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Discussion in 'Faith & Religion' started by Lon Tanner, Oct 24, 2016.
That's right Chrissy - can be emotional
Positive Thinking is more than just thinking. visualization is part of it. Picturing in your mind what you want to happen. It takes practice.
Yes, but that again is just your view. Is there proof that it will save someone from dying anymore than a prayer to God?
I suppose I'm more of a positive thinker. After studying the issue of a deity for most of a lifetime all I can say is I don't know, seems doubtful.
My folks always told me not to talk to strangers. God is not stranger to me, He is my heavenly Father, and my friend. I talk to him every day. Prayer gives us direct access to God, and over time becomes as natural as breathing. We pray for direction, and wisdom before making decisions. We thank God in all things. We pray for health and blessing. We pray for those we love.
Positive thinking becomes natural, when we follow God, instead of a substitute for prayer. When we practice positive thinking, without god, we are only praying to ourselves. So, why not both?
That's only an opinion @Joe Riley and that puts down those that believe in their positive thoughts.
Positive thoughts are an energy so they are something.
Perhaps the power behind a prayer has something to do with the faith of the person doing the praying, or the kind of life that they are living.
I have always been a believer but now I am having serious doubts. My BIL is a devout Christian. I know that beyond a shadow of doubt. He has loved and served God for as long as I can remember. He has cancer. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of Christians praying for him. He lives in such pain and suffering that I can't even begin to describe it. Why has God not healed him or, at least, called him home? And don't tell me He has a reason for allowing His loving child to go through torment or that He will call him home when it is time.
The short answer, Shirley, is we don't know why God says "No".
I believe in God, but I also struggle with this. From the time I was 5-years-old, I've had loved ones suffering from then dying from cancer. I surely does try my faith. I see evil people walking around in apparently good health, and thriving, and I try to remind myself that they are reaping the rewards of their evil deeds here on Earth, but we will receive ours in Heaven. Sometimes it's a bitter pill to swallow, especially right after a loss, or when a loved one is suffering, but I try to hold onto it.
Thousands of sermons have been preached about this. C.S. Lewis referred to suffering and pain as atheism's most potent weapon against Christianity. How can a God of love allow such things as war, sickness, pain, and death? Either He is a not a God of love, they argue, or He is not a God of power. It's a good argument because there are no easy or completely satisfactory answers.
In the face of suffering, it is difficult to remember that there is also good in the world. Perhaps the world that God set up for us in the Garden of Eden was intended to be one without suffering and pain. That didn't last, and I would argue that it was not God's fault that it ended, unless, of course, you can view free will as being a curse. That's not a wholly satisfactory answer, of course, because we don't want to believe that we should be held responsible for sins committed by someone many generations ago. But then, we have all taken advantage of our own opportunities to sin, and to fall short of the glory of God.
Why do innocent people suffer? There are no innocent people, but I don't know why there is suffering in the world.
It's quite a stretch to go from there to an assumption that there is no God, however. I believe that God has put the rules in place that govern the way in which things work, but He has chosen not to strictly control what we do with it, and I don't know that it can be reasonably argued that we have done well with it. The air we breathe is not pure, nor is the water we drink, or the food we eat. The things we do, as human beings, do not necessarily contribute to long, healthy lives that are free of pain and suffering.
I do believe in prayer, but God is not at our command. Sometimes, He chooses to answer our prayers in a manner that is understood and recognizable as an answer to prayer. Most often, I think He looks at the bigger picture. When viewed alongside eternity, the amount of time that we are here on earth is minuscule, so perhaps the things that are at the top of our priorities now are not so very important in view of the larger picture that includes eternity.
In the Bible, miracles were not performed in order to feed the hungry, heal the sick, cause the blind to see, the lame to walk, or the dead to rise from the grave. Although they included all of these things, the miracles that were performed by Jesus Christ and his disciples were done in order to get the people's attention so that they would hear the gospel message, which was the matter of real importance.
