Testimonials about God changing your life

Rob Banks

Pelican
I am new to faith. I used to be an atheist (when I was younger, not recently) and I'm in the process of converting. I decided to convert after sharing about a personal situation I am dealing with on the forum.

I have heard many testimonials (for example Roosh's, among others) from people who lived lives of sin, came to God, and immediately found peace and their lives started to change. I know the change doesn't happen literally overnight, but things seem to get significantly better for these people after finding God.

This has not been my experience. Even though I am regularly going to church, praying, and talking to a priest, I am not able to stop caring about my personal situation or find any peace in God. My relationships with friends/family have also not improved and neither has my work/school life.

I am constantly in a vicious cycle of going to church and praying for a few days or weeks and then falling back into lust and drug use (which were my main problems before I became religious).

Sometimes I feel like it would be better to just fully give in to vice and sin. That way, at least I don't have to deal with this vicious cycle of ups and downs. I am unable to defeat the evil and demonic forces, so why resist? It is akin to attempting to resist the police when they try to arrest you. You will not win, and you will get hurt in the process. Better to just submit.

I've been told many times (and I agree) that I'm not supposed to see my relationship with God as something transactional (where I worship Him in exchange for Him giving me good things in life). However, it is very hard keep practicing religion and taking it seriously if it has no positive effect on my life whatsoever and I am unable to find any peace.

I am constantly reading and listening to religious and spiritual stuff, but at this point I feel like it is purely for intellectual/entertainment purposes. It does not seem to make a difference in my life.
 
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ilostabet

Pelican
Has your suffering, shame and disgust increased after you sin? That would be a good sign, a positive impact on your life.

Christ did not come to make us feel good about ourselves. He said it himself he didn't come to bring peace, but the sword - the sword that goes inwards and strikes at every sin. We are attached to sin, however, so it hurts. Our fallen nature is always at war with our divine nature. Christ came so we wouldn't wage that war alone, because we can't do it without Him. But it is a war, and peace is only found at the end.

That is my testimony of how Christ changed my life: it makes me everyday more aware of sin, but especially of my own, and how destructive they are. The peace of Christ is that of the martyr, not of a beach in Aruba.

As Len said elsewhere: you know the Truth now, you may turn your back on Him, but you can't ignore Him anymore. That's why you are constantly talking about this on the forum, you know He is the burning of the alcohol on your wounds.
 

((()))

Pigeon
You're young and bored out of your mind. You live in the sticks and there's not much to do. You dream about the glitz and glamour of big city life because that's where the action is. You grew up on nihilistic vulgar and degenerate popular culture and thought that rappers were the guys that made it in life. Your role models are closet sodomites preaching tolerance whilst being intrinsically the opposite. Your parents don't realize the extent of the societal rot. You're left without a compass in a rootless society that stands for nothing. You get into drugs and alcohol because you have to blow off some steam. You've found a semblance of peace. You push this self-destructive cycle as long as your brain can handle. You realize that something is wrong. You begin to reject everything. You wonder if there's any hope left for you. You wake up one day, look at yourself in the mirror and think : "I'm worth more than this". Your soul is praying for the Gods but you don't even realize it because the brainwashing is too strong. You then become a truth seeker. You stumble upon these colored pills. You realize that you've been lied to all your life. You feel angry and cheated. You're left with two options : dig deeper into the dark or look up to the light. You begin to self-improve. You flex your muscles and read books about power, money and game. You become noticeable. You feel better at times. You wonder what's the next step after all this self-improvement jazz. You realize that the game is rigged against you and that satan is real. You self-destruct once again because you feel helpless facing the evilness of the world. You're left with two options : dig deeper into the dark or look up to the light. You want to look up to the light. But the light is so narrow that your eyes have trouble catching it, while the darkness is as big and wide as everything you've been led to glorify. You don't feel ready to abandon your worldly possessions. You're still embedded in your secular ways. You feel hopeless and pray once again. You ask for a miracle. By the time you've asked, a million little miracles happened right in front of your eyes. You wonder what went wrong for so long, and the answer hits you with a clarity never felt before. You finally accept the Truth, and now there's no turning back.
 
