Trying to Understand?

Are you suffering and trying to understand why?
Do you look for answers about why the world is so confusing?
Do you console yourself that “We’ll understand it all in heaven.”
Or, “If I could just understand why this was happening, I would feel better.”
Or, "I hope I learned what I was suppose to from that."

I don’t think so.
Some things are for God alone to understand.
In fact, that statement about understanding it all, implies we can be like God—knowing everything. 
We may be made perfect in heaven, but we won’t be God—BIG DIFFERENCE.
Lucifer tried to be God. Things didn't turn out for him so well.

Nor will understanding help you feel better.
Once you figure that problem out, you hold mastery over it.
You control it.
When you control something, you don’t need to trust God.

And the mastery is temporary—another problem comes for your attention.
And you must master that.
Our lives are spent on fleeting problems, like the wind, they leave but more come.
Another problem comes that you don’t understand.
You chase the wind.

Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things. Ecclesiastes 11:5.

God does not tell us to understand His ways. 
He tells us to trust Him.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. 
In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. 
Proverbs 3:5-6.

By spending our time trying to figure it out we’ve wasted time God gave to thank and praise Him.

That does not mean we neglect study because we don’t want to understand.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 3:15.

Confused yet?
We study to know God. 
And to know Him accurately.
There will always be aspects of God that's beyond our comprehension.
Because HE IS GOD!
If we can't even understand God, we will never understand His ways!

Prophecy is an interesting study.
People want to know what's going to happen.
When I was a teenager, pastors went into great detail over time-lines (figured out by men) of when God will do.
But they don't know.

The Jews had been looking for their Messiah for hundreds of years.
They had specific details pointing to what must happen for the Messiah to come.
But they still missed it.
The wise men from the East recognized His coming.
What made the difference?
They were studying to know God.
And God revealed Himself.
Not His plan.
Just Himself.
They didn't know His plans: He would come to die.
They treated Him like a king, because that was Who He was.

The disciples thought Christ would conquer Rome.
They expected to reign with Him.
They did not understand His plan.
When they asked, "When will these things happen? and What will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?"
Jesus gave them a glimpse into what would come—wars, tribulation, false prophets, stars falling from the sky....
Not so they could understand and get a timeline of who, what, where, when, why, and how.
For Jesus said, "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. Matthew 24:36.

For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark.
And they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away,
So will the coming of the Son of Man be. 
Matthew 24:37-38.
If the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.
For this reason, you also must be ready. For the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.
Matthew 24:42-44.

Jesus told the disciplines a glimpse of His plan, not so they could understand, 
but so they would trust His Father.
The end times were in His Father's Hands.

As the disciples learned to know Him, they fell in line with His plan without understanding the entire picture.
Because they trusted Him.

You will never understand God.

Isaiah learned this. 
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired, His understanding is inscrutable. 
Isaiah 40:28.

Don't know what inscrutable really means?
That's what you look up and study—who God is.

How about this one?
Can you discover the depths of God?
Can you discover the limits of the Almighty? 
Job 11:7

Or this one.
'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,' declares, the LORD. Isaiah 55:8.

We study His Word, not to understand His ways, but to know Him.

Let me illustrate.
When my child ran in front of a car, I didn’t explain my command, I just screamed, “STOP!”
When possible, I explained reasons for the rules.
But sometimes they don’t need to know.
Some strangers are bad.
They didn’t need to know how they could harm them.
Children aren’t ready to process some things.
They just needed to trust me that I knew better than they.

Today’s parents explain everything to their children, as a premises to obedience.
“If they understand, they will obey.”
When they do not obey, they explain more.
It’s not because their child doesn’t understand!
The child has chosen not to obey. 

By explaining everything as a condition for obedience, the parent assumes knowledge brings right actions.
Adam and Even knew they were not to eat of the tree of good and evil.
It wasn’t that they didn’t understand the command.
They didn't trust God knew what was best for them.
They wanted to be in charge.
They chose to sin.

California’s best heart surgeon knew smoking was bad for his patients.
But he still smoked until the day he died.
Knowing doesn't bring right actions.

Not only does knowledge not bring right actions, but knowledge can bring arrogance.
It's that mastery, we spoke at the beginning of this article.
By giving the child that knowledge, they become arrogant.
Ever explain a rule and the reason for it to your child, then they proceed to tell you why that rule is not needed for them?
They desire to master you!
Remember—who is in charge!
When I recognize they are not questioning the rule, but my authority, I stop explaining.
Their knowledge and experience is EXTREMELY limited.
Their knowledge becomes a stumbling block rather than a help.
Same with us with God.

Knowing all about what God should be doing, hinders us from trusting God with what He will do.
We already think we know what God should do.

We do not trust God.

Man wants to solve his own problems.
He doesn't need God.
Arrogance is everywhere.
Even in our own hearts.
We want to tell how God will work.
God doesn't do miracles today, or does He?

God performed miracles in the Bible to authenticate His prophet and His Word.
If we look at those examples we see a prophet or king trusting God for the answer to his need.
Elijah didn't know he was going to wake up that morning and raise a boy from the dead.
But He knew his God.
And obeyed Him.
By his obedience, a boy was raised from the dead.

George Mueller thanked God for food he didn't even have yet.
And a baker knocked at his door to say his wagon-load of bread was for his orphanage.
By his trust in God, a miracle happened.

When we try to figure out our problems, we eliminate God from the solution.
We solve our problems and ask God to bless our solutions.
But we do not trust Him.
We think, in our arrogance, that our lives are being lived for God.
He does not need our attempts at service.
He wants our trust in Him.

When we trust Him, we will serve.
But it won't look like what we think.
He will direct our steps.
We will simply trust Him.

We won't understand how it all happened.
But miracles will come.
We don't do it for a miracle.
We do it to know Him.
And God will be pleased.

Trying to understand God's ways?
Just knowing and trusting God.
He will do all the understanding that is needed.
And that's just fine with me.

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I write about what you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what Him.
               Sonya Contreras

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Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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