Confessions of a Christian Atheist: Seeking Audacious Faith in God even when Life is Hard

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Confessions of a Christian Atheist: Seeking Audacious Faith in God even when Life is Hard

When I first saw the book The Christian Atheist by Craig Groeschel, I did a double-take.  It seemed an oxymoron: how can one be a Christian who believes in God and an atheist who doesn’t?  But scripture says it is possible: “They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him.” (Titus 1:16)

Guilty.

You see, I have no problem believing in God. However, I often struggle with believing that he will do for me what he promises in his word.

Sometimes, I find myself living in a “what if” mindset that doesn’t look any different than those who have no hope and no belief in a personal God who cares about the smallest details. My words are those of a believer but my worry reflects a person with no hope, who doesn’t believe.

Worry is the opposite of trust in God. When I live by faith, I believe God has things under control and will provide. When I worry, I am putting my faith in things that can’t make a difference. I have to believe that what he says about himself in scripture is true. If I believe God’s word is true, I have to believe all of it. If he says he is my provider, I must not doubt his provision. If he says he hears me when I cry out to him, I must not live like he doesn’t – even if the answer doesn’t come immediately. If he promises that I can do all things through Jesus Christ, I need to live that way.

Atheists often say that they don’t believe in God because they have never seen him, heard him, or felt his presence. If I don’t feel or see God at work then I may be tempted to also doubt his presence, but scripture says in Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

My favorite definition of faith is that it is taking God at his word, regardless of what I think or feel. Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

So what can I do when that “atheist” part of my heart, prone to doubt, threatens to derail my faith in God?   

I take God at his word, meditating on scripture such as Hebrews 4:12-16 that tells me the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword. In this passage, we are assured that God is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of my heart and help me with my unbelief. It reminds me that I am not hidden from his sight, that in him I have a great high priest who can sympathize with my weaknesses, and that I can draw near with confidence to find mercy in my time of need.

As I focus more on knowing God and what he promises in his word, my level of trust strengthens and I can more easily shed my “Christian atheist” doubts.

As Groeschel says, “If God does what you think he should do, trust him. If God doesn’t do what you think he should do, trust him. If you pray and believe God for a miracle and he does it, trust him. If your worst nightmare comes true, believe he is sovereign. Believe he is good.”

This kind of faith sets us apart from those who don’t believe and have no hope – this kind of faith changes lives and hearts. I’m striving to live with this kind of faith every day. Are you?

Read an earlier post by Cindy here. 

About The Author
Cindy Baum
Cindy Baum
I am a freelance writer living in Indiana who enjoys real books, real letter writing, and dark chocolate. I’ve mostly been a mom at home for the past three decades as my husband and I have raised three daughters and a son. We are now proud grandparents to the sweetest little girl on the planet. I have a degree in journalism from Indiana State University. I also served on the publications staff of Campus Crusade for Christ after I graduated from college, and have written for various newspapers and magazines. I appreciate the mentoring focus of Trochia because it fits with my passions. I love to dig into the truth of scripture and share it in a way that challenges others to “excel still more” as encouraged in 1 Thessalonians 4:1.
16 Comments
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  • Wendie Florez Rodriguez
    October 2, 2013 at 6:05 am

    U turn to the lord and speaks the word forever thk u me lord

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  • Cynthia Wardlaw
    October 2, 2013 at 6:18 am

    Pray

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  • Sandra Peloquin
    October 2, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Trust Him even if you don’t understand His Plan…He is still in control…

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  • Rebecca Morgan Larson
    October 2, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    !Do you like to be laughed at? Every time you think “Is God really here to help me?” Or “Why doesn’t God answer my prayers and needs?” The devil is laughing at you thinking, I knew it, I’ve got her now, she/he will give up for sure. Don’t let the devil stand and whisper to you over your shoulder, you wouldn’t let anyone else do that. Yell out, Get behind me Satan, God is real!! God is the creator over all things, yell it out loud. Satan, your a liar! Faith is trusting God when you can’t feel him, when you think your alone, God is with you! Always!

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  • Maritza Acosta
    October 2, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    I am like this at times but I will try to believe all the time.

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  • Rick Wallum
    October 4, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Keep asking. He knows, but sometimes you need to let Him know if you are really having a difficult time.

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  • Linda Dixon
    October 7, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    I don’t have doubts anymore – but I think all people have at one time or another – I think the best thing to do is to REMEMBER amazing things that have happened in your life that is somehow (from God) – that has helped you at a time you really needed help, or someone you love who you may have prayed for that needed help. Another thing is . . . Simply Praise the beautiful Name of Jesus … say it several times slowly in a row while thinking of all He suffered for us – – – there is much peace and confidence in this… ” I know in whom I have placed my trust, and I am confident that He is ABLE to take care of that which I have entrusted unto Him until that day” . . . 2nd Timothy 1: 12-13

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  • Judy Miller
    November 19, 2013 at 8:37 am

    AMEN

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  • Joyce Thacker Mitchell
    November 19, 2013 at 10:55 am

    AMEN

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  • Tamara Drought
    November 19, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Amen

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  • Sherie Koehler
    November 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Amen and today

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  • Raul Hernandez
    November 19, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Amen!

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  • Angela Sykes Klawon
    November 19, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    AMEN

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  • Donald C.Vest
    November 19, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    AMEN

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  • Kathy Horton
    November 19, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    amen

    0
  • Manuel Bonilla
    November 19, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    amen

    0

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