Tag Archive | Charles Hodge

Swimming in “Why?”

Jeremiah 17:7 – The man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence indeed is the Lord, is blessed. (HCSB)

Luke 1:37 – For nothing will be impossible with God (ESV)

My grandchildren were enjoying playing in the pool when a horsefly landed on my grandson’s head. I yelled for him to go under the water. His response was to stay where he was and ask “why?” I told him again to go under the water, and again his only action was to ask “why?” By that time I had gotten to him and was able to shoo the horsefly away before it decided to sting. I told my grandson about the horsefly, and said, “When I tell you to do something, just know there’s a reason so do it and I’ll explain later.”   I could almost hear God saying, “Seriously? You are telling someone to do what you tell them, when you tell them, and to have faith in your reasoning?” He didn’t add, “You, who can at times out “why?” a two-year-old”, but it certainly was implied! Psalm 139:6 tells us that God’s knowledge is amazing and more than we can understand. Time after time we see God’s people in the Bible stand still and ask “why?” instead of having faith in what they knew was true. Time after time today we continue see God’s people stand still and ask “why?” instead of having faith in what we know is true.  Oswald Chambers said, “Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time,” and Charles Hodge said, “The ultimate ground of faith and knowledge is confidence in God.” So many times we are willing to stand on faith but are not willing to move in faith. I wanted my grandson to trust me enough to react immediately when I called to him. I wanted him to react immediately to my command because of his personal knowledge that I would always look out for his welfare. Isn’t that what God wants of us as well? We know of God’s protection in the past and that gives us confidence of His protection in the future. Jeremiah 29:11 says that God knows the plans He has for me, plans for my well being, not to cause me harm. Even when I don’t know the plan, I know the Planner, and that’s all I need to know to rest assured that the plan is a good one!

Difficult Situations

Psalm 25:17 – My problems go from bad to worse. Oh, save me from them all! (NLT)

Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in Him. (NIV)

 

Difficult situations can test our endurance. Sometimes difficult situations make it difficult to trust God. We trust Him in the first few days, but then those days turn into months. We thought it would be over by now. We thought we had come through the battle, but now we are getting attacked again. It’s hard to endure and trust when we can’t see that things are getting better, when we not only can’t see the finish line but also begin to doubt that one even exists. Anne F. Beiler said, “My philosophy is: Life is hard, but God is good. Try not to confuse the two.” The Bible encourages us to put our trust in God even through hardship – especially through hardship! God is worthy to be trusted because He is good! When our grandson was a toddler, he was being punished for something he had done. I asked him why he had done it, and his reply was “I made a bad, bad choice”. Sometimes our suffering in life is the consequence of our own bad, bad choice. Sometimes our suffering comes from the unjust hands of others. Sometimes even believers ask, “Why is God allowing this to happen?” I don’t know why God allows suffering. I think that there are times that God allows us to suffer so that we can learn that He is sufficient in all situations. Oswald Chambers said, “Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God, whose ways you may not understand at the time.” Lord, we know that You can be trusted because You are good, but sometimes trusting You is hard when we are going through difficult times! We need to confess our difficulty, even quoting the father in Mark 9:24 — “I believe. Help me with my unbelief”. We may feel that the anguish is more than we can handle and ask You to show us where You are working, but even if You choose not to give us that knowledge, please help us to stay focused on the truth that You are in charge and that You have a greater plan and purpose. Charles Hodge said, “The ultimate ground of faith and knowledge is confidence in God.” We can have confidence in You, Lord because we know from experience that You are loving and wise and sovereign. Even in difficult situations – especially in difficult situations – help us to have deliberate confidence in You.