WHERE IS GOD

WHEN IT HURTS

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Do you ever wonder if all this God-stuff is real?

Whether God cares when you are suffering?

Living a life of faith in our world is challenging, especially when things don’t go right for us. We all struggle. Even Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta had spiritual doubts. She described her experience, using an old phrase, as a “dark night of the soul” which was a period of spiritual doubt, despair and loneliness, and it lasted most of her life.

If you have long or short periods of doubt, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

How do you look at the world?

One of the great journeys of life we all have to take is seeing life through the eyes of another. As babies we cried because we wanted to be fed. Some of our first words were “I want” and “Mine!” Our default setting is seeing everything through our own eyes and meeting our own wants.

Friendship and love help us realise we can’t have everything we want and we are not complete in ourselves. Family, friends and those we fall in love with, draw us beyond ourselves and we learn to see through the eyes of others. Jesus too invites us to see life through his eyes as he calls us into friendship with him and asks us, “Do you love me?”

There are so many voices and influences in our modern world, who all want us to see things their way.

But in following these voices we can often lose sight of others and even become blind to the presence of God in our lives. We can even be left wondering: “Is all this God-stuff real?”

Faith seeks understanding

Saint Anselm lived just over 1,000 years ago. His most famous phrase is “faith seeks understanding”. For Anselm, this means to actively love God is to seek a deeper knowledge of God. When we fall in love, or meet a new friend, we want to know more about them. The more we know, the more there is to love or connect with until learning and loving become one. Starting a relationship and staying in the relationship takes time and effort, each day. It is the same with our faith in God.

What the Church says...

Pope Francis talks about the Bible as God’s “love letter” to humanity, and that those who follow Jesus should read it daily, keeping the Gospel at hand “on our cellphones”, and being open to His word. “To follow Jesus, mere good works are not enough; we have to listen daily to his call. He, who alone knows us and who loves us fully, leads us to push out into the depth of life…”

That is why we need His word: So that we can hear, amid the thousands of other words in our daily lives, that one word that speaks to us not about things, but about life. In certain moments doubts come to everyone! Doubts that touch the faith, in a positive sense, are a sign that we want to know God, Jesus, and the mystery of his love for us better and more deeply.

What the Bible says...

Abram was called to leave his country, family and father’s house for “the land that I will show you” (Genesis 12:1-2). Mary was called to conceive and bear the Son of God (Luke 1:26-38) and Joseph was called not to be afraid to take Mary into his own house and embrace the child as his own (Matthew 1:18-25). The fishermen, at Jesus’ call, left everything and followed him (Luke 5:1-11). Even Jesus struggled with his call to the cross (Luke 22:39-26).

Jesus in word and action

Jesus tells you and I that He has come that we might have life and have it in abundance. Like the holy men and women down through the ages we have to learn to trust, knowing that He is walking with us. As we talk with each other, He will set our hearts on fire, discovering Him in new ways. And this helps in our times of real doubt.

Believe, don’t doubt

It’s easy in our busy and noisy world to get caught in worries, fears, sinfulness, confusion and doubts. When I get caught in such places I have a three-step process to get me back on the right track.

I start with creation. I love finding a dark place and gazing at the stars. I feel again the wonder of creation and the smallness of who I am and the immensity of God the Creator. I then reflect on Jesus, on all He did and said. For me, He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. It is by looking at life through Him that I understand myself, life, love and the world. And then I reflect on the moments when I have felt the Holy Spirit touch my life – my God experiences. Too easily when we get overwhelmed by life or issues in our life we can forget those moments where God has touched or blessed us in a unique and personal way.

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Identity Identified Bible Covers

Identity:Identified contains 24 inserts and highlighting of key passages within the New Testament that are designed to help teenagers navigate life’s challenges with ways to identify why God created each one of us in the unique way He did.

This book also has a number of QR codes that link to a series of special videos that have numerous people sharing their stories and how they cope with life.

This is the perfect tool to help the younger generation in your life to follow Jesus as they navigate the challenges of life and trust him as a true friend and companion.