Wrestling with God

My children are at an age where they are beginning to wrestle with some of life’s perennial, existential questions, discerning the whys behind what’s right and wrong, struggling with questions of sin and suffering.

I hear their hearts and respect their pursuit of understanding. Yet I write this post to encourage them to wrestle not as the world does, but as ones who know God.

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

John 1:17

On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.

“The Solid Rock,” Edward Mohr

Principle 1–God is good.

It’s obvious enough, but missing this most basic and essential truth has led to many a fall, beginning with the first one.

You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.

Genesis 3:4-5

The enemy knows the simplest and most effective strategy to distance us from God is to seed the idea that perhaps God isn’t as good as we think he is, and therefore we are better off to pursue what seems right in our own eyes. (Judges 17:6, 21:25)

The core issue unfolding in Eden wasn’t about God’s provision for Adam and Eve’s needs, he had provided abundantly; it was if we humans would trust God’s goodness, even when he said no.

So my child, the first and most important thing as you seek what is right in this difficult and confusing life, stand on (and rest in) this essential truth–as Jesus himself put it:

No one is good but One—God.

Matthew 10:18

Principle 2–God Sees a Bigger Picture

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face-to-face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.

1 Corinthians 13:12-13

We are infinitesimally tiny specks of dust in a universe that is smaller than our God. Put another way–He is God and we are not.

We foolishly tell ourselves that if God really is good he owes us an explanation of why when God’s way fails to align with our own thoughts or beliefs.

Job wrestled with God after his blessings turned to ashes. God heard his cries, but when Job demanded to know why God had allowed his reversal of fortune. God’s response offers wise instruction to our own rebel hearts:

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
    Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
    Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
    or who laid its cornerstone
when the morning stars sang together
    and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?

Or who shut in the sea with doors
    when it burst out from the womb?—
when I made the clouds its garment,
    and thick darkness its swaddling band,
and prescribed bounds for it,
    and set bars and doors,
and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
    and here shall your proud waves be stopped?

Job 38: 4-11

Principle 3 — Seek and Find Truth

What then is left for us to do? Pursue blind faith or turn our backs on a God too callous to answer our cries?

When we trust God we also can trust that his Word is true. There is nothing new under the sun; the truths contained in the Bible are as relevant today as the day they were written.

Look at how Scripture led us through this very post. If you disregard God’s word as “out-of-date” or not relevant to our contemporary struggles, where will you look to find truth?

So open your Bible, my child. Invite God’s spirit to reveal truth to you through his living Word. And then listen. Apply what you find. You might not get your “why’s” answered, but I promise you will find peace and understanding as you come to know, love and trust in a God who is good, true, just, wise, all-knowing, and who loves you along with each and every being he created.

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

John 17:17

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