By Dan Blair, a marriage counselor and family counselor.
While various human beliefs and interpretations of Christianity have played a part in creating havoc in personal and political realms, there are benefits to believing in a loving and personal God. Belief in God has persisted in spite of all the failings of followers. Benefits of faith in God are themselves topics of research. Each is also based on one’s faith (which is often based on what one wants to believe). Everyone has faith; the object of one’s faith differs.
Belief in God affects your view of suffering. Some believe that because of God or other reasons suffering has value or is redeemable. Some think there is too much suffering and that lessens the likelihood of God. Either way, benefits of faith remain:
- Gratitude. A renewing of reasons to feel thankful.
- Ongoing social support.
- Random acts of kindness and organized movements to relieve suffering.
- Optimism where good comes from bad.
- Strategies for coping; making meaning out of difficulty.
- Full forgiveness and the freedom it gives.
- Stress management.
- A reduction in overthinking and social comparison.
- Lasting accomplishments.
- Great retirement plan.
Reasons for Believin’:
1. Space, time and matter had a beginning, therefore cannot be the cause of space, time and matter.
2. This cause has to be a powerful designer, self-determined because it cannot operate on the laws of nature, which also had a clear beginning.
3. Existence is so fine-tuned for life that it nearly impossible to happen by accident.
4. Existence of DNA is so detailed that it is nearly impossible to happen by accident.
5. Do we have free will? If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to believe that my beliefs are true… and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms.
6. Where does morality come from? How could a mutating genetic code have the moral authority to tell you how you ought to behave?
7. The Bible has far better manuscripts and supporting evidence than any other ancient documents.
8. It is bolstered by archeological finds and appears impossible that any or all of the Bible’s specific, detailed prophecies could have been fulfilled through chance or deceit, yet it can be casually dismissed.
9. What is the best way to account for the rapid rise in Christianity? A dead leader? All of Jesus followers were willing to die for their faith.
10. The chance that a collection of books describing history written over a 4,000 year period written would remain consistent in its beliefs? A number of history books confirm the accuracy of the Bible.
For more information on the reliability of the Bible see this short article.