Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

The Secret Things Belong To God

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

9th October 2011

I don’t know about you but I find it frustrating when there are unanswered questions.

Why should faithful Christian servants like Rob Lacey and Rob Frost die of cancer when they were so actively involved in Christian ministry?

Why did God allow the Holocaust, the Killing Fields, and 9/11?

Why was Gayle Williams, who worked with the poorest and most unfortunate of the children in Afghanistan, young boys and girls who had lost limbs to landmines and bombs, murdered while walking along a quiet, tree-lined street in Kabul on her way to work, simply for being a Christian?

Sometimes we can think that all we have to do is deeper study and further research and the Bible will supply all the answers.

But the older, and hopefully wiser, I get, brings the realisation that there are certain things about the Christian life, and indeed, life in general that God has seen fit not to enlighten us.

I’m beginning to accept that some things have been revealed while others have not, and that it is my responsibility to learn all I can about what has been revealed and believe all that is clear.

That is such a liberating concept.

To simply focus on the questions God does answer in His Word, not the ones He doesn’t answer.

John Stott once said,

‘We are an unusual combination of the dogmatic and the agnostic. We are dogmatic about those truths which have been revealed but we are agnostic about those things which have been kept secret. We don’t know some things because God has not revealed them; we know only about the revealed things. Don’t be dogmatic on the secret things and don’t be agnostic on the revealed things.’

Often we Christians become overly dogmatic on the ‘secret things’ and try to make Scripture give explanations which it does not support. This just results in us coming across as arrogant.

Just consider what the Apostle John wrote in 1 John 3:2,

‘Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known…’

Here John openly states that he doesn’t know what we will be like throughout all eternity. Now, if an apostle was unwilling to go beyond what he knew, shouldn’t we also accept the limitations of our knowledge?

There is nothing wrong, of course, with confessing to Jesus that you are confused, and if ever you find yourself asking ‘Lord, why is this happening to me?’ you must not think that you are committing sin.

Even Jesus asked a ‘Why?’ question.

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

The problem arises when we become obsessed with finding an answer instead of settling for trust. Admit your confusion, bring it to God, and then trust Him. Jesus, you notice, moved on quickly from a moment of confusion to perfect trust.

‘Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last’. (Luke 23:46)

While God will not answer all our ‘Why?’ questions, He does want us to learn to trust Him, and live according to what He has revealed. As is said in Deuteronomy 29:29,

‘The LORD our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions’. (New Living Translation)
‘GOD, our God, will take care of the hidden things but the revealed things are our business. It's up to us and our children to attend to all the terms in this Revelation’. (The Message)

Have a good week learning to trust God with the things He has kept secret, and being content to live by what has been revealed and made clear.

Pastor Barry

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