Question: I've prayed to god for understanding and peace of mind for over 50 years with no results. Where is god? Because right now I'd have to say that there is no god! Can you tell me in common sense, down to earth terms, why I should believe what humans have written in the bible? It seems to me that humans have created god and not the other way around.
Answer: Dear friend, I am sorry to hear about your turmoil. Fifty years is certainly a long time to pray with no results. Additionally, if you've been at this for fifty years you have a shorter road ahead of you than behind you. The problem is that you are heading right toward hell, so you'd better turn the car around.
Albert Einstein said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. By your own admission, you have been doing the same thing for over fifty years, but you are disappointed by the results—and disappointment can only mean that you have been expecting a different result from your prayers. The problem is that you are not qualified to receive those things you seek (understanding and peace) because you are not a child of God. You need to be converted, born again into God's family, because God is under no obligation to answer the prayers of those outside of his Kingdom. Therefore, consider this response as God's answer to your prayers...in down-to-earth terms. If you do not become a child of God, not only will you go to hell, but you will continue with your current disappointment until you die.
Now, you've put me in a bit of a bind because you insist that mere human beings (and not God) wrote the Bible. You are wrong about that, of course...but that makes me wonder why you chose this site to query, because offering biblical counsel is what we do here—and it is important that we do so. Why? Because I am not responding as a guy with all the answers. I'm responding as a guy who acknowledges objective truth. I understand that there are answers outside of myself, and that they are found in the Bible. Let me give you an example of how this works by seeing what the Bible says about your inability to gain understanding.
“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14, ESV)
The natural person (and this is you as an unconverted man) cannot understand spiritual things because they are communicated in a different language. In your question, you say that you have been seeking understanding and peace, and that is noble, but these are spiritual elements and you are looking for them in a non-spiritual realm. Even when you find yourself walking among the people of that realm, you will find that their language confuses you. What this means for your question is that those things you seek, understanding and peace of mind, are not what you suppose them to be. So, you will never find them. They are the fruit of a right relationship with God. Understanding and peace cannot be obtained by direct effort—even by the route of godly intentions and prayer. This is why you are not connecting with God. You are not conversant in the spiritual language, and you do not have God's Spirit to help with the translation.
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” (Romans 8:26, ESV)
In like manner, when I answer a question like yours, although my words do not have the same weight as Scripture, the same phenomenon is at work. Since I speak from a platform of truth, one that you do not accept, I'd be wasting both of our times giving you arguments to prove the existence of God, or supporting the divine (as opposed to mere human) authorship of the Bible, or how human nature itself proves that we were created by God. Indeed, it would be highly unlikely that my words would register as sensible to you. It is not because you have a mental defect. It is because you have a spiritual defect. There is a part of you missing. No one "gets" this stuff without the help of the Holy Spirit, and only God's children have his internal presence.
Once a person becomes born again into God's family, however, things change. Then (and only then) do all the privileges of family apply. Although the Holy Spirit still works on the outside of people, wooing and whispering, only God's children have him within. And it is through his agency that we identify with the Father, that we understand the Scripture, and that we enjoy peace of mind. But understand this to be a biblical peace of mind, because biblical peace differs from the world's conception of peace.
(Jesus speaking) “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you...”
(John 14:27, ESV).
Biblical peace is not the absence of turmoil—whether that turmoil is mental, emotional or environmental. Biblical peace is resting in God during the storm—and the storm is pretty constant! We may receive the occasional environmental rest, but this is not the norm, nor should it be. Biblical peace is proven by its constant testing. Therefore, peace is not calm per se. It is resting in God's victory in the midst of our continuing battles. You have no peace because, like every one else, you are continually fighting, but you are fighting for the wrong army. It is time you changed sides. Take a lesson from Nicodemus as found in John chapter three.
Nicodemus, like you, had a lot going for him. He was an earnest seeker, but he had to go to Jesus at night because he was afraid of what people would think of him. You see, Nicodemus was one of those guys whom everyone thought had the answers...but the Holy Spirit was working on him, so he risked it all because of the one true thing. He said, “...Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” (John 3:2, ESV).
That is the one true thing. Any reasonable observer had to conclude that Jesus was sent from God. I fact, that was the primary reason for the miracles. And that was our one shot, by the way. We'll get no more miracles from Jesus—as if we needed some on-going proof. We have a completed testimony through Scripture, and every person alive today must come to grips with the veracity of the New Testament and take Jesus' testimony from there.
Nicodemus came at night. You can, too...no one's looking except God himself. You must do as Nicodemus did, though. Throw down your preconceived notions. It is not reasonable to assert that an almighty God lies, that he is incapable of transmitting his will through the centuries, that the ideas of a frail humanity can stand next to the one true thing: that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh. He came to do his Father's will, and his miracles stand as testimony. That part got Nicodemus. Those miracles were proof that Jesus was sent from God, and he knew that he would have to deal with it. You do too, because those miracles still stand. Jesus was then, as he is today, the one true thing.
“But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.”
(John 5:36, ESV).
Once Nicodemus broke free of his cultural inertia, then Jesus could then tell him the next big thing he had to know—and this is true for you, too. Unless you are born again, you will never "get it"—you will never see the kingdom of God—not after fifty years...not after a thousand!
“Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”” (John 3:3, ESV).
By way of summary, there is only one question that is germane to a person who has not been born again, and that is, "What must I do to be saved?" The answer is, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." It's as simple as that, but I want to make sure that you have the right information, so follow this link to salvation article. Make your way through that...and then, make your way.
I'd like to give you some answers to those other issues in your question such as the existence of God and the veracity of Scripture, but you must act upon salvation first. Why do this first? Because unless you become a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17) you would not understand the new language, and we'd both be spinning our wheels.
I'll pray for your traction.