Rob, is there a men's group at your church? Is there a good men's group at your church? Do they care about you and reach out? And do the general members of your congregation care about you? Do they have a mid-week Bible study? Do you want to stay with your current church? Does it have a congregation of loving and spirit filled people? Is there a single's group? Do they have cool activities besides the Sunday service?

You might want to use meetup.com or something similar, to find a group of Christian singles to have fun with, and seek spiritual growth.

I respect you for sharing about your frustration and sense of disconnection from God. It takes strength and honesty to admit such things. But don't give up. Some of the greatest saints and disciples had their own regular dark times of the soul. And you can certainly always reach out to the people here.
 

Silveryback

Pigeon
I am new to faith. I used to be an atheist (when I was younger, not recently) and I'm in the process of converting. I decided to convert after sharing about a personal situation I am dealing with on the forum.

I have heard many testimonials (for example Roosh's, among others) from people who lived lives of sin, came to God, and immediately found peace and their lives started to change. I know the change doesn't happen literally overnight, but things seem to get significantly better for these people after finding God.

This has not been my experience. Even though I am regularly going to church, praying, and talking to a priest, I am not able to stop caring about my personal situation or find any peace in God. My relationships with friends/family have also not improved and neither has my work/school life.

I am constantly in a vicious cycle of going to church and praying for a few days or weeks and then falling back into lust and drug use (which were my main problems before I became religious).

Sometimes I feel like it would be better to just fully give in to vice and sin. That way, at least I don't have to deal with this vicious cycle of ups and downs. I am unable to defeat the evil and demonic forces, so why resist? It is akin to attempting to resist the police when they try to arrest you. You will not win, and you will get hurt in the process. Better to just submit.

I've been told many times (and I agree) that I'm not supposed to see my relationship with God as something transactional (where I worship Him in exchange for Him giving me good things in life). However, it is very hard keep practicing religion and taking it seriously if it has no positive effect on my life whatsoever and I am unable to find any peace.

I am constantly reading and listening to religious and spiritual stuff, but at this point I feel like it is purely for intellectual/entertainment purposes. It does not seem to make a difference in my life.
That actually makes plenty of sense. However, as reasonable as your rationalization is, my recommendation is to not. Like for sure, don't give up and just assume life will take its course until you're put out of your misery. I was once in a similar situation and was hell-bent on giving up with life. Drugs, sure, by the main issue was not recognizing the size of issues in my life. They help, trust me! I know! I went many years trying to prove that point, but it just screwed me up in a long-term way that I wasn't expecting, so now it's that much harder to stay on a positive momentum.
 

bucky

Pelican
I am new to faith. I used to be an atheist (when I was younger, not recently) and I'm in the process of converting. I decided to convert after sharing about a personal situation I am dealing with on the forum.

I have heard many testimonials (for example Roosh's, among others) from people who lived lives of sin, came to God, and immediately found peace and their lives started to change. I know the change doesn't happen literally overnight, but things seem to get significantly better for these people after finding God.

This has not been my experience. Even though I am regularly going to church, praying, and talking to a priest, I am not able to stop caring about my personal situation or find any peace in God. My relationships with friends/family have also not improved and neither has my work/school life.

I am constantly in a vicious cycle of going to church and praying for a few days or weeks and then falling back into lust and drug use (which were my main problems before I became religious).

Sometimes I feel like it would be better to just fully give in to vice and sin. That way, at least I don't have to deal with this vicious cycle of ups and downs. I am unable to defeat the evil and demonic forces, so why resist? It is akin to attempting to resist the police when they try to arrest you. You will not win, and you will get hurt in the process. Better to just submit.

