Questions and problems I have been struggling with for years....
I have certain spiritual problems which have been ruining my christian life for years and there is no hope in sight. I have listened to probably thousands of sermons and teachings from different christian pastor and backgrounds, unable to ever get anywhere. Other christians do not seem to have these problems, they seem to be more confident and also less doubtful of themselves. I will just state them here in a short manner. Maybe somebody here has an answer. I have been trying to find answers ever since.
1) How do you determine biblical truth? Do you ever come to a point where you can really say that you are absolutely confident that you truly understand what the bible says regarding important topics such as:
God's will to heal
Works vs. grace
Speaking in tongues being biblical or not
I am simply unable to decide what is right. Some christians say this and others say that.
Only recently I heard a sermon from a jewish christian who said something which would never even have come to my mind. He said when Jesus exhaled on the disciples after the resurrection they did not get the Holy Spirit in a sense of the Holy Spirit living in them but they only got an Old Testament kind of anointing which enabled them to understand Jesus' teachings.
I cannot say if this is right, but I would never even have come to this conclusion.
I am no scholar! How shall I, even if I think the bible says A, ever be sure that I am not missing something and that the bible actually says B?
How shall I ever trust that I understand the bible?
This brings me to my next huge problem:
2) If I cannot be sure that I really understand the bible correctly then how in the world shall I pray with faith knowing that God will answer me? What if I think the bible promises something like tongues and pray for it and expect it but it doesn't work and then I won't even know why. Wether I did not have enough faith OR maybe because it is not even biblical!
Another really huge problem I struggle with is faith.
3) If God can only answer my prayer if I have enough faith and waver not, then how can I have confidence? If the answer depends not on God but on my ability to have faith and to not waver then it is no longer faith in God but faith in my faith!
I can't deal with this kind of pressure. When I know that I must believe and cannot "afford" being weak or being a doubt because then God won't answer me then I feel like I can forget it.
In this moment where getting a prayer answered depends on the believer himself then it doesn't help one bit if God totally wants to answer the prayer. How does this make it easier? Even if I imagine God standing there totally wanting to help me then I am still the weakest link in the chain!
What if I get a fear or a doubt and then everything is ruined? I am so weary and tired of these mental battles. The more faith is required the harder it becomes for me to have faith.
I have struggled with these problems for so long trying to find a solution or a way to deal with the pressure but to no avail. It is like a maze with no way out. For other christians these things do not seem to be a problem. They simply say "just believe" or "don't doubt". They don't even seem to think about these problems or feel any pressure. But how can you not feel pressure when everything depends on you?
Imagine you are sick and you totally need a miracle and you are already scared because of being sick and then you even know that getting healed or not depends on YOUR faith and if you become afraid or doubt that it will work then it's all over. How shall you deal with this insane pressure?
This is like shooting the last penalty in the world cup finals and everything depends on you, or like having to do a surgery on your wife or a family member. How can you not totally start to fall into pieces when you're under such a pressure? How can you stay cool and simply exercise your faith and not be afraid knowing that being afraid would keep you from receiving?
To me this seems impossible.