6 Reasons Why Pursuing God Will Make You Happier Than Atheism

Pursuing god

Unfortunately, when most people think of pursuing God, they think of a cosmic fun killer. With this thinking, pursuing God means giving up all life’s comforts and pleasures.

This is far from the truth. After being an atheist for 22 years of my life, finding Christianity was the most liberating and freeing thing I’ve ever experienced. However, I have a much different view of the religion than the people described above.

To be honest, I think a majority of Christians view Christianity differently than I do as well…

In this article, we are going to break down what the possibility of God actually means and how it relates to your moods, worries, troubles, and ultimate fulfillment in life. By the end, you might even have an understanding of heaven as a state of mind, not just a place the good go after death.

When you center your life on pursuing God, you no longer require possessions to make you happy. You no longer worry about events or the approval of others.

By pursuing God, you are learning to cultivate a connection with infinite goodness. And it all comes from within… How could you possibly be shaken by the minor events of your surroundings? What, then, remains to worry or get down about?

When I understood this description of God it changed my life. 

If your current view of God is one of rules and guilt, you have it all wrong. If your current view is one of restriction, you have it backwards—God provides freedom from your earthly burdens.

In this article, we will discuss six reasons why God changes everything and leads to liberation of the body, mind, and soul.


pursuing god

 

#1. The Holy Hole


The hole in our hearts serves as a constant reminder that we are missing something from our lives. You know the feeling – “there has to be more to life”.

Many try to compensate for this emptiness. Some people aim for success and wealth, some strive for a life of experiences, and some work hard for an incredible physique. Others who find themselves deeper in this emptiness turn to drugs and alcohol.

Unfortunately, these things never seem to fill this hole for long.

The desires of the heart are fleeting, always requiring a little bit more. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is always on the tip of the horizon but never in our hands.

Finally got out of debt and saved $10000? Sweet but what’s next? I bet $50000 would feel even better. Got a new BMW? You will probably love it until someone you know gets something nicer. Hit that personal record in the gym after years of training? Feels great…for a day or two until the next goal creeps into your mind.

Additionally, we can lose all the things we work so hard for at any point.

We can lose wealth overnight as in such cases as Black Friday. We can see our hard-earned physiques wither away when confronted by a serious injury. Hell, tomorrow morning your partner could file for divorce.

If that thing which you place your pride and identity in was taken from you, what would you have left?

A Christian’s primary pursuit is a relationship with God. A happiness that is internal and eternal and can never be lost.

Now, in The Reason For God, author Timothy Keller uses this feeling of emptiness we experience as suggestive proof for the existence of God…

We can relate every craving or instinct we have as humans to something that is important to our survival. These instincts make it obvious that what we crave is real.

Hunger shows us that we need food. Fatigue shows us that we need sleep. Thirst shows us that we need water. And, proposedly, the hole in our heart shows us that we need something beyond what this world can offer.

I cannot prove God’s existence but I know from personal experience this thirst is quenched by pursuing God.


pursuing god

 

#2. Meaninglessness In Life Vs. Purpose


A sense of meaninglessness in life is likely the greatest cause of depression in the world today. If everyone believed they had a purpose, Prozac wouldn’t exist.

To find a purpose in life may require you come to the conclusion that you were created on purpose, not by chance. If you can accept you were created on purpose, for a purpose, you can begin your quest to find out exactly what that is.

'Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone's task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.' - Viktor E. Frankl

I spent 22 years of my life living in the dark shadow of meaninglessness. A life without meaning, when coupled with suffering, almost brought me to suicide.

Chronic fatigue made my days a chore and anxiety made my days scary. Meaninglessness made it all, well, not worth it.

Shortly after my breakdown described here, I began pursuing God.

Soon after, I was introduced to a welcoming and non-invasive church. I comfortably came to my own conclusions and took things at my own pace without anything being shoved down my throat.

To my surprise, I found purpose almost immediately…

Within a few short months of attending Church, the idea to help others in similar situations via a blog came to me. It appeared to be a neatly packaged present from the heavens above.

Less than a year later, I turned my passion into a career. My life is abundant with meaning and my depression is all but gone. Happiness and enthusiasm have become my default emotions.

Imagine what your life would look like if you woke up with real purpose—Purpose that fulfilled your hearts desire. It would be easier to get out of bed, don’t you think?

Now, is this proof of God? Of course not.

But, I’ve personally learned to stop doubting if it isn’t necessary. Wishful thinking, answered prayers, and a mission statement makes me feel much more fulfilled and hopeful than I ever was prior.

By pursuing God one of two things will happen for you:

  1. Nothing happens and you are free to go back to doing things your way.
  2. God works in and through your life…You find purpose.

Worth a shot?

Maybe.


Pursuing God

 

#3. Peace Over Worry


'How do you know when God isn't at the center of your life? You worry!' - Rick Warren


What you worry about most is the most important thing in your life.

If you are a student, you likely worry most about your grades or success. A parent will likely worry most about their child and a CEO would worry about his company.

Whatever your focus is, it likely brings with it countless opportunities to allow stress to enter your life. When we stack many stresses on top of each other, we begin to see our health deteriorate.

At the center of the Christian religion is the belief that God will take care of his people.

'Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.'

pursuing god


By pursuing God, you are putting him at the center of your life and thoughts. By centering our thoughts on God’s perfection, our worries become less intense. We then have less to worry about and more faith that God will take care of our real issues.

Finally, we can get out of our own way and give our worries to God.

With stress being the single greatest cause of illness and health problems, we now begin to see medical benefits emerge from spiritual practices.

I lived with a crippling anxiety disorder for over half my life. It crushed my energy, caused me to shy away from opportunities, and even damaged my relationships. I can now say with utmost confidence and sincerity that I have 110% overcome it. In fact, I often find myself at peace in situations where everyone around me is worrying…

I never took medication. I give all the credit of the peace I have attained to my belief in God. In my experience, worry belongs to atheists.

 

#4. God and Gratitude


pursuing God

Gratitude’s power in combating depression is unparalleled. However, it can be hard to get the gratitude ball rolling.

As Newton’s law states: an object will remain at rest unless acted upon by an external force.

When unhappy, the idea of gratitude is nice but it is much easier to place a heavy emphasis on our problems. Even when we do attempt to be grateful, it can fall flat and feel forced. 

The message of God’s grace can be a powerful catalyst for growing gratitude. It can be the external force acting on our stagnancy—the force that gets us back on our feet.

When understood, God’s grace makes gratitude easy, natural, and deeply healing.

What exactly is this message?

God created the miracle of life and then gave you a chance at it.

The creator of the Universe loves you so much he came to Earth to die for your imperfections and ensure that, you too, could have eternal life.

No matter who you are, where you’ve been, what you’ve done, who you’ve wronged, God offers a second chance and a new life. God is perfect so we don’t have to be.

All we have to do is accept the gift of Grace and let God get to work through our lives.

 

#5. Creationism and Mindfulness


pursuing God

Mindfulness definition: a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Mindfulness is wildly popular for people who struggle with depression and anxiety. However, for someone with an over-active mind like myself, it is much easier said than done.

When I was anxious, I always found myself focussing on events set in the future. In my head, I figured if focussed on them, I could control them. My need to plan and control everything never did me any good. I constantly worried and found myself exhausted on a daily basis as a result.

Likewise, many people get stuck focussing on the past and have a hard time living for today.

Both types of people – the worriers and the dwellers – need to place a heavier focus on the now to enjoy life to its fullest.

'For the present is the point at which time touches eternity.' - C.S. Lewis

Creationism may very well be the antidote.

If God created the heavens and the Earth, then everything we come in contact with has a divine element to it.

The beauty of plants and animals becomes profound. Nature becomes awe-inspiring. Everything feels alive and full of depth.

This liveliness pulls us in with interest and wonder, making it easier to enjoy what the present moment offers.

Now, science is actually fascinating, not proof that God doesn’t exist. The laws of physics and chemistry are a testament to the complex nature of a potential Creator.

The Bible says that the same infinitely powerful Creator wants a personal relationship with you—to protect and pave your way. If this is true, the future is bright and no longer worthy of worry. Instead, joy and excitement are forever present.

You can feel a discomforting emotion arise, acknowledge it, and then just as easily allow it to dissolve into the divine while you get back to the present.

Life becomes beautiful from the perspective of creation.

