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How Do We Know God Is Real?

Hanging lights with question marks


In our Good Questions series, we’ve tackled some big questions about the Bible: its source and authenticity. We have a lot of evidence showing the authenticity of the Bible itself and those who wrote it, giving us confidence when we say that Jesus did exist. But we know this still may lead to questions as to whether Jesus was who he said he was (the son of God) because we haven’t addressed a Big Question—one with a capital B and Q: how can we know that God is real? This question is not an easy one to answer. While there is no hard and fast evidence that we can point to that says yes, absolutely God exists, we can explore a number of reasons, including the Bible, that show us God’s presence in our lives.

Is God Real?

To those that say there is no one, definitive piece of evidence of God’s existence, you’re right. There’s not. God’s existence is proven in a hundred different ways each day for every person, and it’s not always the same for each person, either. But we can take a look at our lives and the world around us to find the examples of His goodness and existence. Let’s begin by taking a look at us.

Us, as in humanity. Humans. Here’s the wonderful thing: all human beings are unique. Yes, we all have similarities in our make-up—two eyes, a nose, a mouth that make up our faces, for example—but we are each different. Each person’s face has the same parts and pieces, but each is arranged in its own unique way. In Genesis 1:27, we see that “God created mankind in his own image” (NIV). God wanted us to each be unique because He is unique. If we were created by a neutral force, wouldn’t we all look alike? Wouldn’t we all be exactly the same? Copies of one another? This uniqueness of humanity points to a caring and loving creator who values the uniqueness of His own creation.

And not only does our physical being point to His existence, but our emotions, hopes, and dreams. Our sense of right and wrong, our capacity for love, our yearning for personal relationships and yearning for meaning in our lives: all of those things point to the existence of a God who gave us a moral compass and the ability to be guided by more than just instinct. Our yearning for more is the drive He gave us to know Him. The apostle Paul writes about this yearning for purpose as he tasks Timothy with leading people to know God rather than listen to teachers telling false stories and giving false teachings:

“On my way to the province of Macedonia,” the apostle Paul writes, “I advised you to stay in Ephesus. Well, I haven’t changed my mind. Stay right there on top of things so that the teaching stays on track. Apparently some people have been introducing fantasy stories and fanciful family trees that digress into silliness instead of pulling the people back into the center, deepening faith and obedience. The whole point of what we’re urging is simply love—love uncontaminated by self-interest and counterfeit faith, a life open to God” (1 Timothy 1:2-7, The Message).

Our existence itself—physical, emotional, spiritual—all points to a loving God who wants us to be fulfilled in Him. He actually designed us to desire Him. And not only in ourselves can we find evidence of God. We can also see the orderly, consistent, and beautiful results of His creating hand in nature. Nothing is random, but shows great care was put into this world around us.

And in the last two posts, we’ve shown how the Bible tells the story of Christianity and the life of Jesus, who was sent to us as our Savior to die for our sins. The Bible exists because God exists. The Bible simply tells the history of the world and Christianity, as you can see in our last two posts here.

Yet even as we can tell you that humanity and nature and the Bible all prove God’s existence, that can still fall flat. In an article by Jason Inman, blog contributor for Life.Church, he states, “words can share our ideology, but only through humble works can we fully share our theology.” We can tell others of the examples we find that prove God’s existence, like the Bible or humans or nature, but when we share our beliefs, that is when we can truly testify that God is real.

In 1 Peter 3:15, believers are told, “in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” So, as a Christian who believes, I think it is more impactful for you to hear someone’s personal reasons for believing God exists. Although I am going to share my own reasons with you, I still encourage you to ask the same question to those you know to hear their stories, as well.

Growing up in a Christian household, the argument for God’s existence started and stopped with “He created the world in seven days.” End of story. We went to church every Sunday. Followed the Bible to the letter. But as I advanced into science, mathematics, and particularly physics courses, I was introduced to contradictory evidence. And not being able to ask the questions to those in my family or in the church led to a major crisis of faith. As I went off to college, I found myself believing the stories I learned as a child less and less. I stopped going to church. I stopped practicing my faith. I wasted my weekends on pointless activities, but everything left me unfulfilled. I couldn’t reconcile the science behind the world with the faith I was taught as a child. I didn’t understand the point of anything if there was nothing bigger that I was a part of. But God never left me. In my last year of college, I needed a philosophy class. I signed up for one that would allow me to sleep in, of course. And that class ended up being based on St. Thomas Aquinas. His writings intrigued me because they argue God’s existence by examining the natural world around us. That’s when I started seeing how I could reconcile the science and the faith. How the Big Bang may have happened, but something had to have caused the Big Bang. What pushed that matter into motion? That could only be God. I can still ask questions and believe. There’s nothing wrong with asking hard questions. And really, God proved His existence to me by putting people and classes in my life that proved to me I’m not alone. That I am part of His grand design. My faith is what gives me purpose in my life.

The Wrap Up

Similar to the wrap up of last week’s post, what I or anyone can tell you might convince you that we’ve answered the question, does God exist? You can take my story or the other reasons I’ve put in front of you as proof that God exists. But it’s better to ask the question to yourself: do you believe that God exists? Do you feel that truth in your heart? Each person has a different story that, for them, proves God’s existence. You can ask a hundred people the same question and each answer will be different. Maybe you’ll find a reason you can personally relate to, or maybe you’ll still be left with questions. If you are, reach out and let us know! We’d love to talk more with you. But maybe God is moving in you right now and you just need to open up your heart to hear what He is saying.

For more resources, you can check out this post by Jason Inman from Life.Church that we referenced earlier or this series of videos on RightNow Media. Get access to RNM here.

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