The Secret (and Sometimes Confusing) Things of God
by Paul Larsen-Robertson
When I began my Christian walk, and was trying to understand God and how He operated, I frequently struggled to work out what He was up to. I found this very difficult at times, because in my work I’d been trained to pull things apart, so I could understand them and how they could be fixed. After a couple of years I realised that I needed to change my thinking. I needed to make a choice to just believe and trust God, that He had a plan and that He knew what He was doing. I determined to do just that and He blessed me with the scripture above.
That was a significant point in my faith journey, but like most (or all) of us, I continue to be challenged at times by the things that happen in my life and, indeed, in the world. At those times, I’m comforted and reassured by the reminder that there are things of God which I can’t even begin to understand, and I just need to make the choice to trust in Him and in His love (not always easy).
At such times, I’m also encouraged by another scripture in John’s Gospel in which Jesus presents the disciples with teaching which many found too hard to accept, such that they ‘turned back and no longer followed him’ (John 6:25-69). When Jesus asked the Twelve if they too would leave, Peter replied, “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”
I imagine that, at that point, the Twelve were very challenged by the teaching, like everyone else, but chose to continue to believe in Jesus and the truth He spoke, in spite of the confusion and difficulty that it brought. When I’m struggling to understand and to continue to follow Jesus I’m inspired and reassured by Peter’s response (and his subsequent actions as he continued to follow Jesus – in a very imperfect way).
The challenge for all of us is to trust God and to actively continue to believe. This means to believe what Jesus said and did, to believe all that’s revealed through the Word, and all that He reveals by His Spirit. The things of God often don’t make sense to us as human beings, and require us to push through our fleshly desire, which is to stay in control and to protect ourselves. The good news is that we don’t have to do this on our own, because, by His Holy Spirit, God is with us. However, we do need to do our bit and trust Jesus enough to submit everything of ourselves to Him.
Prayer: Thank You, Father, that You love us so much that You sent Jesus to make that great sacrifice which allows us to be fully restored in relationship with You. Please help us to overcome our fears, our hurts and our pride, so we can fully trust in You and know that You’re with us always, especially when we don’t understand what’s going on. Amen.
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