 

#6. Heaven Vs. Death


pursuing god

The idea of an afterlife can stir all sorts of emotions.

If you are in the grasp of anxiety or depression, living forever may not seem like a pleasant idea. One life of pain is enough to get through.

But, what if this afterlife was pain-free and full of happiness? This was a place you could reunite with lost loved ones and begin fresh without your earthly burdens?

I can’t convince you the afterlife exists. Divine perfection can be a hard concept to grab hold of. However, if you could come to the conclusion this afterlife existed, how would it affect your life?

Would you strive to be a better person? Knowing it would all work out, would you allow trivial concerns to devastate you?

With heaven at the forefront of your thoughts, the troubles of life will begin to seem obsolete. It will feel as though you wear a suit of emotional armor, confident nothing can hurt you.

 

 

Is This All Just Wishful Thinking?


A common barrier for people in their belief is the argument of wishful thinking.

Since the Bible was written by man, it is commonly argued that religion was created for comfort in “harsher times”.

I find this argument humorous.

Imagine your Grandma was on her deathbed with just a few precious hours to live. As you sit there with her in her last few hours, she has an unmatched peace with her.

You ask her “Grandma, are you not afraid?”. She replies “Of course not. I’m going to Heaven. I’ve spent my whole life preparing for this moment.”

How would you respond? Would you flip a table and tell Grandma to cut out the wishful thinking and to come back to reality? Or would you be happy knowing that, even in the face of death, your Grandma went out with a smile?

What about a mom whose child has cancer—relying on wishful thinking is the only way she can sleep at night? What would you tell her?

What about someone who managed to completely eliminate their severe depression and anxiety with wishful thinking? Would you tell them to get real even though you are depressed and they no longer are? Who’s way is better?

Or the guy who achieved extraordinary success because he believed his venture was his life’s purpose and, therefore, denied the possibility of failure?

As a Christian, you can live every day of your life with this same peace of mind.

So, what is the worst case of wishful thinking? How would you ever know the difference in the end anyway if it was?

“Harsher times” is also entirely arguable. In the 21st century, rates of depression have never been higher. What constitutes “harsher times”?

I’d stick my neck out to say that now more than ever we need wishful thinking. The world is falling apart, even the blind can see that.

Christianity provides a fortress to the problems of the world. As Christians, we may wish to fix some of the world’s problems but they do not harm our well-being…

We live in the kingdom of God.

 


PS – If you’ve made it this far, I highly recommend reading The Reason for God as mentioned above to further build on these ideas. It is a presentation of God that is by no means invasive or threatening

If you enjoyed this article, don’t forget to check out Man’s Guide to Well-Being: Take Control of Your Mood and Life

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About the Author

My name is Regan Jacklin and I managed to overcome 10 years of depression and anxiety with the methods talked about on this site. I love to read, play sports, travel, cook, and most importantly, challenge myself. I hope you find the content on this site helpful!

Leave a Reply 4 comments

jason - 23/01/2018 Reply

Nice blog post dude, it’s something i’ve been thinking about a lot recently, i turned to alcohol for quite a while to cover up something I seemed to be lacking, since september i’ve been on a mission of self improvement. How to stop worrying and start living has been a good read and an excellent recommendation on your part. I’ve also been reading russell brands recovery book, its pretty interest with his take on religion and spirituality!

I just need to get to the point where I let go and accept.

    Regan - 23/01/2018 Reply

    Hey Jason…Thanks!

    I’m sorry to hear about your struggles with alcohol but know that you are not alone. I’m glad to hear you started the mission that never ends and I am thrilled to be a part of your journey.

    Hoe to stop worrying and start living is the book that really started my mission. It has a special place in my heart. I’ve never read his book but he is quite he character and I know he was nose deep in drugs so I am sure he has some great insights. I think spirituality is likely the strongest tool to attack any form of addiction with.

    As for letting go, you know what you need to do so it is only a matter of time before you get it down! I wrote a post for another site I think you would like that talks about letting go. Check it out here: http://www.theemotionmachine.com/conquer-anxiety-lessons-tao-te-ching/

    Keep in touch,
    Regan Jacklin

Rhyadil - 22/02/2018 Reply

I personally got the same liberating feeling from leaving religion. I tried for years, believe me. I read the Bible. I tried praying. I attend church with my very religious family regularly. I even joined a youth group for a few years, but… I didn’t really feel anything. You hear all these stories of god touching hearts and people seeing the light and whatnot, but I never got that, and it made me wonder if something was wrong with me as I waited in vain for a revelation that would never come.

