Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lord, I Believe; Help my Unbelief

We thank Pastor Bob La Tour and Papa to our children for another excellent guest post.

When we cannot understand what God is doing, we must cling to Who He is.  And therein lies a problem.  It is impossible for us to think of God in anything other than human terms because…we’re human!  God is the eternal, self-existent, unchanging and invisible Spirit Who is the Source and Sustainer of all else!  Although He is transcendent to the point that he must humble Himself to even behold things in the heavens and on earth,1 and cannot possibly be fully known or described by mankind, He has chosen to reveal enough of Himself to awe those Who go to His Word humbly with childlike faith.2  This true and living God described in the Bible is everywhere present in all of His essence at all times.3  He knows all things past, present and future4 down to the very hairs on our head,5 the words that we have spoken and have yet to speak, the steps that we have taken and have yet to take, and the things that we have thought and have yet to think!6 

As a matter of fact, He fashioned us and every other human being exactly how He chose as pieces in the grand puzzle of His providence.6  He has the power to do anything consistent with His character, but the wisdom to do that which magnifies the glory of His unique Excellency as He directs every detail of His will.  This God, Whose unfathomable glory and holiness defy man’s best attempts to understand and describe Him, “is righteous in all His ways, gracious in all His works.”7  This God, Who is “clothed with honor and majesty, Who covers Himself with light as with a garment, Who stretched out the heavens like a curtain,8 is immanent and personal.  As the Almighty who commanded light to shine out of darkness, He has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge His glory in the face of Jesus Christ.”9   He has transformed into children of light we who have placed our exclusive and entire trust in the Person and work of His Son.10  He has commanded us to shine as lights in a corrupt and sin-darkened world whether He brings sunshine or rain, mountaintop or valley into our lives.  To us, He is “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”11
Now, that just fixes everything, doesn’t it?  Hardly!  We are flesh, and even though we may truly believe all of the above by the grace of God, we still struggle with the fact that He has chosen to send storms into our lives for the purpose of bringing glory to Himself.  We read with mixed emotion verses like Ecclesiastes 3:11.  “He has made everything beautiful in its time.  Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.”  Solomon realized that we struggle to see the “beauty” in some things that God ordains, and that, even though He has given us a sense of the eternal, we cannot “figure it all out” as it relates to our personal role in His grand scheme.  It is too easy to look back at the lions’ dens, giants, fiery furnaces and thorns in the flesh of Bible characters that we see as “larger than life,” and forget that they struggled just like we do.

We know by faith that there is much more to our existence than this life and, yet, from Adam and Eve’s misguided curiosity until now, mankind has had an insufferable itch to know what God knows.  There is a sense in which knowing everything would take away faith and hope and trust and thereby rob us of a blessing.  What we need is the simple transparency of the disciples when they responded to Christ’s teaching on forgiveness.  "Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.   And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, 'I repent,' you shall forgive him."  And the apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith."  If the disciples needed increased faith in order to embrace and obey some of Christ’s teachings, then surely we do also!

When we cannot understand what God is doing, or when personal circumstances stretch our faith, we must cry out, “Increase our faith!”  Rest assured, God will respond as He sees fit.  And that is always best!  The next time doubts and discouragement and disillusionment weigh you down and distract you from the truth of God’s sovereignty, offer up this prayer of dependence,
“Lord, I believe!  Please, help my unbelief!” 

1 Psalm 113:5,6   2 Mark 10:14-16    3 Proverbs 15:3   4 Isaiah 46:10   5 Luke 12:7   6 Psalm 139; Exodus 4:10-12   7 Psalm 145:17   8  Psalm 104:1,2   9  II Corinthians 4:6   10  Ephesians 5:8   11 II Corinthians 1:3,4    12  John 20:24-29 

1 comment:

  1. I need to be reminded of these truths daily! It brought to mind one of my favorite quotes from C.H.Spurgeon.
    "Providence is wonderfully intricate. Ah! you want always to see through Providence, do you not? You never will, I assure you. You have not eyes good enough. You want to see what good that affliction was to you; you must believe it. You want to see how it can bring good to the soul; you may be enabled in a little time; but you cannot see it now; you must believe it. Honor God by trusting him".


Just use your name, not your email address.