I've been told many times (and I agree) that I'm not supposed to see my relationship with God as something transactional (where I worship Him in exchange for Him giving me good things in life). However, it is very hard keep practicing religion and taking it seriously if it has no positive effect on my life whatsoever and I am unable to find any peace.

I am constantly reading and listening to religious and spiritual stuff, but at this point I feel like it is purely for intellectual/entertainment purposes. It does not seem to make a difference in my life.
I think that the fact that you're still trying to figure out your relationship with God is a good sign. I can't remember who, but recently a prominent RVF member made the observation that in other religions, you're taught that by following them you'll become a good person, whereas in Christianity you're a bad person and will remain so, but you can still be saved through God's grace if you believe Jesus can save you. My opinion on your salvation isn't the one that matters, but you do seem to believe on some level, so maybe there's hope for you. You're obviously a severely flawed person, but in the Bible Jesus specifically tells us that our nature is evil, so that's to be expected.

Yes, you should accept that maybe God's plan for you does not include the things that you want. Maybe it includes a lot of suffering. No one but God knows for sure. As Paul said, we see all in this life as if through a glass, darkly. When I pray, I pray for things I want with the caveat "if it be Thy will" and pray to accept what God has planned for me, and for His spirit to guide me to choose what He wants, not what I want.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
Has your suffering, shame and disgust increased after you sin? That would be a good sign, a positive impact on your life.
...
Yes, my shame and disgust has increased after I sin, but I am also offered no alternative.

Because I have become so isolated from everyone around me (and lost my job due to COVID), I literally don't do anything except sit in a room all day thinking about everything I've lost and how I'll never get it back.

Even a few months ago when I was taking some college classes, I found no meaning in it whatsoever.

It's like being in solitary confinement 24/7. My only escape from this is to engage in lust and drug use.
...
As Len said elsewhere: you know the Truth now, you may turn your back on Him, but you can't ignore Him anymore...
This is true, but it feels like I only know the Truth now that I can't do anything meaningful with it.

For years, I was an atheist who ignored/was unaware of the Truth. Now, God has revealed the Truth to me but it's too late. It's as if God is saying to me "Hahaha! This is what you are missing! If only you had found Me before it was too late."

I don't want to know any more about the Truth, because all it only reveals to me what is too late to change. It shines a light on my sin and vice but offers me no alternative except for "You should have thought of this before you sinned. Now it is too late."
 
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Yes, my shame and disgust has increased after I sin, but I am also offered no alternative.

Because I have become so isolated from everyone around me (and lost my job due to COVID), I literally don't do anything except sit in a room all day thinking about everything I've lost and how I'll never get it back.

It's like being in solitary confinement 24/7. My only escape from this is to engage in lust and drug use.
What have you lost? Why will you never get it back?

There are wholesome escapes... Reading good books, exercising (even if only using your own body, and no equipment), writing in a gratitude journal, emailing friends and family, practicing a musical instrument like the guitar or harmonica, meditating (for a relatively short time, nothing that will derange you), watching edifying movies and television shows, studying a foreign language, studying computer programming, playing video games (just not for too many hours), watching educational youtube videos about science, religion, history, etc.,... Or even starting an online business or start applying for online jobs/gigs! These many hours can be put to productive use... Yes, it's hard to try to be positive and make progress, but it can be done.

Keep in touch with the forum here. : )
 

bucky

Pelican
Yes, my shame and disgust has increased after I sin, but I am also offered no alternative.

Because I have become so isolated from everyone around me (and lost my job due to COVID), I literally don't do anything except sit in a room all day thinking about everything I've lost and how I'll never get it back.

Even a few months ago when I was taking some college classes, I found no meaning in it whatsoever.

It's like being in solitary confinement 24/7. My only escape from this is to engage in lust and drug use.
Is there some kind of volunteering you can do? I know you don't feel like it, but that's your (literal) demons, whispering in your ear. Still, go out and do something good for other people. Even if you don't feel like it and don't feel better afterward you can at least say to yourself that you did something with your day aside from drugs and porn or fornication. That's a start.

