Life can be discouraging. Doubt and discouragement are not evidence for denying the existence of God.

I’ve read many atheists. I’ve heard of famous former Christians who don’t believe in God now. Sooner or later they express doubt or discouragement as evidence: something has happened – God can’t be good. Or I don’t understand – God doesn’t exist.

I do not want to minimalize pain but living by faith means doubt. But your doubts and discouragement are not a reason to lose faith. It means that you don’t understand.

Is there an answer? Is there ultimate purpose for pain? Can you still hope when God doesn’t answer your prayers?

Yes.

If you are walking on an icy sidewalk and fall, you hurt and are bleeding. Is this a reason to doubt the goodness of God?

Magnify the fall to a disease of a loved one, an auto accident, or an imminent bankruptcy. Is God still powerful, or are there reasons that make sense from the perspective of eternity that you don’t understand?

Faith can grow through discouragement and lack of understanding.

A scholar once told me, “There isn’t 100% evidence of anything in this world. Whether you accept Jesus or deny God, it is still an act of faith. But which viewpoint comes closer to the 100% – belief or denial of God?”

Despite the particulars of your current pain, I believe that if evidence is considered without predisposition (you don’t want to believe in Jesus because you don’t want to change your life), the evidence favors God.

One of greatest minds who ever lived was C.S. Lewis. After years of examining evidence he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He described this moment, “In 1929, I gave in and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all of England.”

Most of us have more joy when we begin to follow Jesus!

The evidence is there.

One bit of evidence that has stuck in my mind for years:  A hand surgeon said, “I can fix the injuries to most hands, but I can’t design a better hand.” How do we get design, great design, that anticipates needed agility and function, from nothing?

I get discouraged, I doubt, and I get angry. I still believe.

Belief is better than nothing! Even though I don’t understand now, standing on evidential faith, I have hope that someday I will understand and see purpose.

I’ve been reading the Book of Lamentations written by the Prophet Jeremiah. In this Old Testament book he writes about his discouragement and doubt when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians.

Chapter 3 is a masterpiece of finding peace during unimaginable suffering:

This I recall to my mind; therefore, I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:21-23