I believe in God partly because I consider myself a pragmatist. Of course, we would like our belief in God to have good results. When I look at those who say they do not believe in God, what do I usually see? I see proud people who have made a mess of their lives by poor choices. Make the choice to drink too much and you often make a fool of yourself because your tongue and your body are controlled by alcohol. As I have watched people who profess to believe in God, mostly I have found happy people whose marriages and work ethics are better than those who do not believe in God.
I believe in God because my parents taught me to believe in God. They found God’s help in raising seven children on a modest salary, and they never complained that they needed more. Sometimes if we needed meat, my father just went hunting and would bring home a deer or a bear from the mountains of Craig, Colorado. They often said that God provides for people in many ways.
I believe in God because many great people have been believers in God. President Abraham Lincoln quoted from the Bible more than any president who has held office in the United States. Once when a friend invited him to drink with him. Lincoln said, “I do not drink.” As he often did, he told a story. “My dying mother called me to her bedside and requested me to make a promise. Please promise me that you will never drink.” I did make her that promise. Then he said, “Now you wouldn’t ask a man to break a promise that he had made to his dying mother, would you?” He more than once said that prayer and Bible reading was what kept him stable through a war that took more lives than any other war in which the United States has ever been engaged.
I believe in God because the Bible says, “the fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good” Psalm 53:1. When a person tells me that he does not believe in God, I have learned that such a person often cannot be trusted. They are frequently misdirected. Of such people, I hope for the best, but am prepared for the worst. Jesus said, “By their fruits you will recognize them” Matthew 7:16. My parents taught me that, “Evil companions corrupt good morals” I Corinthians 15:33. I was taught that if you hang around with bad people, you might soon be living like bad people. So be careful!
I believe in God because God changes lives. My wife and I served for more than a quarter of century in the Republic of the Philippines. Since starting churches among the self-reliant Filipinos was our goal, we soon met young couples whose marriages were accompanied with unfaithfulness and broken hearts. We discovered that a personal relationship with the living God of the Bible resulted in the motivation and power to live joyously with one wife rather than several. This agrees perfectly with the frequently repeated teaching of the Bible that a person desiring to live a righteous life will be given the power to do so. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. All this is from God” 2 Corinthians 5:17-18a. Even King David who committed adultery and murder was given the courage to turn around and live a righteous life. Read his prayer as found in Psalm 51. Of such a man, God’s Word says, “I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do” Acts 13:22. We could introduce you to hundreds of people in the Philippines who learned the truth of these words from God: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” John 10:10.
I believe in God because He became a man so we would believe. Many people and religious groups express lofty ideas about this man called Jesus. They think of him as “a prophet of God,” “a great moral teacher,” “a holy man,” or “a projection of our needs, if there had not been such a man we would have created one.” All of these titles are held by differing religious groups! Who wouldn’t be thrilled to have one’s leader thought of in these lofty terms? Christians are not satisfied with these ideas about Jesus. He would hardly be a great moral man if he deceived people into believing that he was God if he were not. He would hardly be a prophet of God if his teachings refuted the very prophets he quoted again and again as being God’s spokesmen.
The Gospel of John is one my favorite books in the Bible! John was one of the three among Christ’s inner circle of friends. He is the very one who points to Jesus as the creator and being God in the very first three verses of the book named after him. He taught that Jesus was light and that those who believed in him would become the children of God, John 1:4-12.
Paul the Apostle wrote many of the books of the New Testament. It was his position that Jesus was God. “Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God” Romans 9:5. He also said, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God” Philippians 2:5. And, “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow…every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” Philippians 2:10-11. Finally, “Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus” Titus 2:13. Indeed He is both our God and Savior!
I believe in God because of the Accuracy of the biblical predictions about the Messiah. Isaiah the prophet, writing about 700 years before Christ, made this mind-boggling prediction, “Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel (God with us)” Isaiah 7:”14. And “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” Isaiah 9:6.
One scholar said that if we just took eight from among the scores of Old Testament prophecies about Jesus, “The chance that any man might have fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000.”
Conclusion: I have given my reasons for believing in God. I would challenge anyone who is serious about discovering if God is real to do two things. First, pray telling God that you would like to know if God is real. And secondly, read the Bible during the next year. If you read about 5 chapters a day, it would take you about one year.
Examiner's Note: Pastor David Yount and PJ Yount served many years as missionary couple in the Philippines. Upon their return to the USA, they started New Hope Hope Church in Alsip, Illinois - a little suburb just outside Chicago. They served there for eleven years before moving to Tustin, California, where they continue to faithfully minister to people from all walks of life and cultures. As a personal testimony, this Examiner's life has been impacted by their teaching, touched by their love, and molded through the nurture of their godly discipleship. If the reader wishes to obtain a full-length PDF copy of Pastor Yount's 9-page biography, please send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.