I used to volunteer at a rest home. Most of the people there are incredibly lonely and just happy to have someone, anyone, to talk to. Pretty interesting stories from them about how life used to be when they were young too. That's just one idea, of course there are many other good works you could do.
 
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Rob Banks

Pelican
What have you lost? Why will you never get it back?
...
I lost my wife (who means everything to me) and therefore my ability to have a family. I have discussed it to death elsewhere on the forum so I won't go into details here.

God has not provided me with a way to get close to her but He also does not provide me with closure (in the form of divorce papers or her telling me it's over in no uncertain terms) or the ability to move on and forget. All I get from her are occasional vibes that she still cares deeply about me followed by months of silence and coldness.

Even when I have asked her directly, she will not give me a straight answer and just gets mad at me for asking (if she doesn't ignore me altogether). I understand this is because of all the trauma and suffering I have caused her, but for me it is very confusing and hard to deal with.

I have also lost all other positive relationships with friends and family. Those around me have come to see me as a burden. Nobody expects me to be successful or even live independently. They are happy as long as I'm not dead or on drugs. And they resent me deeply for this.
 
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I lost my wife (who means everything to me) and therefore my ability to have a family. I have discussed it to death elsewhere on the forum so I won't go into details here.

God has not provided me with a way to get close to her but He also does not provide me with closure (in the form of divorce papers or her telling me it's over in no uncertain terms). All I get from her are occasional vibes that she still cares deeply about me followed by months of silence and coldness.

I have also lost all other positive relationships with friends and family. Those around me have come to see me as a burden. Nobody expects me to be successful or even live independently. They are happy as long as I'm not dead or on drugs. And they resent me deeply for this.
A very rough situation... I'm very sorry. I can see why you are in so much deep pain. Are you at a point where you can truly quit doing drugs? Please consider attending an Evangelical church. It may be a good match for you.

Being successful may be your best revenge! And sometimes anger can be good fuel, at least for a short time. But there are probably no easy answers for you. Take up your cross and get going, brother....
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
I'm not sure that anger, revenge, and hatred are the right emotions I should be feeling here.

I can easily quit doing drugs (I have done so for months at a time). I'm not using drugs right now. I just don't see the point in staying clean when it is clear that there is no peace or relief to be found outside the numbing effect of the drugs.

It's almost like I want to die (the ultimate numbness) but I'm too much of a coward to actually do it so I choose drugs instead.
 
I'm not sure that anger, revenge, and hatred are the right emotions I should be feeling here.
Well then, look to Christ... But remember, there is such a thing as righteous anger. And as I said, take up your cross, which is not a fun proposition, when it comes to living for God and facing your problems. It's very tempting to just soak oneself in self pity and give up. The decision is yours...
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
It is very hard to trust Christ when the outcomes in my life seem to be random and based on cause-and-effect (more in line with an atheist worldview) rather than Divine Providence.

When I found religion and God, I thought I had finally found the answer (or at least a path forward). Now, it is increasingly clear that religion was just one more failed attempt at self-improvement (just like drug rehab, psychotherapy, etc.).

Again, I am aware that I am supposed to worship God for God's sake (as opposed to seeking self-improvement), but obviously we all want to live meaningful lives and find peace. If that is off the table, it becomes very hard to truly love God.
 

ilostabet

Pelican
Yes, my shame and disgust has increased after I sin, but I am also offered no alternative.

Because I have become so isolated from everyone around me (and lost my job due to COVID), I literally don't do anything except sit in a room all day thinking about everything I've lost and how I'll never get it back.

Even a few months ago when I was taking some college classes, I found no meaning in it whatsoever.

It's like being in solitary confinement 24/7. My only escape from this is to engage in lust and drug use.

This is true, but it feels like I only know the Truth now that I can't do anything meaningful with it.

