Recently, I have been faced with some difficult situations. Some have been my own, and others have been the hardships of those close to me. Either way, it has been challenging. I’m not just referring to the situations alone. I’m talking about challenges to my faith. You know, the kind that rattle you deep inside, and make you ask why and where is the Lord in this?
It’s easy to trust God when life is going the way we want it to, isn’t it? Or could it be, when things are going well, we have a tendency to be self-sufficient, unaware of our deep need for the Lord in all things?
But on the other hand, when things heat up— I mean really heat up—it can be hard to trust that God is still at work.
Good grief, we can be so hot and cold!
To be honest with you, I often relate to the father in Mark 9:14-29. The man has enough faith (and most likely disparity) to bring his son to Jesus for healing. But when the father approaches Jesus he says, “Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”
“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
The father’s response takes my breath away. It’s so paradoxical … like me.
I find that all too often, I am striving to handle things on my own. I don’t want to bother anyone.
I certainly don’t need to trouble the Lord with my piddly little issues.
No, I’ll just approach the Lord with the big stuff. I can handle the rest on my own. Thank you very much (insert smiley face emoji here).
But there is so much wrong in this approach (or lack thereof).
Our faith and trust in the Lord is something that is ever-growing. God wants us to trust Him with everything. In fact, it’s a sin to put ourselves in God’s position so that we can ‘handle the little stuff.’ I know, yikes. I feel the sting, too, my friends. But praise God for His mercy and patience with us.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in ALL your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (emphasis mine)
This passage in Proverbs is telling us if we trust in the Lord, we cannot also depend upon our own ability to understand everything God is doing. It is also saying, nothing we face is too small or too large. God says to submit it all to Him.
However, most of us have a desperate desire to understand.
When things get difficult and we don’t understand, we tend to ask, “Why God?”
And yet in so many areas, we must acknowledge we cannot always understand. Yeah, it can be frustrating and sometimes downright infuriating.
The tension that we feel from our limited understanding can be eased by a further look into Scripture.
5 Reasons We cannot Lean on Our Own Understanding But Can Rest in God’s.
1. We don’t have a clear picture, but God does.
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12
We only see part of the picture God is painting. If we are to truly trust Him, we have to let go of our pride, our programs, and our plans. Even the best-laid human plans cannot begin to approach the magnificent sagacity of God’s plan. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom.” (1Corinthians 1:25)
2. God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
3. Our limited understanding can lead us astray.
“There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end, it leads to death.” Proverbs 16:25
4. When we choose to direct our lives according to what seems right to us, we often reap disaster.
“In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” Judges 21:25
5. Cultures may change their understanding of what is right and wrong, but God’s standards never change.
“God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” Numbers 23:19
Each of us must make a decision whether to live his or her life according to personal preference or according to the unchanging Word of God. Let’s face it, often we will not understand how God is causing “all things to work together for good” (Romans 8:28). But as we spend time with God in His Word and prayer, we learn to trust Him more and more.
But have you noticed, it’s in those things that we don’t understand that we learn to trust God the most?
Is there something going on in your life now where you have been leaning on your own understanding? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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