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Pointers along the way #289

Blind belief can lead us astray
- Jacob Ninan

The Devil is a liar, and also a deceiver. Once he sees that we have slipped out of his hands over to God's side, he will redouble his efforts to tell us lies and deceive us. He does this so cleverly that we think we are following the truth (2Co.11:14)! The problem is that when we hear something that appears to be true (especially when it is quoted from the Bible), we don't take care to think about it further and check it out. One such lie is thinking that using reason is against faith. We think it is great to 'believe without seeing' (Jn.20:29). Reason is something God has created us with, and found to be 'good' at creation. But it is bad if we use reason to object to things God tells us. What we should do is to remember that because we trust God we can accept everything He tells us without questioning, even if we cannot understand them. It is a question of whether we trust Him or not. But it is very much necessary for us to use our reason to try and understand what He has said, because if we take something without proper understanding it could lead us astray.

Consider, as an example, someone saying we should give thanks for everything that happens to us because God will cause them to work for our good, quoting Ro.8:28. They can also quote 1Th.5:18 where it tells us to give thanks in everything. But think for a moment. Does God want us to give thanks for any of the thousands of evil things that may happen to us or our family? NO.

First of all, Ro.8:28 doesn't even tell us to give thanks for everything. What it does say is that even when bad things happen to us, if we love God and respond to God in the right way, God will cause even those things to work out something good for us. All that happens to us is not good. We cannot give thanks for the bad things. But when such things happen we can thank God that He is there with us to make something good to come out of even those things.

We mustn't also forget that God cannot automatically work things for our good if we don't cooperate with Him. We make the difference by thankfulness or complaining.

1Th.5:18 does not tell us to give thanks for everything, but in. How can we give thanks in every situation? Not for the situation itself but for God who is always with us, planning good for us, and overruling bad things that happen to us. If we were to give thanks for evil situations, we would be thanking the Devil, evil people and the corruption that is in the world through sin.

This teaches us to be careful about what we believe, especially these days when there is a lot of wrong teaching and practice. We cannot just accept what Bible teachers tell us (1Th.5:21). We want to believe what the Bible says. But then we must also make sure we understand it correctly. It is our responsibility not only to study the Bible but also to understand it right.