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Pointers along the way #168

Insight from perplexities
- Jacob Ninan

When we find ourselves in perplexing circumstances, we can sit and complain against God and man, or get some more insight into God's ways. It is easier to complain than to seek God. But if we do that, we not only miss what God would have taught us, but also make it more difficult to bear our circumstances! Seeking, knocking and asking take effort, but that's the only way we can receive! (Mt.7:7). One of the reasons for not receiving what God wants to give us is that we don't ask (Jas.4:2).

Think of the questions people like Moses, David and Jeremiah have asked God. They may appear to be irreverent or unbelieving. But remember that these were godly people who were honestly perplexed with the things that were happening to them. They asked God how He could allow certain things to happen to them, almost implying that it was wrong on God's part to have done what He had apparently done. But they were not really finding fault with God. They were sincerely perplexed about the things that had happened to them which were contrary to what they believed about God. Instead of scolding them for daring to ask Him such questions, He answered them and gave them more insight! (Ps.103:7).

Sometimes we act so 'reverential' towards God that we become downright hypocritical, and dishonest with ourselves. Instead of saying what we really feel inside, we make pious prayers that seem to reflect our faith! But it is not faith if what we say with our lips is not what is inside our heart (Ro.10:8). Sometimes we think we must say only 'positive' words, and our words contradict reality. Does God want us to confess that we are healthy when we are sick, or does He expect us to say we are sick and ask for healing?

God's word is so rich with meaning that there is always more to it than we know already. When we seek God to know why our experience is contrary to His word, He gives us more understanding on His word and His ways. For example, when God's word says that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ and we feel condemned all the same, shouldn't we ask God what is really happening to us? If we tell ourselves that we have no condemnation while we are really feeling condemned, don't we need to sort it out with God? If He confirms that there is no need to feel condemned, that's fine. But can we skip asking God?

Of course we can't treat God cheaply and speak whatever comes into our mind. There has to be reverence and awe as we stand before Him. But at the same time we need to tell Him what is troubling our mind, just as children with their father.

Think of how Jesus asked the Father why He had been forsaken. Jesus didn't try to hold on 'bravely' to the promise that God wouldn't forsake Him. He was honest. We don't know what answer He received, but whatever it was, it helped Him to give His spirit to the Father's hand in trust. May we learn to seek God likewise, in honesty and sincerity.