Have I lost my faith?
High-profile Christians Joshua Harris and Marty Sampson recently made headlines when they declared that they had changed their minds about faith. Perhaps you’ve been having similar feelings…
Both men took to Instagram to express their feelings. Regretful author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Joshua Harris, wrote: “By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian.” A few days later, Hillsong worship leader Marty Sampson, who penned ‘King of Majesty’ and ‘O Praise the Name’, wrote: “Time for some real talk... I’m genuinely losing my faith… and it doesn’t bother me.”
It’s really sad to hear prominent (or indeed any) Christians voicing their doubts about faith or turning away from God. Let’s hope and pray that they find him in their future journeys, and that they are treated with love and compassion by those around them in the meantime.
I’m sure we can all relate to these feelings to some extent. Maybe we’ve clung to the coat-tails of our parents’ faith all our lives and are missing our own connections with God. Or perhaps we were once on fire for him but the flames have gone out, leaving nothing but smouldering ashes. Maybe like Marty we have too many questions and feel that science answers more of them than a belief system can. So what can we do about it?
- Go to God. If you’re having doubts, talk to your heavenly Father about them. Often in the Bible we read that people questioned, petitioned and called out to God for help, and it’s amazing to see how he came through for them. He can do the same for you.
- Read the Bible. It’s easy to drift away from God if we’re not reading his Word regularly. Set aside a time each day to read something from the Bible and stick to it for a month. Write down anything that jumps out at you, even if it brings up more questions than answers. You’ll be amazed at the impact this daily habit can have.
- Talk to other Christians. Don’t feel as though you’re alone in this. Many other people have come to a standstill in their faith at some point and wondered whether to press on or take another path. Share your doubts and concerns. Ask people to pray for you. Seek advice from people you trust. And enjoy hanging out with them!
- Look to the past. Often when we look back over our lives we remember the things God has done in the past. The Bible is full of rituals that help people remember his goodness, but sometimes we can forget what has happened in our lives as we focus on the future. Consider why you became a Christian in the first place. How has your life changed since then? Have their been times of genuine encounter with God? Have you ever been healed or heard his voice? Is there something you’ve been set free from that you need releasing from again?
- Find God in what you enjoy. Maybe music brings you to life. If so, turn up the volume! Or perhaps you love animals. In that case, stick on a nature show or get out there and see them in the wild.Or perhaps you’re the creative type and nothing makes you happier than putting paint to canvas or icing to cake. As you do these fun things, seek the God who created them and you! Sometimes we experience him in the everyday and the mundane, and other times in the glory and splendour of his creation.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV) says: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”
If you feel you need to recommit your life to God, you could pray this prayer:
“Father, I come to you with my doubts and lay them at your feet. Help me to overcome them and find answers to the many questions I have. Thank you for the gift of faith, and for your never-ending love. May I know you more each day. In Jesus’ name, amen.”