SOME THINGS I DON’T UNDERSTAND Andy Hollifield 1-20-18
Proverbs 2:11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Proverbs 3:13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
Understand—-(1) to perceive the meaning of; grasp the idea of; comprehend: (2) to be thoroughly familiar with; apprehend clearly the character, nature, or subtleties of (3) to grasp the significance, implications, or importance of
I know I can’t elaborate on all 160 times that the word ‘understanding’ is used in the bible. I can’t even cover the 53 times it is used in Proverbs alone. Then, there is the word ‘understand’ which appears 91 times. And finally, the word ‘understood’ which is mentioned another 37 times. I can’t even do justice to the 6 verses that I have listed above. I also remember that I wrote about ‘understanding’ just a while back. But this time I want to talk more about some things I don’t understand and probably never will.
I will start with the unsettling stuff first. For one, I don’t understand why babies are born with defects or get major illnesses, and even why they have to die. I can’t understand why good, godly, people die young and it seems heathens live long and happy lives. The only answer I have ever came up with for those two is that the good godly folks are ready to meet God and the heathens aren’t and God is just being merciful. I can’t understand why churches have some of the problems they do except because the devil is trying to destroy them. I don’t understand why when someone gets hurt in church, they quit on God and stay home in disobedience to his command to assemble together in Hebrews 10:25. God hasn’t ever done anyone wrong so that is no reason to quit on him. I can’t understand how in times of crisis and loss, folks get bitter on God when he is truly the only source of comfort they really have. He is the only one who can give peace in times and situations where you shouldn’t have any. The kind of peace that passes all understanding. I can’t understand why we always want to fight with folks who believe different than us knowing that lost souls are caught in the crossfire. We need to be sound in our biblical doctrine and I know that the bible says in Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” The bible doesn’t say that we have to walk together but it teaches that if we have been born again, we are all walking the same direction. Jesus himself taught that he had other sheep “which are not of this fold.” We are not going to be segregated in heaven by our beliefs so we might as well learn to get along down here with those that are fighting the same fight. Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 3:5 “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” He didn’t say for us to crucify them but to turn away so we aren’t associated with them and their false belief. He will judge them the same as he will us. I believe we should stand for what is doctrinally right and be “rightly dividing the word of truth” as it says in 2 Timothy 2:15. I just can’t understand why we think everyone has to totally agree with us all the time. Everyone reading this has either a sibling, parent, friend, or spouse who you have differing opinions with. We don’t break off those relationships. We may choose not to discuss certain things because we do have different ideas about them. Many times I have thought that when we get to heaven, I would like God to answer and explain this question or that question to me. The truth is that he owes none of us an explanation for anything and when we get there, it won’t make any difference anyway and we won’t remember those things because the former things will be passed away (Revelation 21:4).
I hope I didn’t bring anyone down with the last section. I also hope that you see that as preachers, we don’t have all the answers and we don’t understand everything, and we have ideas and opinions of our own just like everyone else does. WE ARE HUMAN! Now to some good things that I can’t understand. I can’t understand why that God allowed me to be born in a land of plenty while others die for lack of food. I don’t understand why he let me be born to good parents that loved me while others have to endure abuse. I don’t understand why both of my parents lived until I became an adult while other children became orphans. I can’t understand why God would allow his only perfect Son to come to this earth and die and rise again so I could have the opportunity to be saved. I can’t comprehend the love he must have for me to put up with all of my junk and not destroy me from the face of the earth. I can’t even comprehend why he has given me the ability to put my thoughts into words while there are others who may not be able to. I cannot understand why he has blessed me with the family and friends I now have. I definitely don’t understand why he would ever call me to preach his gospel knowing how much I would fail and how little ability I have. I can’t understand why he ever let the Holy Ghost speak to my soul and move conviction on me to the point I wanted to come to him for salvation. I don’t understand why he has placed the burdens on my heart that he has for unwed mothers and their children and victims of abuse when he knows there are far more capable people than me who could do much better. I can’t understand why he allowed me to sit under the pastor I had when I got saved and get back together with him after I started preaching and learn from him as Timothy did from Paul. I don’t understand why he has opened the doors to preach that he has or why all of his men who helped me did. I can’t comprehend why he has let mission work and driving ability take me as many places as it has and be blessed by so many people when I was actually trying to be a blessing to them. I can’t understand why he spared my life and has blessed me with a transplanted kidney for almost 35 years. I can’t understand ‘why me’ and not somebody else.
I could go on and on about the ways God has blessed me. Everything we don’t understand is not a bad thing. When I look at all the years of my life, I have to say God has been far better to me than I could ever even think about deserving and I can’t understand why. I don’t have to understand it, I just have to give thanks for it. “IN every thing give thanks” is the instruction in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Ephesians 5:20 says, “Giving thanks always FOR all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” “IN all things” and “FOR all things” give thanks. For both the good and the bad because it is God’s will concerning us. We can take comfort in the fact that it is “according to his own purpose and grace. 2 Timothy 1:9” “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose… (Romans 8:28)” Like I said; I don’t have to understand it, I just have to give thanks for it. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!