For years, I was an atheist who ignored/was unaware of the Truth. Now, God has revealed the Truth to me but it's too late. It's as if God is saying to me "Hahaha! This is what you are missing! If only you had found Me before it was too late."

I don't want to know any more about the Truth, because all it only reveals to me what is too late to change. It shines a light on my sin and vice but offers me no alternative except for "You should have thought of this before you sinned. Now it is too late."
Too late for what? To salvage something earthly that you deemed necessary or beneficial? That may be, though you never know. Only God knows. And only God knows what you need and it is not often what you want, but the opposite.

Now, I get it that there's bad times, and both your circumstances and the world's are screwed up, but that is very relative and beside the point.

First, regarding the circumstances of the world: any peace on earth is, at best, a short breathing space. Most times, it means something evil is brewing in the shadows - that's how I would describe the the period between 1945-1965, for a recent example. When the Christian seems to be triumphing in the world, there's something wrong. We are not made to be at peace with this fallen world. And whenever we attain some level of it from being part of some large collective, there is something wrong.

Yes, we are faced with evil with an unprecedented amount of power, but the evil hasn't really changed, it is only and can only be an inversion of the Good. So, while we may be facing a dystopian nightmare, the ultimate evil behind it has been faced by every men. Even if you change your circumstances like I suggested before, and live more naturally and further from urban centers, the demons will not cease to torment you. They follow monks to monasteries, they will follow anyone, anywhere. The battle does not end until we are fully in the presence of God, and that is never during our earthly existence.

And regarding your particular circumstances, you should try at all times to maintain some perspective. Consider the amount of people (including children) working as slaves in some factory, or starving after war has ravaged through their village, or being forced into sexual slavery by kidnappers. Consider the guy serving 400 years after Charlottesville for defending himself against a mob. You think you are suffering a great injustice, and you might, but there is plenty to go around everywhere you look.

There is a reason why God does not make our earthly lives better all the time and to our desire. He loves us too much to deny us free will, the free will to do good, but also the free will to do bad; the free will which makes intentions matter, but also which makes the results independent from intentions. Free will always entails some level of misery. It is unavoidable. But you better get some perspective. Perhaps your wife needs to be apart from you to get closer to God. We never know how all the pieces fit.

I second what a poster above said: you should try to find a group of men at the Church. And if you are not working, try volunteering your time to help someone in need, preferably someone you know. Harder to sin when we're busy.
 
It is very hard to trust Christ when the outcomes in my life seem to be random and based on cause-and-effect (more in line with an atheist worldview) rather than Divine Providence.

When I found religion and God, I thought I had finally found the answer (or at least a path forward). Now, it is increasingly clear that religion was just one more failed attempt at self-improvement (just like drug rehab, psychotherapy, etc.).

Again, I am aware that I am supposed to worship God for God's sake (as opposed to seeking self-improvement), but obviously we all want to live meaningful lives and find peace. If that is off the table, it becomes very hard to truly love God.
I think a common misconception is that God will just hold our hand as we go through life, and that everything will just magically work out, as long as we live a certain way. Now his spirit will at times strengthen us, but to a large extent, we are on our own to be tested and tried. Life is hard, but God can make it worth living. The peace you desire, will come from not giving up, but instead consistently committing yourself to Christ. Yes, you will screw up at times, but then repent, so you can move forward. It won't be easy.

I liked how they broke down the basics of living a Christian life...


A good article about adversity and suffering, from a Christian perspective...

 

Rob Banks

Pelican
My best explanation for what is happening is that God gave me many opportunities to find Him and I never did, so now He took everything away from me because that was the only way to get me to take Him seriously.

But if that's the case, then why does He not allow me to have even a moment of peace now that I (at least try to) accept Him?

For example, I will decide at 12 midnight "I will not sin tonight" only to sleeplessly toss and turn until 3 AM in a state of increasing despair until I finally give in, get drunk, and visit dirty websites (random video chat).