I started worrying that god was punishing me in some way. I know what the good word says–trust in Jesus and you shall be saved, doesn’t matter what you did–but I genuinely wondered if I had done something that kept me off the “Heaven list” for good, or if something was just fundamentally wrong with me. I started having nightmares about Hell, and for a while I had convinced myself that, for whatever reason, I was damned and that was why I couldn’t make any sort of spiritual connection.

Now note that, again, my family is very religious, so if the topic of evolution ever came up–which it rarely did, even though science is and always was my favorite subject–my mom brushed it off and acted like it was just some kind of alternative way of thinking and it was just for those weird atheist people. But that was before two important things: the internet and biology class. Now, I’d had access to the world wide web and a bio class before, but not only did my high school biology class go into much more detail about evolution, but I also had my own computer. And thus, the perfect storm started a’brewing.

I started looking things up, asking questions. I couldn’t help but be curious. I was reading about evolution, philosophy, other religions, all at once for the first time in my life. And the more I read, the more… right it felt, more than Christianity ever had. I always felt kind of empty at church, but the more research I did, I felt fuller and fuller as time went by. “This is it!” I thought.

Of course, trying to explain my newfound beliefs to my mom and grandma did not go over well. Mom started crying, insisted I was wrong and just going through a phase (even though I’d been considering my position for years before I finally confessed) and said atheists were just “one step away from terrorists”, grandma promised we’d all have a talk soon, which of course meant “We’re going to sit you down and try our diddly-darndest to make you Christian again, whether you like it or not”, and overall things did not go smoothly. They still make me attend church, and to be honest, I’m not sure if they’ve accepted it yet, but I hope they have or will, even if it’s grudgingly.

Anyway, now I don’t feel so constrained and conflicted. I’ve decided that if this life is the only life I’m going to get, I’m going to enjoy it as much as I can, whether that means getting a tattoo, getting high, eating more than the recommended serving size of Oreos, partying with friends, or staying up painting until 2 AM and then sleeping until noon, I’ll do it. After all, why not? We’re all going to die eventually, so the only one who should care about what you’re doing is you.

They say we’re just cosmic specks in a meaningless universe. I say if that’s the case, make your own meaning and live your life to the fullest. Do what makes you happy, and in my case, that means doing what you want without worrying some higher power is going to punish you eternally for it.
But hey, if you find happiness in religion, good for you.

Peace out,
Ruth

    Regan - 23/02/2018 Reply

    Hey Rhyadil, thanks for the insightful comment.

    Personally, I get irked by many Christians like your parents myself. They completely miss the point of Christianity and give it a horrible image for the rest of the world. In fact, these types of people are the reason I shied away from religion as long as I did (although I hate that word). Your parents sound more like Jews who miss the message of Grace and free will.

    My experience was the complete opposite. I grew up in a science-oriented background where religion was never talked about. For a decade I struggled with anxiety and depression and spent a year of that suicidal…I couldn’t deal with the meaninglessness of life. I tried EVERYTHING to feel better to no avail. Then, in a matter of months and on my own choosing, the message of the gospel was more effective than if I had taken three prescription medications.

    Christianity isn’t something that should be forced on anyone. This is the difference between our two experiences…I found the pleasure in God and made changes accordingly because I felt there was more under his wing…You felt forced to follow and, as a result, conjured up false guilt and shame with no bearing in reality. Disobeying a commandment won’t condemn you to hell…they are merely guidelines to live a full life in a troubled world. If you believe in Jesus, then condemnation of any sort is a lie because, in theory, he came to do all the things you couldn’t do so you don’t have to feel guilty for your imperfections..

    Ultimately your life is completely up to you. But Oreos and partying will only make you happy for so long.

    Lastly, I don’t understand the desire of a meaningless universe…I think this causes more depression than anything. Any wise, successful individual will be able to tell you and tangibly prove that there is structure to the universe…Cause and effect, the law of attraction, the power of love over hate.

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