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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Faith and Understanding

There are two different responses to what we experience in life that may be frustrating, confusing, or unexpected.
We can simply trust God,
or try to understand why He is doing (or allowing--there is a BIG difference!) certain things in our life.

Which one is more honoring to Him?

Our God is a big God.  It is simply impossible to fully understand Him.

If we spend all our energies in the quest to understand all the whys in our life, we won't have energy for doing anything else...

like putting our trust in Him.

We can't understand God.  We shouldn't expect to.  However, that doesn't negate the fact that we are required to trust Him unconditionally.


God doesn't ask us to understand everything that happens in our lives.  He doesn't ask us to understand Him.  There are things about God that are too wonderful for us to know...too big and awesome for our human minds to comprehend.

And that's okay.
"Then Job replied to the Lord: 'I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted....Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know...." -Job 42:1-2, 3b
This doesn't mean that God will not sometimes allow us to understand His purposes.
But when we do understand, it is not by our own wisdom, but by His.
"For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding." -Colossians 1:9
Understanding is an act of the mind.  Faith is an act of the heart, a gift God that is ours by the power of the Holy Spirit.
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." -Hebrews 11:1
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast." -Ephesians 2:9 
Both understanding of God and His ways, and faith in Him, are gifts that God gives us freely.
It is good to be able to understand.
It is essential that we have faith.
Faith in the grace of Jesus Christ, in His redemption for us on the cross, is what saves us.

The next time that something frustrating, confusing, or difficult comes our way,
how will we respond?
Will we seek to understand
or thank God for the gift of faith, that allows us to trust even those things "we do not see"?

Perhaps in His wisdom, God will allow us both faith and understanding...
but we can trust that He will do what He knows is best.

Inspired by this post by my dear friend Sara (and the discussion we had about it).

Linking up today with these lovely women:
New Life Steward; Upward Not Inward; Exceptionalistic; Deep Roots at Home; Raising Homemakers; A Wise Woman Builds Her Home; Women Living Well; The Fontenot Four

16 comments:

  1. "We can't understand God. We shouldn't expect to. However, that doesn't negate the fact that we are required to trust Him unconditionally."

    I am so there today.

    Thank you so much for linking up with us and sharing this encouragement!

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    1. of course! thank you for commenting. :)

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  2. It is so hard sometimes to accept that God's wisdom surpasses our understanding! This is a great topic, thanks for sharing your heart!

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    1. So hard, and yet so vital. :) Of course, thank you!

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  3. This is a great post! I love this: "Perhaps in His wisdom, God will allow us both faith and understanding...
    but we can trust that He will do what He knows is best." It's so hard to trust that in our pain or struggle something awesome is happening. On the other hand, to think that was it - pain and suffering just cause? No way. Give me God!

    New follower! Thanks for linking up with us!

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    1. thanks! Really enjoyed visiting your blog today.

      And YES! Thanks for pointing that out--which is better, suffering for no reason or suffering so God can use it for good?!? Give me God's purposes any day!

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  4. I'm your newest follower. Hope you'll return the favor and follow my blog and/or FB fan page! http://www.countrifiedhicks.com
    http://www.facebook.com/countrifiedhicks

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    1. thanks! I'm following you now. :) Enjoyed my stop at your blog this morning.

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  5. I loved how distinguished between the importance of faith and understanding. There truly is rest in simply trusting God. I was reading on another blog today (Flourish) and she talked about how when we focus on the character of God it's easier to trust Him because we know His character is to take care of us. So true.

    Congrats on your highly successful guest post yesterday! That was my second biggest day on the blog every!

    Thanks for linking up!
    Mary Beth @newlifesteward

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    1. thank you, Mary Beth! And I'm glad the guest post was so successful. I'm still getting hits for yours that was here last week! :)

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  6. Without going into detail, I will just say this was exactly what I needed to read! Thank you, Jaimie!

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    1. I'm so glad! God is good! You're welcome :)

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  7. Jaime - I'm new to In the Word, and I wrote something similar today! Suffer for nothing, or allowing God to weave our troubles into good. (I'm number 22 on the link list this week.) This is a great post, we really do have a choice on how we respond to life, whether or not we trust God. It's unfortunate that we have to renew that faith daily! we're so weak. :-) Thankfully, God knows this!

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    1. God definitely is gracious in giving us free choice! And I'm so thankful that his Holy Spirit is always in me, renewing my faith even when it's hardest to trust.

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  8. Girl, this kind of thing has been hitting home with us a lot these days. Going through a little bit of a tough time financially and this is right where I am having a hard time just TRUSTING God. Everytime I see the tithe come out of our bank account knowing we could use that money to pay for things I keep thinking ok God..... THANK you for this post.

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    1. You're so welcome! And I totally understand. Sometimes it's really hard. But I'm so glad to hear you're still tithing! God WILL honor your trusting of him. :)

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