Is God real? How do you know? Faith is often intangible; therefore, how do you explain to others how God is real to you? These restless questions from friends and strangers echo in my ears. The latest Pew Research polls show a record number of people leaving and rejecting organized religion. The people who responded to that poll join the chorus of dissatisfied people who no longer see value in following the traditions of faith. Some people want nothing to do with God or church. Others are simply looking for something – anything – real. Intellectual debates about faith are fun but rarely persuade minds to think differently. In a world filled with sorrow and chaos, words often seem empty.
If words simply aren’t enough to change a mind, what can? Evidence of changed hearts often change minds where words fail. Below are eight amazing personal stories about the reality of God. The people who graciously contributed to this blog post come from different backgrounds, upbringings and views about faith. All stories paint a beautiful picture of a powerful, personal and loving God. Here are their stories:
I experienced God’s reality from a very young age because of spiritual warfare. At night, I saw terrifying waking nightmares. They weren’t night terrors, but they were just as frightening. When I experienced those terrible visions, my mother talked about Jesus who could protect me. I memorized Scripture and cried out to Him when the tormenting images reoccurred. The Word became my armor and my sword against the enemy. God was always there to comfort me.
As an adult, I feel His heart and His love for me and other people. I’ve seen Him perform miracles and accomplish the impossible. He is my provider and sustainer. This knowledge of His reality has changed everything about me. He is like my breath. We are one and cannot be separated.
I had a pastor years ago who said, “God is more real than my right arm!” I didn’t get it for years and then one day, it was like a lightbulb turned on. I’m right right-handed. If I couldn’t use my hand or arm, it would be extremely difficult to function.
God has done so many miracles for me. When I was seriously ill with cancer, I thought I was dying. God came to me, comforted me and touched me. He is the very breath I breathe. His Word says the Holy Spirit is always with us, and He’s a very present help in time of trouble. I have found this statement to be true. Belief and trust in Him has changed my life. I don’t always get it right, but I know God is with me and will be with me until the end. Because of His peace, I know we will be okay; and one day we will be with Him forever.
I’ve been a Christian for many years, but on one particular day, God encountered me. It’s a day I’ll never forget. In a moment of prayer, He healed me from crippling anxiety. For the first time in my life, I felt true peace and joy flood my soul. I found Him in the midst of sweet surrender, after finally letting go of the power and control I thought I had (but never really did).
He changed the lives of others around me. Nothing speaks louder of His reality than to see Him at work. It’s awe inspiring to see lives completely change when people are in His presence. It is mind blowing to see Him heal injuries, remove fevers, grow legs, heal stage four cancer and the terminally ill. It’s impossible not to fall on your face when you hear His whispers and minutes, hours or days later see Him confirm something you’ve heard Him say. Yes, God is real. He is love. He is an encounter.
Yes, God is real. How do I know? I believe there are good, rational arguments to be made; but those reasons are not why I believe. I have witnessed and experienced too many healings, miracles and prophecies that attest to the existence of a God who loves me more than I could ever imagine to not believe He is real. This belief changed my life and caused me to reevaluate my view of myself, others and the world; and it convinced me to sacrifice many things in my life because of my relationship with Him. Grace has completely ruined my life in the best possible way.
God miraculously saved my eye once when I was a baby, and He spoke to me once when I was a young child. That being said, I’ve never been a believer in “Jesus as the Son of God.” I feel that God allows one to believe as He sees fit for you. My belief in God hasn’t really changed me other than the memories from when I was young. Whatever “God” is, it’s omnipresent.
I’ve seen God do the miraculous and become the perfect, just-in-time solution to impossible situations throughout my life. All the little pieces always fell into place at just the right moment. It could have never happened that way by chance. He literally saved my life. I saw His hand provide for me even when I didn’t know Him as my Savior. As a result of seeing how Jesus has protected me, I recently decided to follow Him. Now, I am exploring my new life with Him.
I know God is there. I see Him work in my life and through others around me. I’ve seen too many things happen to not believe He is real. When everything in life goes horribly wrong and you shout and scream at Him, He shows Himself. Trust me. He makes Himself known, especially when you’re angry with Him. He changed everything. If He wasn’t here, I wouldn’t be here.
I spent most of my life as an atheist/agnostic after several bad experiences with the church. However, that all changed when I was going through a tough season in my life; and I began to feel God walking with me and comforting me. When I felt depressed and angry thoughts, He whispered words of encouragement. It was His relentless love that drew me into a decision to follow Him.
His reality has caused me to realize how blessed I am. I recognize how loved I am by my wife, family and friends. If I were to die tomorrow, I’d go a fulfilled man because I know what it means to feel true joy and love beyond what I ever thought I’d have.
Testimonies, encounters and love will always speak louder than words from any pulpit or through online arguments with others who believe differently. This world is starved for hope, encouragement and reality. I hope you will be brave and share your stories with others around you. You are His vessel for someone else’s encounter with a very real God.