UNDERSTANDING WHY

Is Understanding Why The Most Important Thing

“For now, we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

Job 1-42

Deuteronomy 23:5

“However, the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam but turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you.”

James 1:13

“When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.”

1 Corinthians 13:12

“For now, we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” 

We view life through imperfect lenses.  We ask questions like: God where were you when my child died, Oh God why haven’t you answered my prayer, and Why would you allow this to happen?  There are so many questions we have of God. We don’t understand his actions or lack of actions.  We pray, “Thy will be done.”  But what we are really praying is, “God this is what I want you to do – so do it”.  But that’s not how it works.  God is the one in charge or at least He should be.  Often, we don’t like his answer and we think; “forget this – this trusting God thing is for the birds”.  We decide that we can do it better.  But the reality is, we don’t have the power or authority to change our circumstance. 

I am an epileptic.  I know that God can cure my epilepsy.  I have taken my cause to God and have stood on His word that “anything I ask of Him he will do it”.  Yet still, I am an epileptic.  This has been hard for me and for my family.  I have to constantly work my life around other people’s schedule or ask them to work their schedule around me.  It is a very uncomfortable and humbling thing for me to ask others for help.  Why couldn’t God just answer my prayer and be done with it?  I have seen people pray for God to free them of cancer, and then ask why God didn’t heal them.  I have seen people pray to God for financial relief and have been disappointed.  I have also witnessed God do amazing things on behalf of those who have taken their request to Him. 

Why does He answer some prayers and not others?  Why do people who are devoted to Him, actively using the gifts that He has given them to help others have bad things happen to them.  First let’s get one thing strait.  God doesn’t desire for bad things to happen to us.  In James 1:13the Bible tells us, “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.” However, He will take the bad things in our lives and use them as a means to draw us closer to Him and to bear witness of His love and grace for us. 

One particular story in the Bible stands out to me.  The story of Job.  Job was a man of God like no other.  God was talking to Satan and telling him have you noticed my servant Job?  Satan responded yes but alluded Job’s faithfulness was rigged because God had given him everything.  Satan presented God with a test.  God would give Satan the ability to test Job, but he couldn’t harm him.  Job lost his children, livestock, and his wealth.  Indeed, he lost everything but his faith in God.  Yes, there were times when he questioned God.  There were times when He didn’t understand what was going on.  It’s important to note that God didn’t cause Jobs troubles, Satan did.  However, God did allow Job to go through those trials.  Job had friends who gave bad council.  They said he must have sinned, that he should repent; but Job did not listen to them.  In the end, God blessed Job for his unwavering faithfulness.  He gave Job twice the livestock, restored his family, his wealth and allowed him to enjoy a long life so that he could see the glory of his faithfulness to God in the lives of his children’s children to the fourth Generation.

The truth is that at face value, we don’t always understand why and maybe understanding why isn’t always the important thing.  Understanding why God does some things and not others in the end may not be as important as understanding why we are in the dark and in spite of not knowing, being able to trust God in the midst of our frustration with His apparent disregard for us and our problems.   In 1st Corinthians 13:9-13, Paul begins to speak of such things as we “know in part”.  “We understand as a child”.  Verse 12 is where the meat and potatoes of understanding are explained.  “For now, we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known”. 

In this imperfect world through our limited understanding we view the world and our lives.  There will be a time that we will be able to view the world through God’s eyes.  One day we will, when we are face to face with God.  Until then, we only know in part.  This is why we have so many unanswered questions, why we struggle with the questions that are derived from a broken heart due to circumstances that seem to be in conflict with a God that loves us.  But we should take heart; one day we will understand things in the context of God’s vision and God’s understanding.  Then we can pray, “I don’t understand why – but I trust in You that there is a reason for this”.  “I trust in you even though I don’t understand”. “I trust in your love and take comfort that you are in control even when my life is in chaos.”  This the Job attitude that will help us wade through the tough times.  So, don’t stop taking your request to God, and don’t abandon your faith and trust in Him. We don’t know what we don’t know, but God sees the big picture and His love for us all is unchanging.  

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