Sunday, November 30, 2008

I Don't Have All The Answers

Periodically, people in the church will email me with various questions that cover a smorgasboard of topics. I try to give my best answers based on what I see in God's word. But I'll be the first to admit I don't have all the answers. Here's a (partial) list of stuff I just don't get:

  • Why God chooses not to accomplish anything in this world, except through people (especially since we're so undependable);
  • How people can make a conscious choice to reject the God who gave them life;
  • The unconditional love for me shared by my son (age 3) and my Father (The Rock of Ages). No matter how often or how deeply I disappoint them, they still just want to be with me;
  • People who attend church their whole lives, yet never change their lives in any perceivable way;
  • Why we make the automatic assumption that God agrees with all my opinions (of course!);
  • How anyone can find a lukewarm faith satisfying;
  • Christians who can't explain why they believe in Christ;
  • Why there's so much antagonism toward anyone in authority, simply for exercising that authority;
  • How anyone can look at a sunset and not believe in the existence of the Artist;
  • The depths to which sin can take people enslaved in its grasp;
  • How love, fear, anger, and hope can all feel nearly the same;
  • Why God allows so much to ride on our prayers;
  • The bizzare combination of innocence and evil in children;
  • How Satan makes wealth so seductive, even when we can easily see that so many wealthy people are miserable (although, to be fair, many poor and middle-class people are miserable too);
  • How God can make such a consistent universe that is still so rife with paradox (that, in itself, is a paradox... and yet consistent with God's pattern);
  • Why people expect the solutions for their lives to come from the government, instead of the God who designed them with a purpose they're not fulfilling;
  • The way God can bring good out of any evil. His powers of redemption are incomprehensible!
  • How I can learn so much every day from a kid who still can't pronounce his R's properly;
  • Why God chooses to use people who are totally unqualified for the tasks to which he calls them;
  • The simultaneous greatness and smallness of humanity.

This is a mysterious world. That doesn't mean that we are incapable of understanding it, but we are incapable of understanding it fully. That is why we must live lives of faith--accepting God's pronouncements, believing his promises, trusting in his goodness and justice, and yielding to his commands.

To remove mystery is to remove humility and therefore to renounce God's grace (Jas. 4:6).

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