Joshua Goodling: Terminal Cancer Survivor, Speaker, Author


Why I Believe In God

By Joshua Goodling

"Why do I believe in God?" The answer to that question, to me, is quite simple - "Look around you!" Look at how the sun comes up every day at a certain time, and goes down at another certain time. Watch how every year, the leaves change color, fall off their trees, and then come back again. Look at the majestic beauty of the mountains, the oceans, the valleys, the rivers, and all the glorious nature around us. And anyone who seriously considers these things has to believe in God.

However, let's take it a step further. "Why do I believe in the God of the Bible?" There are close to 4000 different "religions" in the world today. What makes Christianity and the Bible so worth believing in rather than any other? My answer to that question is found in John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son..." What other religion is there where the god of that religion loved us so much He Himself gave us the solution to all of our problems? There are other religions that teach you have to do certain things to appease their God, but none that teach their god loved us even before we believed in Him.

To me, the Christian faith and belief in Almighty God is the only one that makes sense. And, I know there are countless millions out there who will completely disagree with me, and want to debate and argue that point. I don't demand that everyone else believe in the same God i believe in. You are quite free to worship whomever you choose. I choose to worship the God of the Bible, because in my heart and in my life I've seen Him work, and I know He is true!

Some would say, "What? Your God allowed you to have cancer and almost die! Your God allowed you to go through so many trials and troubles! Your God ruined your life....why would you trust a God like that?" And that is a valid point. But, you see, I believe the same God who created this world, the same God who loved me enough to send His Son Jesus Christ to die for me, and the same God who created my life and the lives of everyone around me, had a perfect plan when He gave me cancer. 46 years ago, when I was lying on a hospital bed and the doctors were telling my parents, "Joshua is going to die!", I didn't understand what God was doing. However, now when I see all of the broken hearts He has used my story to impact, when I see how God has encouraged and changed hundreds of others, I see that God indeed had a plan, and I see that like everything else in His creation - His plan was perfect!

Now, I am not one of those people who thinks or demands that everyone else in the world agree with them about God, or about anything for that matter. In fact, as I mentioned, I know thousands, if not millions of people will not agree with me, and I know there are those who will hate me for simply believing what I believe. However, to me - I know that without my relationship with God, my life would be a wreck. I know I never would have made it through all the difficult times I've experienced in my journey without Him. And I know it is Him ALONE who has been my strength and my song.

That's why I believe the God of the Bible. I know that without Him, I would be nothing, and I know I make all the wrong choices and decisions apart from Him and His guidance. And I believe He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for my sins. I know that by faith in Him alone as my Saviour, my life has been changed forever. If you don't know Him, I invite you to get to know my God. I'm not saying you have to, I'm just saying, I've found Him to be faithful, gracious, loving, merciful, and amazing! And just as I know He loves me...I know He loves you as well. And I know that His Word - the Bible is true! It will change your life - if you follow it and use it as your guide. It has changed mine!

Does it cost me to trust in God? Yes...it cost me. There are things I can't do because I know they don't please God. There are decisions and choices I have to make that are hard and difficult sometimes. But, I love God more than I could ever love the things I give up and I want to please and honor Him with my life. How could I not love a God who loved me enough to send His only Son to die for me? Following Jesus Christ is a life-changing experience, when we TRULY follow Him. And that's the secret to knowing God - letting Him completely guide and control one's life in everything we do! Sure, there are many things I don't understand or know about God. But then, if I could completely understand Him and know everything He knows - He wouldn't be God! A huge part of knowing God is trusting Him as God to make the right decisions and changes in my life!

"Taste and see that the LORD is good. How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!" (Psalm 34:8)