Angie is sitting at the bedside of her beloved mother. She’s been ill for such a long time. Fervently Angie has prayed for God’s healing. But her mom is not only still sick but rapidly failing.
“Why hasn’t God healed her? Doesn’t He care? He’s healed other people miraculously. Why won’t He do the same for my mom? She loves Jesus and was walking in step with Him when the bad news of cancer came. She didn’t do anything to deserve this!”
Ever been there? I have. Whenever our circumstances conflict with what we believe to be true, turmoil in our hearts ensues.
What is Angie’s problem? Her lack of understanding of God’s Word and His ways. She’s taking verses about God’s healing out of context. Like these:
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-who…heals all your diseases. (Ps 103:2-3, emphasis added)*
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. (Mat 4:23, emphasis added)*
However, God doesn’t promise to heal everyone—at least not this side of heaven (I personally know about this one). But He does promise to work all things together for good for His children (Rom 8:28).
Angie knows some of God’s truth, some of God’s ways, but what she thinks to be true about God is not in keeping with what she is currently seeing. Hence the conflict in her heart.
If we only have a surface understanding of the whole Bible, we could easily assume something incorrect about God—like He’s not caring, good, in control, or faithful—at least not to us individually.
One of my pastors continually admonishes us not to take verses out of context, or make a theology (the way you think about God) based on only a few verses.
So how do you resolve the conflict that arises in your heart during these times?
- By believing that the Bible contains the actual words of God Himself.
- By repeatedly reading the entire Bible.
It’s baffling to me how many Christians have never read the whole counsel of God. But let me tell you that the more you grow in your knowledge of God and His ways, the more you will be able to see how it all fits together so beautifully.
- By accepting and submitting to what God says even when you don’t like or understand it.
You will never understand everything about God.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. ”As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Is 55:8-9)*
Lord, my heart is not proud…. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp. Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself…. (Ps 131:1-2)**
- By repeating what you do know to be true about God and choosing to believe it in this current, seemingly contradictory, situation.
- By acting as if that knowledge is really true.
When you do step out in faith, God will come through and you will gain experiential knowledge; your confidence in God will increase. Actually God allows these confusing situations to test your faith and/or to lead you into a deeper knowledge and trust of Him.
So my friends, when you can’t seem to make sense of a confusing situation, don’t stay upset. It’s ok to struggle through an issue—just don’t jump to some erroneous conclusion about God. That’s what Satan wants! Instead, go to God and His Word for answers.
Don’t be content with only a surface understanding of God’s character and ways.
Let Him take you deeper by way of these disconcerting times.
*The Holy Bible, New International Version® THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION® NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society®
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
**New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.