Reflections: Lean not on your own understanding

Don’t be mad at me Lord but I’m at the end of my rope! Please rescue me. I’m so worn out, weary, desperate and ill! I can’t sleep because I weep all night; so much so that my bedding is wet with my tears. I’ve been shamed by my enemies and I am miserable.

Thankfully, that’s not me right now, but it is a very loose paraphrase of parts of Psalm 6 which was written by King David during a very troubling time in his life. However, these feelings could easily come from our own hearts when we are in the midst of trials and struggles. We don’t understand why challenges come our way or why those we love are suffering. We are upset with God because He is not doing things the way we think He should. We might even get to the point of thinking that God isn’t fair because we want him to stop illness, war, hatred, suffering, homelessness, hunger, pain and fear. Of course, it will end eventually when God says it’s time, but until then, we wonder why.

Naturally, when God doesn’t do life as we want, we may even be tempted to believe that if we ran the world, we’d fix this mess! But could we really fix things? Even though we’re forgiven, we still fail to do what God wants us to do. Therefore, we continue to live with the consequences of our sin.

Of course, because it is hard to wrap our brains around who God really is, we might be tempted to try to create our own version of a God we would prefer. We would punish the people we want punished and bless those we want blessed. However, consider this situation. Person A wants person B punished and person C wants person B blessed. Now that could get interesting couldn’t it? If we stuff “our god” into our box so that He fits our human understanding, he would no longer be all powerful, all knowing, or everywhere present. He would no longer be the creator and sustainer of the universe.

Rather than dwelling on how God isn’t doing things our way, let’s spend more time dwelling on some reasons why we should place our faith and trust in Him and His ways.

First of all, God knows us by name. “But now, this is what the Lord says- — he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel. Do not fear for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, you are mine,” (Isaiah 43:1 NIV).

Second, he will fight for us. “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still,” (Exodus 14:14 NIV).

Third, He has plans for us. “For I know the plans I have for you.” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).

Fourth, He is our refuge. “Truly he is my rock and my salvation, He is my fortress, I will not be shaken,” (Psalm 62:6 NIV).

Finally, He is always with us. “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age,” (Matthew 28:20b NIV).

Let’s commit to live out our faith according to this Proverb. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding,” (Proverbs 3:5 NIV).

It’s not about agreeing with God’s decisions, because His ways are higher than our ways, but it’s about faith in the truth of who God has shown Himself to be. Timothy Keller, pastor, theologian and Christian apologist has said, “Faith is not primarily a function of how you feel. Faith is living out, trusting and believing what truth is, despite what you feel.”

Author of a second book, “Journeys in Faith, Pursing Obedience,” containing more than 50 additional devotionals written for The Minot Daily News.


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