There are many things in life that I don’t understand. I don’t understand SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), this seems such an injustice for an innocent child to die in this manner. I don’t understand how some people are healed while others are not. I don’t understand how people cannot see that nature has such a creative design and not believe there is a God.
Recently, after a long prayerful time on several issues, our family was facing, God spoke to me with this question, “When you don’t understand, will you still have faith?”
That is always the question after a disaster, a crisis, or a disappointment. Does God deserve our trust when things don’t go the way we what them to go? I have been disappointed many times as I have asked God for help. He seems to be present when I am reading the Bible or praying, but He seems to be absent in the answers I need. I don’t understand that dynamic. How does an unchanging God seem so present in worship, but seems absent in answering prayer? Now, I know some of you will say, “God answers all prayers, but the answer might not be what you want.” That may be true, but to see a person struggling in pain for whatever reason without resolve from God, is hard to understand … especially when we read that Jesus said whatever you ask in my name, it shall be given:
John 14:13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.
I have claimed this Verse many times, and yet, the answers did not come as expected. However, it is at these moments of doubt, disappointment, and questioning, that God says, “When you don’t understand, will you still have faith?”
I am sure Abraham and other great men of God had similar experiences. They faced battles with circumstances, yet it is recorded in the Scriptures it was their faith that made the difference. Job is another example of how God honored a man whose circumstances could not be explained. He was given advice to curse God and die, yet his faith in God kept him going. There was no incentive to believe in God … Job was decimated with no explanation or reason. Many of the Biblical characters become examples of how they took God at His Word and trusted Him, despite the circumstances in their lives.
I am constantly thinking about how important God is in my life. There are many unanswered prayers and concerns that I have made known to God that has gone unfulfilled. Often, I hear God saying to me, "Do you serve me because of who I am, or because of what I give to you?" I know that argument sounds like God is insecure somehow by asking that question. Often, I question relationships because of what I bring to the table in terms of goods and services. Do I matter as a person, or is my worth wrapped up in what I do for others? I don't think God withholds things from us based on this, but it does make me wonder if I serve God because He is my provider and protector. In Job's case, both were removed from Him, and he still trusted in God.
Job 2 9His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” 10He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
The question is still on the floor, “When you don’t understand, will you still have faith?” Some of us are in a struggle right now where you may be asking, “Where is God in all of this?” I look at our country, state, and city and find myself asking that same question. “God where is your glory? Where is your power to influence and expose the corrupt nature of man and his ways?” David questioned like this:
Psalm 73 12This is what the wicked are like always free of care, they go on amassing wealth. 13Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence. 14All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments.
Yet David did not understand until he entered into the presence of God in worship:
Psalm 73:17 Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked.
Psalm 6:68 Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.
So, in your concerns and struggles today, remember the question, “When you don’t understand, will you still have faith?”
Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler