18 September 2012

I Don't Understand Why

    I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 ESV)

We can and do spend a great amount of energy wondering why things happen. Why am I sick? What's all this going on in the middle east? Why did I lose my job? Why are my health insurance costs going up? Why did my good friend say that about me?  Why am I separated from those I love the most? Why is my church straying from orthodoxy? Why? Why? Why?

The truth is, we may never know why. It is good to look at Providence to try to understand but we often may not. At these times Os Guinness reminds us that, ..."If the Christian's faith is to be itself and let God be God at such times, it must suspend judgment and say, 'Father, I do not understand you, but I trust you.' ...Notice what this means. Christians do not say, 'I do not understand you at all but I trust you anyway.' Rather we say, 'I do not understand you in this situation, but I understand why I trust you anyway. Therefore I can trust that you understand even though I don't.'"

So as we scratch and claw our way through the trials of life let us take heart. R.C. Sproul wrote that, "God, in his providence, has the power and the will to work all things together for the good of his people. This does not mean that everything that happens to us is, in itself, good. Really bad things do happen to us. But they are only proximately bad; they are never ultimately bad. That is, they are only bad in the short (proximate) term, never in the long term. Because of the triumph of God's goodness in all things, he is able to bring good for us out of the bad. He turns our tradgedies into supreme blessings."

Let us rejoice friends and recall that "In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I [Christ] have overcome the world."

(Both quotes above are taken from Be Still, My Soul, Embracing God's Purpose and Provision in Suffering, Edited by Nancy Guthrie, Crossway Books, pgs, 38 & 47.)

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