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Losing Faith


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In all of this spiralling depression, I am periodically losing my faith. It's not becuase my prayers aren't being heard, or because of some greater attachment to a physical world. Instead, I find myself unable to comprehend the notion of 'why'. My issue comes with suicide and religious interests. It just seems too cruel for a deity to place a human being on this Earth, then throw a life of pain, confusion and mental illness into the frame of the individual. Finally, if they lean towards trying to escape, when it seems like things are too difficult, too overwhelming to be able to stand against, you cannot escape, as it is a sin punnishable by damnation in nearly every major religion, especially those of the Abrahamic tradition. It truly feels as though we are experiencing a world in which we are forced to run a maze that has no escape, and is only punishment. Yet, if one desires to cheat the system, they are punished with worse pain.

Why would a deity that is supposed to be an enforcer of justice, equality and has a plan subject mankind to this? Why would some of plans force a lifetime of mental illness on a biological level, and an inability to form normal relationships with the people aorund them? What is the reason behind not allowing us to escape, when there is no real hope of anything getting better, aside from the possibility of medical advancements?

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We must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when confronted with a hopeless situation, when facing a fate that cannot be changed. For what then matters is to bear witness to the uniquely human potential at its best, which is to transform a personal tragedy into a triumph, to turn one's predicament into a human achievement. When we are no longer able to change a situation--just think of an incurable disease such as inoperable cancer--we are challenged to change ourselves.

Viktor Frankl, concentration camp survivor

Edited by solarflare
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You aren't a bad person for having doubts, for questioning. We were created in God's image, and one dimension of that is the fact that we have minds that can think and reason, and we are expected to use them.

It's perfectly reasonable to ask why a God who loves us so much allows us to suffer. We question why there is war, starvation, cancer... and depression. Sometimes we don't feel His presence, even when we need it badly, and always He is silent. Of course, I don't have a direct line to God, but I have the same access to Scripture as you and everyone else....

And in that Scripture, we read the account of how God's own son, Jesus, was humiliated, tortured and killed. Those of us who believe in an all powerful God know He certainly was able, if He wished it, to save His son from a horrible, suffering death. He could have put a stop to it, but He did not. He doesn't necessarily intervene in our suffering either, though we pray earnestly to be delivered from an existence that makes us often feel as though we are the living dead. Does any of this mean that God doesn't care about our pain and our suffering, or even that of His own son?

If you study Holy Scripture with careful attention to disastrous events, evil people, bad things in general, what you will find is that, yes, evil happens, and God doesn't stop it. Bad things often happen to good people, and evil people often prosper. This isn't supposed to be heaven on earth. But note this: even when evil appears to win, it loses. God always finds a way to turn evil to good.

I suffer the same evil as you... depression- a darkness in my soul that tries to destroy me, saps my will to live, makes me so miserable sometimes I just want to die and be done with it all. Sometimes it makes me doubt too. But in the end, it loses, because as much as I hate depression, I have to admit to myself that it reminds me all the time how much I need God in my life, how I could simply not make it any other way. It keeps me humble. It gives me compassion for others, because I know what it is to suffer indescribable pain that leaves no external mark. It makes me want to reach out to other people and do what I can for them, even if that is only to offer a kind word. Perversely, it makes me a better man than I might otherwise have been. Simply put, depression loses... not that I would not drop this awful burden in a second if I could, but, good does come out of evil.

And finally, God does not D*** those who have spent a lifetime in silent agony, and just couldn't take another minute of it. No, that God I will never believe in...

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Why would a deity that is supposed to be an enforcer of justice, equality and has a plan subject mankind to this? Why would some of plans force a lifetime of mental illness on a biological level, and an inability to form normal relationships with the people aorund them? What is the reason behind not allowing us to escape, when there is no real hope of anything getting better, aside from the possibility of medical advancements?

I wonder this too. I am a Christian, but my relationship with God has been damaged, because He has allowed me to suffer the misery of mental illness for almost my whole life - ever since I was a little girl.

You are not alone in questioning God.

Edited by AquaViolet
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" I suffer the same evil as you... depression- a darkness in my soul that tries to destroy me, saps my will to live, makes me so miserable sometimes I just want to die and be done with it all. Sometimes it makes me doubt too. But in the end, it loses, because as much as I hate depression, I have to admit to myself that it reminds me all the time how much I need God in my life, how I could simply not make it any other way. It keeps me humble. It gives me compassion for others, because I know what it is to suffer indescribable pain that leaves no external mark. It makes me want to reach out to other people and do what I can for them, even if that is only to offer a kind word. Perversely, it makes me a better man than I might otherwise have been. Simply put, depression loses... not that I would not drop this awful burden in a second if I could, but, good does come out of evil ".

