Faith in God even when he doesn’t make sense.
Read Isiah 55:6-12
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways.”
It is hard to trust in someone or something that contradicts what our thoughts are telling us, especially whenever our opinions and views points are opposite to theirs. For example, the first time we vacationed in Hawaii, we were encouraged to go snorkeling for the water is warm, and the beauty of seeing tropical fish is exhilarating. However, when I first place my face in the water, everything in my mind tells me not to breathe. Even though I am wearing a snorkel, my experience in life has taught me that you cannot breathe underwater, yet that is the very thing I am instructed to do. Inevitably it takes me a few moments to consciously reprogram my brain to trust the snorkel and start to breathe with my face still in the water.
In our experience, there are times when God’s activities and his word seem to contradict everything our minds and experience tell us. When his commands and words contradict what we have been taught and what we believe, our initial reaction is to explain it away. Rather than simply trust and accept his word, we try to justify why his word is not valid. It is one thing to trust God to save us from sin and to give us the hope of eternal life, but it is quite another to trust him when he asks us to do or believe in him and his word when it violates what I hold true. This has been a struggle from the beginning of time. In Genesis 3, the quest for us to determine our destiny and morality. Satan tempted us with the freedom to follow our thoughts and our determination of right and wrong. What causes doubt is not the struggle to believe that God exists and that heaven is the goal. Doubts arise because God does the unexpected and commands us to do what we do not understand. We do not pursue evil because we think it is evil; we accept sin because we believe it is correct.
The struggle between God’s word and our perspective of right and wrong led Israel to abandon God and pursue the religions of the nations around them. Consequently, God calls upon them to seek him and forsake their wickedness (Isiah 55:6-7). But it is verses 8-9 God addresses the crux of the issue. Are we going to trust our thoughts, or are we going to trust his? Are we going to live the way we think is right, or are we going to live the way he commands us to live? The answer seems obvious. We are finite in our understanding and knowledge, and he is infinite. Our thinking is distorted by sin; his thoughts are perfect and beyond our comprehension.
Faith believes that God’s message of salvation is true; it believes that all his words are accurate and that every word that comes forth from his mouth will be accomplished (vs. 11). This not only includes his promise of salvation to those who believe but also his warning of judgment to those who rebel.
When I go swimming in the warm waters of Hawaii, I only discover the world beneath the seas when I learn to trust that the snorkel will provide life-giving air when my face is immersed in the water. The same is true of God. I only discover the riches of his blessing when I learn to trust in his life-giving word even when it contradicts what I think. When his actions and words contradict what you think and what you believe, whom do you trust? Do you reject his word and trust your thoughts? Or, do you recognize the fallacy of your thinking and trust entirely in him? Faith is recognizing that God’s thoughts and ways are infinitely higher than ours so that we conform our thoughts to his.