Trusting God When You Don't Understand What He is Doing
It is hard to trust God when we do not know what He is doing or why. But we are called to trust Him and in this message we explore how that is done.
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sov’reign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow’r.
Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.
William Cowper God Moves in a Mysterious Way
One of the most difficult things to do when the road is rough or when the billows are passing over us is to feel that God still loves us. It is the last thing we can accept. But we are not called to feel; we are called to believe. In his book In Their Afflictions, Murdock Campbell tells of a minister in the north of Scotland who suddenly list his spiritually-minded wife. As he prayed that night in the presence of friends he said, "if an angel from heaven told me that this would work for my good I would not believe him but because of thy Word says it I must believe it." We are to measure God's love not by His providence but by His promise. "When we cannot trace God's hand we can trust God's heart', says C.H. Spurgeon. When providences are dark it is difficult to read them. It is the Word that tells us how to view them. John J. Murray Behind a Frowning Providence
There is much that remains a mystery and for which there is no immediate answer. This lies at the very crux of the matter. It may seem a strange paradox but it was when Job was willing not to understand that he began to understand. And why should this not be so? God is God and man is man. It is in keeping with the greatness of God. In a sermon entitled Dark Providences Made Clear in Due Time, Ralph Erskine explains God's purpose in dark providences thus: "It is to discover Himself in a way suitable to Himself and His glorious perfections and to show that His thoughts are not our thoughts nor His ways our ways. If He should work according to our thoughts and imaginations how would it appear that He is Jehovah, a sovereign God that acts like Himself. God owes us no explanations. We owe Him implicit trust and obedience. It is not easy to trust God when He appears to be silent, as He was with Job, but trust we must." John J. Murray Behind a Frowning Providence
Dr. Ronald Dunn has these wise words to say on the problem of the silence of God in suffering: "I think this is the hardest part of all. You can take just about anything, if you know why. Everywhere I go, every meeting, I'm asked... 'Why?'... I'm going to tell you something: God will very seldom answer your question of Why. It is not that there are no answers, it's just that you and I probably wouldn't be able to comprehend the answer if God were to tell us, and besides that, we have to learn to trust Him without knowing why. We ask Him questions. What we're usually doing is saying, 'Lord explain yourself', calling God into account."John J. MurrayBehind a Frowning Providence
People are usually more anxious to get rid of the problem than they are to find the purpose of God in it. "Afflictions" says Matthew Henry "are continued no longer than till they have done their work." It is also our responsibility to pray that our afflictions will be sanctified to us. In his book Why Us Warren Wiersbe speaks of a friend who found herself in a sea of troubles. Attempting to encourage her one day he said "I want you to know that we are praying for you." "I appreciate that", she replied, "What are you praying to God to do?" Wiersbe found himself struggling for an answer and mentioned some things. "Thank you", she said, "but please pray for one more request. Pray that I won't waste all this suffering." John J. Murray Behind a Frowning Providence
I had a million questions to ask God; but when I met Him they all fled my mind and it didn't seem to matter. Christopher Morley
Sermon discussion topics for parents to use with their children:
Why is it hard to trust another?
Why is it hard to trust God?
How do people prove themselves trustworthy?
How has God?
Why should we not lean on our own understanding?
What should we lean on?
What are the implications of the phrase We are not called to feel; we are called to believe?
Why is it easy to trust God?