position about the Christian faith. There are courses such as ALPHA, Christianity Explored and many others run by individual churches. Many churches have posters outside advertising these courses or you could give your local church a ring and even if they are not running one they would be able to find out your nearest venue.

Attend a church service

Any church would love to see you. If you have a Christian friend why not ask if you can go along with them one Sunday to a service – they’d be delighted to take you. You may find the service a bit strange, especially if you’ve never been to church before. Don’t worry they’re not going to get you to do anything you don’t want to do but a bit like going to a bookmakers or Royal Garden party you won;t know exactly what is going on or what to do – if in doubt just follow what everyone else is doing!! You should find the church very welcoming and friendly – after all they’re just a bunch of fairly normal people meeting together to give their thanks to God and draw encouragement from each other – in its most basic sense that is what church is all about.

Finally how about speaking to God?

Praying – basically having a conversation with God – can seem pretty weird to start with. However, let’s face it – if God does exist then it’s the most natural thing in the world to do – if god doesn’t exist all we’re going is talking to ourselves which is good therapy anyway!!! I jest a little but you get my point. If God created you, loves you and wants the best for you there is nothing He like better than to communicate with you, to hear your worries and concerns and to help out. The whole subject of prayer is a huge subject, especially when talking about faith and belief. Next week we’ll take a further look at the subject and delve a little deeper.