by Pastor Tim Burt
First, a special note from Pastor Tim: As most of you know, I write Fresh Manna four times a week and seldom ever take a break from writing. The last time I did was when we were on the mission field in Peru last January. After today, I will be on a two week break. Not because we are taking a vacation but because my daughter and her husband and two daughters who are missionaries in Peru, are coming today to be with us for the next two weeks. As missionaries in Peru, they are not allowed to make any kind of an income by law. That means they have to come here once a year to raise support—and to speak in the churches and visit with those that support them. And since there are a part of the missions work we do through Tim and Renee Burt Ministries, we will be laying out our outreach plans for the next 12 months. We’ll enjoy every second we have together but there will be much work to accomplish while they are here. Renee and I need to be focused on being with them and helping them so I’ll be taking a two-week break from writing. I hope you know how much we love all of you and pray for you each day. And for those that have supported the mission work we do in Peru, Africa, and India on the ground, and in reaching on average of 4 plus million people through Twitter and my blog daily, our sincerest thank you. If you go to the archives on the website, you can find plenty of past posts to read that will bless you as though I wrote them that morning. The Holy Spirit knows in advance what you need! Thanks for your prayers and understanding. We’ll be praying for you! Back to writing July 23rd.
And Now Today’s Blog: Those “God, I Don’t Understand” Moments
I’m sure that most of us at one time or another have uttered the words, God, I don’t understand what’s going on! Why is this happening? When hurt or disappointment is present and questions that you can’t get answers to come, then beware! Why? Because the whys have the potential to confuse and undermine your faith. I’m not saying that asking God about things you don’t understand is bad. No, to the contrary, that is a good thing to do!
Sometimes when we ask God questions, we are inadvertently asking them out loud to the world or to people who don’t know God. The answers they come up can cause hurt upon hurt! Dude, are you crazy? Why do you believe this God stuff to begin with? If God did exist, then He’s crazy because this world is crazy and He isn’t doing anything about it!
Statements such as this create hurt upon hurt. They fuel doubt to the faith your struggling with because of the difficult times you are going through. And they don’t offer any answers so you are stuck with your nagging questions that add to your confusion and work to undermine your faith. You can’t force or simply figure out answers to questions that only God knows the answers to.
Some time ago we prayed for a couple who was pregnant with child that had received an evil report. We prayed with them and stood in faith with them. When the child was born, everything was wonderful. It was declared by the doctor as a miracle. Another time later, we were asked to pray for another couple that likewise had received an evil report. We also stood in faith with them. When their child was born, it lived for less than an hour. It was a painful and sad experience. The good experiences cause us to rejoice. The painful experiences lead us to the God, I don’t understand what is going on! Why is this happening? questions. They work to discourage our faith.
David was a man God has promised to bless. He was told by the prophet Samuel that he would be the next King of Israel. Yet, it seemed like he went through one troubling event after another. The King he has served faithfully—King Saul, had become jealous of him and sent troops after David to find and kill him. How could this all make sense?
David was human just like you and I. He experienced those God, I don’t understand what is going on! Why is this happening? moments. David cried out to God, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help?” Psalms 22:1 (NLT) Deep down David knew that God was with him. He had seen God deliver him time and time again. But even David had his moments of discouragement that led to asking Why?
If you’ve ever heard ridiculous answers to difficult God questions, you know that they never settle well within you. They almost have the ability to make you mad because they make God look insane or evil—like He doesn’t know what He’s doing. I remember a pastor once explaining at a funeral that this young lawyer who died, did so because God needed another lawyer in Heaven so He took him. I knew that this ridiculous answer made the family mad and spiritually confused others. God is not in cohorts with the devil. The book of Job does not teach that even though some teach it that way. (That is another teaching for another day.)
If I make unreasonable demands for answers God is not ready to give me, I’ll end up over analyzing and intellectualizing everything and creating false answers that will confuse me and lead me away from God. When asking God questions, its important to do so with a reverential and child-like faith. What do I mean by that? A Why God question is often provoked at a time of pain or confusion. A loving Father would comfort a child with the explanation they were able to understand. That might be a partial answer if the child couldn’t grasp the full answer at their level of maturity. But he would eventually give that child the answers they need as they became able to comprehend them. You may be an adult but your spiritual maturity might not be able to grasp the answers God would give you because He speaks and teaches us through His Word.
So, as you ask Why?, you need to read His Word asking the Lord to show you the answers you seek. You need to accept His timing in giving you the answers you seek. They might not immediately come. Only He can give you the answers to those difficult questions that could otherwise be confusing to your faith and understanding of Him. It is the Holy Spirit who teaches us the ways and heart of God. So, the thing to do when those questions arise is, ask the Lord and then tell the Lord you will patiently await the answer. He will eventually give you that answer. It is His promise. Jeremiah 33:3 (NLT2) “Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.” Some answers will come quickly, and some will come over time. Either way, the Lord is faithful to answer your questions through His Word. Approaching difficult questions in this way will help you patiently wait in peace and bring you insight and understanding from the heart of God. So cast doubts into the sea! Know that because of Jesus, God is always for you. Trust the Lord who is a comforting and perfect Father. He’ll help you heal as you move forward!
Job 42:1-6 (NLT2) “…Job replied…Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things
far too wonderful for me… I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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