I believe that is true of prayers today. When God answers our prayers, there is a greater purpose, I think, one that is far more important than healing the person who prays for healing or whatever else it is that we might be praying for. Most often, I trust that God looks beyond the specific thing that we are praying for, and this can be both frustrating and disheartening. Mostly, I think that God has put the rules that govern the earth in place, leaving us to the natural consequences of what we or someone else may have done.
If I step out in front of a moving truck, my life will depend on the reaction time and skills of the truck driver, as well as as the ability of the truck to stop. If I am struck the truck, my life is likely to be in the hands of the EMTs who pick me up and the emergency personnel in the hospital. Whether I live or die probably doesn't have anything to do with the kind of life that I have lived, or who might be praying for me, unless God has some specific purpose for my life that can't be easily taken up by someone else. Could God miraculously allow the truck to pass through me without harming me or heal me of my injuries without the need of medical care? Certainly, but I don't think that's likely that He will.
I do believe in the power of prayer, but I think that we're less likely to get the answers we want when the only time we talk to God is when we're looking for something. I have known people who live lives that are more godly than my own, and they have told me of the things that God has done for them in their life. I have no reason to doubt them, but neither do I think that they are living the lives they live in order to get stuff from God here on earth. They look beyond that, and God blesses them for it.
I definitely have struggles with "why" God allows things to happen too. When that something happens to us personally or to someone we love, etc. God can seem a million miles away even to those who believe in Him. A few weeks ago my cousin and his wife who I had been in fervent prayer for that God would give them a child (they had lost 3 through miscarriage) finally got the answer to that prayer. A beautful and perfectly healthy baby girl was born to them...they named her Julia Faith. All of us were rejoicing and thanking God that He had answered our prayers for this couple that yearned for that baby. Then one day after Julia was born, my cousin was supposed to be at the hospital that morning but he hadn't showed up and texts and phone calls to him were not returned. So one of the relatives went to my cousin's home and found him in the master bedroom. He was dead. Everyone was in total shock. And when I found out what happened I ranted my anger at the God I know and love....the one I know answers prayers. Because I can't understand "Why?" He would allow things like this to happen either. And I never will understand.
Yet I still believe in the power of prayer and that God loves us and answers our prayers. And one day I hope I will know the answer to the "Whys?" and be able to accept those answers even though I admit in my grief at the tragic loss of my cousin there is no answer I can accept today.
So sorry to hear of your family's shocking loss, Babs. Only God can bring comfort at this time.
He has @Joe Riley in bringing His peace even in this time when I don't understand the why of things. We did find out what happened to my cousin. He was prone to seizures which he took medication for. According to the autopsy he had one early that morning that took his life.
These things are hard to understand, and especially when we lose someone unexpectedly like happened with your cousin, @Babs Hunt . I think that this is when we do have the comfort of being a Christian and believing that there is a heaven; because at least we have the hope and the faith that we will see our loved ones and be with them again in heaven.
People who have no belief and faith in God do not have any hopes of ever seeing someone they love again. Just this is a very powerful thing, even though we don't understand why we lose loved ones sometimes.
My parents both lived into their 80's , but even so, losing them was hard, and the belief in God and that they were going to be in heaven and I would someday be with them was proabably the biggest comfort that I had to get through those days. Those of us who have been Christians all of our lives proabably take this for granted; but for someone who does not have this hope of heaven, losing loved ones would be far worse.
Prayers for you and your family , Babs ! And a virtual hug for you as well.....
I think that people who don't believe in heaven don't have more of a fear of death than people who do. That's a false statement and is only believed by people who do.
My grief has always been because I miss the person here on earth and the thought that I will see them in heaven again does little to comfort my present grief. I have comfort knowing my husband is dead and out of pain, same with my mom.
I can understand you speaking for yourself and that's great that you have that comfort but don't speak about how others might feel.
Also sorry to hear about your cousin...my condolences.