Hi .

I too am in a bad place with my deression/bipolar.

I am struggling with my faith aswell. While I question God's plan sometimes and if He is evening listening, I still have a need to talk to him. Your post describes my feelings perfectly! I just couldn't put it in words.

Thank You!

Edited by Fender
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I left my faith behind in Iraq. It might be there somewhere still.

Regarding Christianity, God doesn't take care of his own. If there is a deity, then I can't believe that it would be involved in this world and still be good.

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You can kinda come to understanding by reading the Book of Job. This is from wikipedia-

The book of Job tells the story of an extremely righteous man named Job, who was very prosperous and had seven sons and three daughters. Constantly fearing that his sons may have sinned and "cursed God in their hearts", he habitually offered burnt offerings as a pardon for their sins.[2] The "sons of God" and satan (literally "the adversary") present themselves to God, and God asks Satan his opinion on Job. Satan answers that Job is pious only because God has put a "wall around" him and "blessed" His favourite servant with prosperity, but if God were to stretch out his hand and strike everything that Job had, then he would surely curse God. God gives Satan permission to test Job's righteousness.[3]

All of Job's possessions are destroyed; the 500 yoke of oxen and 500 donkeys carried off by Sabeans, the 7000 sheep were burned up by 'The fire of God which fell from the sky,' the 3000 camels were stolen by the Chaldeans and the house of the firstborn collapsed, due to a mighty wind, ******* all of Job's offspring, but Job does not curse God but instead shaves his head, tears his clothes and says, "Naked I came out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return: Lord has given, and Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of Lord."[4]

As Job endures these calamities without reproaching God, Satan solicits permission to afflict his person as well, and God says, "Behold, he is in your hand, but don't touch his life." Satan, therefore, smites him with dreadful boils, and Job, seated in ashes, scrapes his skin with broken pottery. His wife prompts him to "curse God, and die" but Job answers, "You speak as one of the foolish speaks. Moreover, shall we receive good from God and shall not receive evil?"

Three friends of Job, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite, come to console him. (A fourth, Elihu the Buzite (Heb: Alieua ben Barakal the Buzite), begins talking in Chapter 32 and plays a significant role in the dialogue, but his arrival is not described). The friends spend seven days sitting on the ground with Job, without saying anything to him because they see that he is suffering and in much pain. Job at last breaks his silence and "curses the day he was born."

God responds saying that there are so many things Job does not know about how this world was formed or how nature works, that Job should consider God as being greater than the thunderstorm and strong enough to pull in the leviathan with a fishhook. God then rebukes the three friends and says, "I am angry with you....you have not spoken of me what is right."

The story ends with Job restored to health, with a new family and twice as much livestock.

This is part of the section when God questions Job:

1 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:

2 Who is this that obscures my plans

with words without knowledge?

3 Brace yourself like a man;

I will question you,

and you shall answer me.

4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?

Tell me, if you understand.

5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!

Who stretched a measuring line across it?

6 On what were its footings set,

or who laid its cornerstone—

7 while the morning stars sang together

and all the angels[a] shouted for joy?

8 “Who shut up the sea behind doors

when it burst forth from the womb,

9 when I made the clouds its garment

and wrapped it in thick darkness,

10 when I fixed limits for it

and set its doors and bars in place,

11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;

here is where your proud waves halt’?

12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning,

or shown the dawn its place,

13 that it might take the earth by the edges

and shake the wicked out of it?

14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;

its features stand out like those of a garment.

15 The wicked are denied their light,

and their upraised arm is broken.

16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea

or walked in the recesses of the deep?

17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?

Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?

18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?

Tell me, if you know all this.

19 “What is the way to the abode of light?

And where does darkness reside?

20 Can you take them to their places?

Do you know the paths to their dwellings?

21 Surely you know, for you were already born!

You have lived so many years!

22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow

or seen the storehouses of the hail,

23 which I reserve for times of trouble,

for days of war and battle?

24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,

or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?

25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,

and a path for the thunderstorm,

26 to water a land where no one lives,

an uninhabited desert,

27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland

and make it sprout with grass?

