God, I Don’t Understand …. September 15, 2019
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways. This is the LORD’s declaration. For as heaven is higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV
So many times I don’t understand the workings of god. But in reality, am I supposed too? It is called faith- Faith to believe and trust that God will do all that he has promised. Sometimes I think we might be guilty of saying or thinking, “God, if you would like my opinion….” The problem is, however, I fear our opinion is not an opinion at all. Rather it is how we expect God to take care of an opportunity that has brilliantly disguised itself as a problem or challenge in life. It is during these times that faith can grow when trusting God’s promises as his child…..even if we don’t understand the why’s of the life situations.
Over the years, I have heard many statements such as, “I don’t understand why this is happening to me. I’ve been good and served God.” …. “I don’t understand. Why would God __________ (fill in the blank); they were/are such a good person.” “Why does God let all the bad things we see happening in the world, happen?” There will always be questions, but GOD IS ALWAYS in control. Again…..even though we might not understand the situations in life, we can trust God.
We will have faith in someone, be it self, Satan, or God. Hopefully your faith is in God, for he presently is, and will be, at the end of all things as we know it, in control. He is on his throne and is King of kings and Lord of lords. All things will be accomplished according to his will and in his timing, without exception.
To help us understand this truth, the Bible records events that show how God was in control of situations that happened in people’s lives….including his own. Here are a couple of examples.
Job Didn’t Understand:
Job was an extremely wealthy man, having 11,000 plus animals. He and his wife had a wonderful family of seven sons and three daughters. the Bible teaches that God described Job like this: “there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil. Job 1:8 & 2:3 ESV Think about that!! God described Job as the only one on the earth that lived with such a testimony. Who did he describe Job’s character to? Satan.
Satan, being a destroyer of all that God made good, told God the only reason Job served Him was because He had protected and blessed him, and Job would curse Him to His face if He hadn’t blessed him so. (Job 1:9-12) God allowed Satan to touch all that Job had, but he could not touch Job. (Job1:12) Believing he would curse God, Satan was more than happy to take everything (literally) from Job in one day- except his wife.
However, Job did not do so, but instead said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I shall return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. Job 1:21-22 ESV Now you can understand why God said of Job that there was “none like him on the earth.” Job 2:9-10 ESV
Satan again made a challenge to God concerning Job which involved his health. God allowed Satan to touch his health but not take his life. (Job 2:4-8) Job’s wife even came to him and said, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die.” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job DID NOT sin with his lips. Job 2:9-10 ESV I do not believe Job had any idea of the conversation between God and Satan… but in faith he still followed God, even without understanding why all this was happening to him.
Satan wars against all that God has made good and is more than happy to destroy you, as he tried to do with Job. There are many questions that can arise concerning the story of Job’s life, but there is one thing you can know… God was in control. God told Satan what he could and could not do. Note in Job 1:7 & 2:2 ESV … It says, “Satan answered the Lord.” And the truth is, Satan will always answer to God. God, who is on his throne, is and always will be King of kings and Lord of lords.
The Disciples Didn’t Understand:
Reflect back to the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus had finished praying, and they came to arrest him. Peter attempted to protect Him at one point, and all the disciple ended up running in fear. Then all the disciples left him and fled. Matthew 26:56b ESV The One they thought was going to be an earthly king was now headed to a cross, and they feared perhaps that they would be next.
Jesus would be king, but not in this world as they had hoped and presumed. At this point in time Jesus was the Lamb of God to be sacrificed for the sins of the world. Nothing that happened to Jesus was unforeseen by God. His arrest, his trial, and his crucifixion happened not by chance but just as it was foretold in prophecy in order that the scripture would be fulfilled. Even though the disciples did not understand, God was in control, and his plan of redemption was right on schedule as he planned.
Wouldn’t you and I perhaps have given God our opinion that he could implement a plan for the forgiveness of sin in a little less painful way than crucifixion? God wants us to see the cost and price of sin, and to see the cross and the suffering that Jesus endured so as to give us a clear picture of that cost.
I Don’t Understand:
I have received God’s redemption for me by his death, burial, and resurrection from the dead. In faith I confessed my sin before him and received the precious gift of forgiveness and eternal life given to me by God. But why would God, who can do anything that he pleases, choose to die in my place and provide redemption for me? I know the answer is love, and this is the correct answer. But again … why? He could have simply erased man from the easel of creation and started over. Isn’t that what we would have done, and have done, so to speak, to those who have done us wrong? If we could have given God our opinion, we might have said to erase them and start over.
But his thoughts and ways are so much higher than ours. His way is the way of mercy, grace, forgiveness, long-suffering/patience, and so much more than could ever be written, describing the awesomeness of God. There is so much I still don’t understand in my limited understanding of all that is. But this I believe: God is in control, and I am so thankful for his way of thinking and doing things, for it is much higher than mine. For me to think any differently would be to say I am my own God. I know the pat answers as to why, but I am still amazed and in awe of God, who is so much more than I could ever comprehend or explain in this life. So in faith, even in the struggles of life and my limited understanding, I will follow him.
Believe. In faith, believe all that you can understand, and when life does throw the unexpected that you don’t understand…. Believe and know God is in control despite the “whatever” in life. This is easier to write or say than do. This is why you look at the teaching of Job, the disciples, and a host of other accounts in the Bible concerning undisclosed outcomes for those who experienced them at the time.
Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 ESV …. He is the first and the last and the beginning and end of all things. (Revelation 22:13) HE IS GOD AND HE IS IN CONTROL, no matter what lie Satan will try to convince you is true. When struggling in the battles of unbelief, pray ….Lord, I believe, help my unbelief. Mark 9:24 God, who created us, knows we are frail and are dust. But God, whose thoughts and ways are unfathomable, died for this clump of dust and gave it life.
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David