As a left-brain-dominant (ISTJ) introvert, my personality likely seems odd to the majority of the earth’s population. I’m blessed with my wife Wendy who is really awesome at helping me balance things out…mostly.
Possessing such a temperament also means I analyze things to a degree that requires an electron microscope. This often allows me to identify subtleties others might miss but the side effect is that it also creates a perfect environment for anxiety.
When I’ve collected all this subtle information, processed it, come up with a less-than-good-news conclusion and—at the same time—been leveraged by over active extroverts…well…it’s not pretty to be in my head at those times.
Since my father is also an introvert and I work with him, I have had years of watching him deal with these stressful situations and persevere. Nonetheless, anxiety often creeps in.
Thankfully I’ve come to a maturity in my life where I turn to Scripture for answers. Recently, when the stress of my job creeped in and anxiety threatened to consume me I dove into scripture for refuge.
What was so wonderful was the scripture didn’t just console me, it also emboldened me by charging me with a duty to honor and glorify God. Scripture in Philippians was most impactful:
Philippians 4:6–7 (NLT)
6Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
I took the advice given in this scripture. It wasn’t long before it began to be very evident that God had already been at work in my situation. Things were already being put into place before I had even realized, before my faith was strong.
What I realized in this situation was that anxiety expresses a lack of faith. Through prayer (mine and others; thank you Wendy & Corbin) my faith is strengthened until anxiety diminishes, fades.
A comfort and boldness takes me. Perhaps it’s wishful to think I’ve finally and completely learned how to prevent these moments of weakened faith, but I’m encouraged. What’s sure is, the successes I’ve seen are greater than my abilities, but not God’s. Let any successes I have in this life be credited to Him.
What About Those Who Have Never Heard About Jesus? | Think Christianly.
This has always been a major issue for me. It’s good to see some solid scripture on the subject.
When I read a book which causes me to have epiphanic moments I know I’m mentally closing the gaps in my knowledge. Great authors have the ability to take complex ideas and percolate them down into language mere readers can understand and use. I’ve often had those moments reading C. S. Lewis but the moments are hard won in his writings. I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist is a book that delivers those moments straightforward.
Below is a quote from the book I found fun:
“If there is no God, why is there something rather than nothing?” is a question that we all have to answer. And in light of the evidence, we are left with only two options: either no one created something out of nothing, or else someone created something out of nothing. Which view is more reasonable?
…if you can’t believe that nothing caused something, then you don’t have enough faith to be an atheist!
The most reasonable view is God. Robert Jastrow suggested this when he ended his book God and the Astronomers with this classic line: “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.
Here’s a new quote from I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist:
…the Big Bang was the beginning point for the entire physical universe. Time, space, and matter came into existence at that point. There was no natural world or natural law prior to the Big Bang. Since a cause cannot come after its effect, natural forces cannot account for the Big Bang. Therefore, there must be something outside of nature to do the job. That’s exactly what the word supernatural means.
This style of point takes me back to Miracles by C. S. Lewis. It takes a lot of brute force effort to remain atheist in the face of this sort of reasoning. It’s actually easier to be a believer; something other than reason is preventing it. Reasoning like in the quote above makes me also wonder why so many Christians don’t accept the Big Bang. Faith, reason and science a completely compatible without sacrificing any aspect of faith. Science is the observation & study of God’s creation.
The following quote is from the book, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist:
Socrates once said that the unexamined life is not worth living. We believe that the unexamined faith is not worth believing. Furthermore, contrary to popular opinion, Christians are not supposed to “just have faith.” Christians are commanded to know what they believe and why they believe it. They are commanded to give answers to those who ask (1 Pet. 3:15), and to demolish arguments against the Christian faith (2 Cor. 10:4-5). Since God is reasonable (Isa. 1:18) and wants us to use our reason, Christians don’t get brownie points for being stupid. In fact, using reason is part of the greatest commandment which, according to Jesus, is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37).
Much—perhaps most—of my life I’ve been apathetic in professing the truth of the Christian faith. My education concerning my faith was faulty, downright wrong in many areas.
I can’t hold a position and argue it if I don’t believe it. The problem wasn’t in Christianity itself, rather it was the erroneous data I had concerning Christianity. Also, it wasn’t honest to blame those who taught me the errors as truth.
It was and is my responsibility to know all I can know of the truth and to be able—in a loving spirit—to profess that truth.
That’s why the quote hit home with me. I’m excited to read more of the book, it’s empowering.
One must have faith in God. Not in some thing, in everything.