Diocese of Portsmouth

Questions about my faith

Is it OK to have doubts?

At school we are taught something important, that is how to learn and how to ask questions such as What? When? How? Why? We need to continue asking these questions throughout our lives and by doing that we learn more about ourselves and the world we live in.

It is right therefore to ask those questions about our faith, what we believe and indeed about God himself. It is natural for us all to have doubts at various times in our life and at those times we need to find ways to read the Bible, to pray, and to be honest with ourselves.

We need to face our doubts squarely and tackle them sensibly. It does not help to pretend they are not there.

Talking to other people is one of the best ways to get help with our doubts and for those who are Christians going to Church is one way to encourage our faith to grow. If you are not already a member of a local Church you might like to visit Find a Church.

Can God help my depression?

First we need to ask ourselves why we are depressed? This can be due to a number of different factors, physical, emotional, psychological or spiritual, or a combination of all of them. There are varying degrees of depression and it can result from bereavement, ill health, disappointment or through difficult circumstances.

It may be that by asking this question we recognise that we do need some help and our GP may be the person to whom we should turn first.

Sometimes however depression comes from the nagging guilt of realising that we are not the people we ought to be, that we have fallen below our own standards, that we have missed opportunities, that we have wasted our gifts and talents or even the feeling that we have not achieved all that we would have hoped or wanted for our lives. In those situations, finding a quiet place and time to pray can help us address the problems that can arise through leading lives that are too busy, too noisy and too stressful.

The words of this hymn can help us

Drop thy still dews of quietness
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

(From the hymn ‘Dear Lord and Father of Mankind’)

What should I do if I feel suicidal?

If this is a question you are genuinely asking it is important that you speak to someone about it.

Find someone you trust, whose opinions and confidence you respect and ask for help. It may be that you should talk to a parent or teacher about it if you are a young person, or perhaps arrange to see your GP or a counsellor.

Many people have found the Samaritans have been a help. Their phone number is 0845 7909090 and you can phone them any time of the day and night.

Whatever you may be feeling at the moment, whether it is loneliness, bitterness, despair or whatever, do remember you are not alone in having these feelings, nor is it wrong to have them.