If you want to get genuine faith this is what you have to do: you have to say, out loud, “I don’t think there’s a God. I think that’s a silly superstition that people made up years ago before we had science and technology. I think the whole Jesus story was made up, just like ‘miracle’ healers today. Priests are just in it for the status and the choirboys. I think there’s just matter and when you’re dead you’re dead, that’s it. Yeah, it’s grim but at least you don’t have to worry about hell. Just get as much money and status as you can and have a good time before you die.” You should put it in your own words but that is what most modern people think really.
What we get instead is people who “try” to be good—they “try” to believe. They come up with jerry-rigged notions such as the idea that “God” is an egregore, an emergent cybernetic order that is the universe as a total process personified—or they say “God” is a metaphor for reality or the “voice inside yourself”. Few people will say, flat out, “It’s a load of bullocks. It’s not real.” It’s not about being an atheist—atheism is a position—it’s about a confession.
If you give it up, you get it back—who was a master at that: Jesus. He lost but he won. So it’s the same principle: give up the pretence, say what you really think, and you’ll get it back—God rewards truthfulness. He dislikes whited sepulchres who pretend to be good. It’s like the ABBA song “Waterloo”: “How could I ever refuse? I feel like I win when I lose.” As with all pop songs, it’s about God really—it could be about a lover, but it’s really about God if you listen correctly (He’s also a lover). Give it up, get it back—but you won’t give it up, will you? You want to look good.