Last year, I wrestled with some big questions about God – things that seem contradictory in the Bible, or are just impossible to understand. I shared this struggle with a friend whose response was, “Welcome to the next step in your faith walk”. I was excited by apparent spiritual growth, but still didn’t know … anything.
Recently, I found myself still struggling with these same questions … maybe a few new ones. Here are some examples of what I mean:
- The Bible says ‘nothing can separate us from God’s love’ (Romans 8:38), but… the existence of hell IS the separation of us from God’s love so… what’s that about?
- The Bible says the ‘old way of the law led to death’ (2 Cor 3:7), and that we are ‘free from these laws’ (Gal 3:12), but James says to ‘look carefully into God’s perfect law that sets us free and do what it says.’ … so, which is it? What applies and what doesn't? Says who? Does it all apply? None? Yet, if I try to figure it out, I’m ‘wasting time’ (Titus 3:9)
- Can I have assurance of salvation? Can I lose salvation? How do I know? Afterall, many will cry ‘Lord, Lord!’ - even those who did great things in His name! - and he will say, “I do not know you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.” (Matt 7:21-23)
Exasperated, I lamented to a friend, “If this is the ‘next step’, would someone just shine a light on it already so I can move?! I'm grappling with the same old questions I had months ago!!”
“Maybe..” she offered gently, “this is the part of faith that believes without understanding…”
I must say, I didn’t like that answer. I want to know why things are the way they are.
Days later, as I was driving, I silently wrestled with these questions. I really wanted to understand. Then, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, ‘Do you need to understand to believe?’
To believe without understanding would require trusting God based on who He is, not on what I know. It would require humility and submission, not reasoning or logic.
Wait – you mean, I just have to accept it? But what does IT mean?!
How do I know if I’m doing it right?
How do I know if I’m in His will?
Hmm… this comes down to trust, doesn’t it?
Trusting that God will grant me wisdom and understanding as it’s needed.
Trusting that He will lead me in paths of righteousness, not paths of confusion and sin.
Trusting that He is the one who will protect my salvation, not me. He will keep and protect me. He is good and can be trusted.
Ooooh… uncharted territory…