If I manage to get to sleep without sinning, I will without question do it when I wake up the following day. And if I manage to cut out that particular sin altogether, then I will want to use drugs or fantasize about how nice it would be if I were dead.

Cutting out particular sins only diverts that negative/evil energy into other destructive paths, it does not eliminate it. That negative energy needs to be released one way or another (be it drugs, lust, or even death).

An alternative explanation for all this is that there is no rhyme or reason or "God's will" behind what is happening. The outcomes in my life are the result of random physical processes combined with the decisions I have made. God exists, and believing in Him allows you to be in a good mind state and therefore make better decisions, but he is not "all-Forgiving" and does not care for anyone in a personal way.

I am increasingly leaning towards this latter explanation.

I am not trying to argue against Christianity here. In fact, I am dearly hoping to be wrong. I am just having serious doubts based on the fact that I can't seem to find any peace or meaning in my life despite having turned to God.

I really wanted this to be different. When I started going to church 5 months ago on the recommendation of certain forum members, I envisioned myself one day happily posting here to thank everyone for encouraging me to seek God. Sadly, that is not the case.
 
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Bigblabla

Newbie
I feel you. I've been caught up again and again in drinking and drugs for short periods after I believed in Christ.

When I've stayed sober it is mostly easy and I am happy. For now I have little temptation towards that. But masturbation snares me often. I have difficulty going to sleep so after a couple hours of not sleeping I often gave in.

I avoid porn by understanding it is a tool of man to control me. I am making the connection that my flesh's desire for masturbation is a tool of my flesh to war against my spirit man and drag me into serving it and hence Satan.

God has changed my life a lot but it is a serious affair every day to put my mind on Him. My natural drift is away from God. And I think that is normal. I am responsible for willing to obey God and moving my attention on Him.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
...Perhaps your wife needs to be apart from you to get closer to God. We never know how all the pieces fit...
I know I'm (literally) playing Devil's advocate here, but what if the pieces don't "fit together"? What if the current circumstances are not helping anyone get closer to God?

From what little information I have, my wife seems to be very depressed, resentful, and isolated since leaving me. Among other things, she has not looked for a job despite having lived in the US for a whole year (claims she is too depressed and traumatized, i.e. she blames me).

She still talks to me as if my drug use and violence towards her had happened yesterday (when really it's been a year and a half). She has said to me "I do not forgive you" (in those exact words).

That does not seem like someone who is getting closer to God.

Yes, she has remained faithful despite the separation, which a man wiser than me pointed out is likely an act of God (most women would have divorced and moved on).

As for me, I am trying to get closer to God but He seems so far away and the all-powerful evil forces are all around me and I am not strong enough to fight them.

There has to be some sort of light at the end of the tunnel if I am to keep going forward. I can't just conclude that "maybe God's plan for me is a life of darkness and suffering" and then continue worshipping Him anyway.
 
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When you pray, do you pray for a specific outcome or do you pray for strength and personal power to do the right thing?

I've only recently begun praying, but I've already found, that praying for strength to do the right thing, the strength to endure, the strength to avoid sin, is better than asking god for stuff. I could imagine you feel "cheated" because you ask for specifics?

In any case, I do not see why you should beat yourself up over drinking or watching porn. I'm probably not the best expert on sin or the bible, as I'm new to this as well, but Anonymous Bosch had a really good post about sin that stuck with me. Basically, god does not expect us, those raised in sin, to instantly turn pious. Though drinking and lusting are sins, it does not damn you, the same way that other sin might, because you as a person raised in sin, can not be expected to instantly rid yourself of all sin. God is merciful.

If I were you, I would focus on asking god for strength to not hurt those around you. You might sin with drugs and lust, but those sins are between you and god. If you sin against your neighbor, is that not a greater sin? So maybe try asking for strength to be able to contribute positively to your family and friends. Focus on them and not yourself. Give instead of ask. Pray to god to give you love that you can give to others.
 
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