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When we don't understand God...

"Christ didn't come to the world so that we could decipher him but that we could hold onto him..." / Dietrich Bonhoeffer / A few weeks ago a family we love lost a son in tragic circumstances. Godly, wonderful, good people and a horrible thing has happened to them.

Why bad things are happening to good people? Why good things are happening to bad people? We don't understand that.

Jeremiah also had a hard time understanding what God was doing with him and why he had to do certain things just out of obedience. In Chapter 32 he was commanded to buy a piece of land. He had to invest into a country that was going to be destroyed. He had to announce the judgment of God on the country and than he had to do something that communicated the opposite of this message. He felt trapped and confused.

What did Jeremiah do with his doubts and questions? He worshiped God before he shared his doubts with Him. He turned his doubts and questions into a worship! He was focusing on who God is and not on what he didn't understand about Him.

Jeremiah's example encourages us to follow a path when we have doubts, questions and pains:

  1. Share your doubts and questions with God! When you don't understand Him, turn TO HIM and don't turn away FROM HIM. If you turn away from Him how do you hope to get an answer, a solution and comfort? Nothing is waiting for you, but hopeless despair, anger and bitterness when you decide to turn away from God.
  2. Worship Him even when you don't understand Him!  Not understanding Him doesn't mean He is less powerful and loving! Our limited understanding and knowledge doesn't make Him limited in power and in love.
  3. Don't question His character, His power and His motivation just because you don't understand something He is doing in your life or in the world. Not understanding Him is not a reason not worshiping Him. Our limited knowledge and experience can't be the judge of our Creator. When we make decision that our kids don't understand or appreciate that doesn't mean that we don't love them. And it hurts when they assume that and question our love toward them. God's character is not dependent on our experience.

When we envelope our doubts with worship than our soul will find peace. Bonhoeffer saw it well: Christ - first and foremost - has not promised that we will decipher Him, but that we would find hope and comfort in Him.

 

Mt 27:15-26 - I am innocent!

"I am innocent" says Pilate (v24.) What a distorted seen! The truly and only innocent, the Son of God is standing there in silence. And his judge, who is truly guilty is loudly shifting blame and proclaiming that he is innocent.

How in the world could he convince himself that he is innocent when he knew: - the motivation behind why they want to kill Jesus - (v. 18. - "he knew that it was out of envy...") - the fact that Jesus was innocent - (v. 23. - "what evil has he done?"...) - that his wife got a godly message to stay away from this - (v. 19. - "have nothing to do with that righteous man...")

Pilate is a leader who knew the motivation, knew the facts, received godly warning but still decided to please men and thought he can remain innocent. He can't. Pilate had plenty of evidences, support and power to make the right decision. At that moment he was in charge and he was responsible. Nobody else was there to make that decision. Nobody else was there to be fully responsible. But he had ignored facts, motivations, godly warning and decided to give in to the pressure coming from the crowd and than shifted blame and responsibility. He shifted the blame on the circumstances and on the pressure. It's something we all face. The decision Pilate made seemed a democratic decision. There are definite dangers in democracy. A very democratic crowd crucified the Son of God. The danger of democracy is that the crowd can be persuaded by corrupt leaders. (See v. 20.)

Conclusions:

We are fully equipped to be fully responsible. - God always (even at the most critical situations) gives enough evidences, support and power to help us to make the right decision. - Because God supplies everything we need to make the right decisions and act responsibly, we don't have any platform to point fingers, to shift blames, and to declare ourselves innocent. Circumstances, pressure from others are not an excuse not to make the right decisions and not to behave according the will if God.

The lack of owning responsibility (or finding excuses) leads to distorted view of self: "I am innocent." And not owning our true reality hinders us from finding true grace. Only when we are willing to face the brutal reality about ourselves we are able to start understanding wonderful reality of grace.

A truly repentant person doesn't seek any excuse, but fully owns his sin.