Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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I am 21 years old. I have been struggling with a spiritual problem for the past few months. Constant bad thoughts about God keep coming into my head.  

Even when I am praying or reciting verses from the Holy Bible, the blasphemous thoughts get in the way. Every time I look at the cross I get images of doing horrible things to it.

All day long I am asking God for forgiveness. I had to take medication for depression because of this problem. I would cry every day because I felt like God was so far away from me, and I would get scary images of hell. Could you please help me?

Our God is a loving God; He will not allow His children to be tempted more than they can bear. What you are experiencing is a fierce battle with the devil. Satan wishes continually to implant in your heart the spirit of defeat and weakness so that you may despair and yield to him. Be of good courage and do not yield to him. Even if you fall in the same sin and have the same bad thoughts haunting you over and over, remember that the Holy Bible says, "For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again" (Prov 24:16) and tell Satan "Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise" (Micah 7:8).

The fact that you are rejecting these thoughts as soon as they come to you is victory in itself. St. Paul says, "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Eph 6:12).

God knows the power of our enemy and the weakness of our nature. He has compassion on our warfare and sends us power to support our weakness. As long as you stand steadfastly before the devil and try to overcome him, do not think that God will count this against you. God does not get angry with those who are struggling in their spiritual warfare, for He desires that all be saved (1 Tim 2:4). Even those who sin deliberately, if they have true repentance, God will forgive them. "Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation" (Mk 3:28,29). Blaspheming against the Holy Spirit is rejecting His work in us and this is definitely not your case. Do not despair even if God's help delays in reaching you because although God may come in the fourth watch, yet He will surely come.
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