“God is God and I am not. I can only see a part of the picture He’s painting.”
Steven Curtis Chapman’s song captures a profound point we are quick to forget. The reason events in your life or in the world appear senseless is because we see only a tiny, tiny fraction of the story. And in our sinful pride, we speedily come to conclusions about what we’re seeing that reflect a selfish, myopic reading of it all.
But if we would just open our Bibles and thoughtfully read, we would discover a treasure trove of resources there to keep our faith and hope buoyant in senseless times. Consider…
“What might make no sense to us today is in fact so shot through with meaning that we would be struck speechless in worshipful awe if we knew all that God was doing” - Jon Bloom
So I plead with you, do not give in to cynicism. Not being able to make sense of the events unfolding in the world or your life is a common human experience. The Author of this story is crafting tales of wonder and we just need to trust him with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding of things (Proverbs 3:5-6).
“Why should I take what Jesus says seriously when Christians don’t?"
It’s not hard to image an unbeliever saying this. Christians insist unbelievers come to Jesus, to place their faith in Him, to take what he says seriously, and follow him. But why should they if Jesus-followers don’t do this? Why should lost people take what Jesus says seriously if Christians don’t? It’s a valid point.
The moral purity of your life matters! Your character matters. Your language matters. Your attitudes matter. If a lost person looks at your life and sees little difference between it and the lives of other unbelievers, why would they want what you’re offering them?
It is this difference that was a key ingredient to the spread of the gospel. In the Epistle to Diognetus, from the 2nd century, the author observes: “Christians share their meals, but not their sexual partners.” The author goes on to note several differences he sees between the conduct of Christians and non-Christians. There was a marked difference between the two and God used it to cause the rapid spread of Christianity throughout the Mediterranean region.
Does your life reflect you really do take seriously what Jesus says? Don’t underestimate the influential power of this.