When things don't make sense

There are times in life when the situation we're in makes us wonder why we keep believing as we do. Maybe our world is crumbling around us and the future looks bleak. Someone has hurt us deeply and we are shattered. Or perhaps it's an unfulfilled promise that makes us wonder whether we misunderstood God or whether He changed His mind. The godless and faithless mock our struggling belief with cutting remarks, or deride us silently with their smiles.

Something inside us wants to scream at them, or at God. We are torn by wanting to hold on to our faith and trying to reconcile that with reality, and the truth is that our crisis of faith is not the kind of testimony we'd want to share.

In Psalm 73, the writer is in this precise predicament and pens his thoughts: he arrogant seem to prosper financially; they enjoy physical health, and they don't carry emotional burdens (Psalm 73:3-5).

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One's soul seeks an answer: not so much for a solution to the problem, but rather an explanation as to why God doesn't seem to care that our fragile faith is hanging by a thread.

Maybe Jesus, who knows what it is like to be human, would understand what we're going through. But even He, who is the Answer to all of life's questions, allows a group of disillusioned followers to forsake their trust in Him and walk away. He doesn't even call after them but turns to the remaining disciples and asks whether they want to leave too (John 6:67).

But Peter, in reply, hits the nail on the head. "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."

Later, when Peter faces his crisis of faith, Jesus, who knows what Peter is about to go through, reassures him; "I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail." (Luke 22:32).

Deep down we know that even when things don't make sense, that God is in control; that Jesus cares deeply, and that there is a plan. Something inside us holds on to the hope that this is not permanent; that somehow things are going to work out in the end. And that is exactly what the psalmist concludes after he meets with the Lord in the sanctuary. He realises that he was senseless and ignorant. 

Like Peter who asked, "To whom shall we go?" the psalmist asks from deep within, "Whom have I in heaven but you?" He knows the answer: there is no one else.

Although he almost slipped by being deceived (v 2) he acknowledges that his destiny is not dependent on him holding on to God. God is holding on to him. "You hold me by my right hand; you guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory."

God will hold on to you too and He will guide you. Remember, for us the best is yet to come.