What to Do When We Don't Understand God's Ways

What to do When...
We don't Understand God's Ways
Pastor Stephen "Red" Shumate
August 28th, 2016
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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What should we do...
When we don’t understand what God is doing? 

Let’s face it we’ve all been there.  We find ourselves going through life, and God begins doing things in our life but we don’t understand why or even what it is that He is doing. The question then becomes, what should we do in these times?

1. Understand that we don’t Understand.

Isaiah 55:8-9
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
and your ways are not My ways.”
This is the Lord’s declaration. 
9 “For as heaven is higher than earth,
so My ways are higher than your ways,
and My thoughts than your thoughts.

The first thing we need to understand is that we don’t understand and chances are we aren’t going to understand.

Now, there are things in this world I just don’t understand.  My capacity for understanding them just do not exist.  Things like music, high level calculus, and quantum theory, foreign language…these things I will never understand.

But there are many people in this world who do not have this mindset.  They don’t have the mindset that there are things, that they just aren’t going to understand.  They think they can know it all.  

And often times these are the People who reject the idea of God or creationism.  And there are even some Christians who have this mindset, they are the ones who try to marry evolution with creationism.  They do not have the mindset that there are things that they cannot understand.

Here is how their logic goes…
If I can’t understand it, it must not be so.  If I don’t understand how it works, it must not be possible.

In their minds, they believe they have the capacity to understand EVERYTHING…EVER.  Or at the very least they think that mankind collectively can come to an understanding of everything in the world.

However, one of the fundamental things that Christians must accept is that we cannot understand all things, especially things that are of God.  We believe that our God is so Holy, so perfect, so knowledgeable, that our minds and our wits, will never ever match His.

And so to think that we can understand everything is to think we have the minds of and the capacity of gods.  And many people have this mindset.  They want to think they can understand everything that God understands, to know what God knows and to be as good as and as smart as – God…to be like God.  Even Adam and Eve’s original sin was seeking the knowledge of God.

But here is the thing, God tells us that we cannot understand the things He understands.  So the first thing we need to understand when we don’t understand what God is doing, is to understand that we don’t understand.

2. Take refuge in God.

Psalm 18:30
God—His way is perfect;
the word of the Lord is pure.
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.

Have you ever experienced a tornado?  I never have and I hope that I never do.  But if I ever do, I hope that I have a storm shelter to take refuge in during the storm.

In this verse, scriptures tell us that God is a shield to those who take refuge in Him, just like a storm shelter is a shield to those who take refuge in it.  And even though we don’t have any idea what all is happening outside of that storm shelter, it still provides refuge.

God does the same.  In our times of difficulties and storms, when we don’t know what is going on, or what God is doing, we can take refuge in God, and He will be shield for us and protect us from the storms.

3. Strive to Know the Lord, not Understand His ways.

Hosea 6:3     
Let us strive to know the Lord.
His appearance is as sure as the dawn.
He will come to us like the rain,
like the spring showers that water the land.

We need to strive to know the Lord, not strive to understand his ways.  Let me illustrate this point, by asking a question…Which is more important to know…how the structure of a storm shelter protects you, or how to fully utilize all of the safety features of a storm shelter?

The truth is, it is more important to know how to utilize all of the safety features of the storm shelter.  We need to know where the generator is and how to use it. We need to know that our storm shelter is stocked with water and all the food that we need and where to find the water and food.

And truly, it is more important to know God, than to know how God works.  We should focus on our relationship with Him, instead of trying to understand why He does all that He does.  We need to know how to utilize prayer, and His word.

And when we focus on our relationship with Him, instead of knowing how He works, then we find that when we take refuge in God, we are less anxious and worried.  Which brings us to our last point…

4. Do not Fear

Isaiah 41:10
Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you; I will help you;
I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.

Here is the thing…When we become fearful, we make bad choices.  We make things worse.  And instead of putting our faith in our shelter, we become worried and we try to take matters into our own hands.  However, when we do not fear, then are fully confident in God as our refuge and we let Him take care of us, instead of making bad choices.

So when we find ourselves in a situation where we don’t understand what God is doing…
A - We need to understand that we aren’t going to understand, then 
B-  We need to take refuge in God and let him handle the situation.  
C - Then we need to strive to know the Lord, instead of striving to know his ways, 
D - And when we do, then we will not fear, instead we will have confidence in our God as our refuge.


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