28 Does the rain have a father?

Who fathers the drops of dew?

29 From whose womb comes the ice?

Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens

30 when the waters become hard as stone,

when the surface of the deep is frozen?

31 “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades?

Can you loosen Orion’s belt?

32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons[c]

or lead out the Bear[d] with its cubs?

33 Do you know the laws of the heavens?

Can you set up God’s[e] dominion over the earth?

34 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds

and cover yourself with a flood of water?

35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?

Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?

36 Who gives the ibis wisdom[f]

or gives the rooster understanding?[g]

37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?

Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens

38 when the dust becomes hard

and the clods of earth stick together?

39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness

and satisfy the hunger of the lions

40 when they crouch in their dens

or lie in wait in a thicket?

41 Who provides food for the raven

when its young cry out to God

and wander about for lack of food?

We can understand here that God has a divine plan and we should not question his plan. For he knows more than we would ever be able to know or understand.

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  • 2 months later...

It cant be explained that why are the good people only sufferers and not the bad people.Yes we believe him ,the GOD , but when you suffer without any depolarable sin in the current life, the faith is shaken.The light at the end of tunnel should not be so far that you keep on saying one day i would be alright, but the light evades you.

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I agree with all the above sentiments above about questioning your faith. My mental battles have definitely made me question my faith more so lately. But i still keep praying to God that he may help me thru this. I know miracles do happen daily and people do heal so I just try to stay as positive as I can.

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Trying to state this as neutrally as possible...

Questioning your faith is a good thing, and if you come away without it, that's fine too. There are millions of atheists if you just so happen to become one of us. It's not a dirty word and doesn't make you a lesser person. Letting go of religion/faith/god is an incredible journey all its own and empowering in so many ways.

It's a good thing to consider what you believe and why.

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In all of this spiralling depression, I am periodically losing my faith. It's not becuase my prayers aren't being heard, or because of some greater attachment to a physical world. Instead, I find myself unable to comprehend the notion of 'why'. My issue comes with suicide and religious interests. It just seems too cruel for a deity to place a human being on this Earth, then throw a life of pain, confusion and mental illness into the frame of the individual. Finally, if they lean towards trying to escape, when it seems like things are too difficult, too overwhelming to be able to stand against, you cannot escape, as it is a sin punnishable by damnation in nearly every major religion, especially those of the Abrahamic tradition. It truly feels as though we are experiencing a world in which we are forced to run a maze that has no escape, and is only punishment. Yet, if one desires to cheat the system, they are punished with worse pain.

Why would a deity that is supposed to be an enforcer of justice, equality and has a plan subject mankind to this? Why would some of plans force a lifetime of mental illness on a biological level, and an inability to form normal relationships with the people aorund them? What is the reason behind not allowing us to escape, when there is no real hope of anything getting better, aside from the possibility of medical advancements?

hello there nogas and well come the depression forum. according to the bible the reason we suffer is because of adam and eve. one thing you have to remember is that mental illness is just like every other illness and we need to treat as such. its not some type or form of punishment from God though at times it sure feels like it. i believe we need to approach it in a holistic manner, that is with prayer and meds when and if needed; if you had some other illness you would take the appropriate steps to deal with it, same with mental illness. if you believe in scripture than you know that God does not want us to suffer or put on us more than we can take. i also beleive that mental illness is a way to get closer with God, no He did not yoke us with this but because with live with it, it can lead us more to Him. we don't live in a maze of life,its just life, period and we deal with it as it comes. please don't dwell on ending life but on improving it for yourself and than for others once you are strong and able to. God bless. Rev. Frank
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God and pain is a very interesting topic.

One of the main reasons I don't believe in God (or Gods) is exactly that.I find it hard to believe that an all-loving being would create a world filled with so much pain,hate and suffering.

Anyway,having a faith crisis is something that might occur to anyone.My father for example had a faith crisis when he lost his mother due to a medical error.He's been an atheist ever since,like me.

So..my advice is that you should explore your beliefs.See whether the "God Hypothesis" is something you can believe in.I have to admit..I'm pretty young but I was lucky enough to have been brought up in a secular household so I didn't have any sort of religious belief enforced on me.I always question everything I believe including my non belief.

So..don't feel bad about questioning God or anything of the sort.It's healthy and it shows that you are an open minded person.

I wish you the best.

-Steve

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