I gave my life to Christ years ago, but I've experienced many trials and storms, and through it all I have prayed to God, but I never seem to hear Him. I am wondering if I am truly a Christian, and worry if I have been saved or perhaps lost my salvation. Has God abandoned me?
In our experience, the only people who spend significant time worrying over whether they are truly Christians...are Christians. Generally speaking, unbelievers do not have concerns over whether they are truly Christian or whether they have salvation in Christ. In fact, Paul says:
1Cor. 1:18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
While this observation is not a "rule," it does remind us that our degree of commitment to Christ does not determine Christ's degree of commitment to us. If you lack confidence in your Christian faith, simply ask yourself one question: do you agree with the following statement:
Rom. 10:8 But what does it say? “ THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART” — that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,
Rom. 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
If you have confessed that Jesus is Lord (i.e., publicly declared your belief in Christ as Savior) and believed in your heart the scriptures that testify to Jesus' resurrection, then you shall be saved and you are a Christian. Period. You are secure in your salvation, and you need not spend time worrying over something that is certain.
On the other hand if you cannot agree with Romans 10:8-9, then you are not a Christian. Obviously, we urge you to confess Christ so you may receive His mercy. There is no second option.
The fact that a Christian's life includes pain and suffering at times is simply the inevitable result of living in a sinful and fallen world. The Bible does not promise that we will experience a wonderful, pain free life once we become a Christian. On the contrary, the Bible says believers will very likely experience persecution and trials.
So how do we “feel” the love of God in the midst of these trials? The Bible says we may recognize the love of God in the very fact that Christ died for us.
1John 4:9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.
We are not to rely on our feelings to discern God in our lives. Our feelings are easily manipulated and often lie. Instead, we are called to know Him through His word.
We strongly recommend you take our Romans Bible study together. We’re confident this Bible study would greatly increase your understanding of God, salvation and our walk as Christians.