Have You Ever Wondered—
Is Faith in God Realistic in Our Modern World?
TEN thousand persons in 60 nations were asked: “How important to you are your religious beliefs?” Only three out of 10, on an average, said, “Very important.”
This poll well illustrates that real faith in God is no longer an important factor in the lives of many people. But . . .
WHY IS RELIGION LESS IMPORTANT TO MANY TODAY?
For the majority, it is not that they no longer believe in a Supreme Being. But one needs money to survive in today’s world, and times are getting harder. Most persons feel that, when all is said and done, money (or the things it can buy) will do more for them than faith in God. ‘We are a practical people. We believe in what we can see and use to our benefit,’ said one person. Many agree. For instance, in Japan a recent poll indicated that 60 percent of those interviewed agreed with the statement that “money is almighty.”
Perhaps you do not feel this way, but have you not seen persons become so absorbed with their job, getting money and buying things, that they have little time for anything else? Many look at the uncertain conditions in the world today and honestly feel that what really matters is getting some good things out of life right now. They substitute this quest for material things for true faith. However . . .
IS LIFE WITHOUT REAL FAITH BETTER?
Have you noticed how quickly people tire of new possessions? Also, don’t a surprising number of “successful” people become involved in divorces or crimes, some even committing suicide? Many have realized that material things alone fail to bring lasting satisfaction.
This is nothing new. A wise king once stated: “A mere lover of silver will not be satisfied with silver, neither any lover of wealth with income. This too is vanity.” That down-to-earth truth was stated by King Solomon, and was written down in a very realistic book, the Bible.—Eccl. 5:10.
Building one’s life around material things simply doesn’t bring real happiness or satisfaction. Those who pursue such a life often are quite unhappy because they have to struggle so hard to get and keep what they have. The Bible confirms that the love of material things can cause people to be ‘stabbed all over with many pains.’—1 Tim. 6:9, 10.
So, many people have come to realize that man needs something more than material things to be happy. Yet, because we live in a modern scientific age some feel that faith in God is old-fashioned and unrealistic.
ARE THERE SOUND REASONS FOR BELIEVING IN GOD?
Well, which is more unrealistic or unscientific—to believe that our highly organized universe and this beautiful earth came about by mere chance, by accident, or that they had an intelligent builder? The Bible states realistically: “Of course, every house is constructed by someone, but he that constructed all things is God.”—Heb. 3:4.
As a watch shows the existence of a watchmaker, and a house shows the existence of a housebuilder, in like manner the magnificent things God has created are proof of his existence. So persons who believe in God are certainly in harmony with sound, logical thinking. But . . .
CAN GENUINE FAITH BRING BENEFITS NOW?
HELP FOR EVERYDAY PROBLEMS. Though providing some comfort, material things offer little assistance in coping with daily problems. For instance, one wealthy woman wrote: “My marriage was painful and unfulfilling and though there was plenty of money it was unbearable. I have no desire to be rich again.”
However, God says to us in the Bible: “If you listen to me, you will know what is right, just, and fair. You will know what you should do. You will become wise, and your knowledge will give you pleasure. Your insight and understanding will protect you and prevent you from doing the wrong thing.”—Prov. 2:9-12, Good News Bible.
Yes, faith in God will “prevent you from doing the wrong thing.” It will help you to do what is in your best interest in marriage, family life, work and many other areas. Why so? Because God, the author of the Bible, created us. He knows what will bring us genuine happiness. He gives counsel in the Bible on every major aspect of life. It really works when sincerely applied.—See Colossians 3:12-14, 18-22.
PEACE OF MIND. “I have met many very rich men,” said one newspaper editor, “and I have never known one of them whose millions brought him inner peace and happiness.” Yet, real faith brings “the peace of God that excels all thought.” (Phil. 4:6, 7) But why? Well, one with confidence in God knows of his promises to provide life’s necessities, and from personal experience such a person comes to realize that God fulfills his word. (Matt. 6:32, 33) This keeps him from being overly worried. His mind and heart can be at rest.
GENUINE HOPE. In view of worsening world conditions, how greatly needed is a realistic hope for the future! The Bible provides this, revealing God’s purpose soon to rid this earth of all unjust, immoral persons. Yet he will preserve alive those who obey him. In fact, he offers them a wonderful future—everlasting life right here on earth, amid paradise conditions! We read: “For the upright are the ones that will reside in the earth, and the blameless are the ones that will be left over in it. As regards the wicked, they will be cut off from the very earth.”—Prov. 2:21, 22.
So the benefits from faith in God are worthwhile. To enjoy them requires learning about God and his purposes. Jehovah’s Witnesses will be happy to help you free of charge to do this and to build a genuine faith. Such faith truly is a realistic help in our modern world.