Today's Thoughts: God's Ways Can be Hard to Understand
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9
I learned these verses in my early years as a Christian. I have heard them quoted often, and I have spoken them many times, either to others or to myself. I am not always sure if they are comforting words or if they are confounding words. Intellectually, I know that God's thoughts and ways are not like mine. Of course my ways are not like God's, God is God and I am not. But when I go down a path that seems to make so much sense to me, then out of nowhere, the course dramatically changes: I must admit that I am more confounded than comforted. There are times when we pray for things or people and our prayers are answered just as we prayed them. Then, there are times when we pray and our prayers seem to go unheard, with no answer at all. We can usually handle both extremes because God is God and He can act as He pleases. We are even okay when He answers differently than we expected.
But what about those times when we pray about something specifically, and we clearly see God's hand in it? We pray, God leads and we are getting it. We can even see what is coming as God reveals things to us. Our faith is being increased and we are finally gaining some spiritual strength and understanding. Even though the course is tough, we are making steady progress. But… then… out of the blue, something happens that changes our course so drastically that we feel the air has been knocked out of us. All of sudden, we find ourselves in a place of desolation and despair. What happened? It seemed like everything was moving along so well.
It is in these moments that we all must glean a deeper understanding that God's thoughts and ways are not ours. God is not linear and He does not need to be logical to us. God does not play by our rules and God is never in a rush. So what do we do in those moments when we must ask some tough questions? Is the Lord with me? Is He trying to hurt me, punish me, or test me? Have I done something wrong? Once again, these are very human thoughts, and are not necessarily Spirit-led. The only thing we can do in these times of confusion and wonder is to go right back to the Lord. In Isaiah 1:18 the Lord says to come and let us reason together. God wants us to go straight to Him and start questioning Him. Maybe God is testing us. Maybe He just wants us to draw closer to Him. Maybe He wants to change our prayers. Maybe He is trying to get us lined up with His will.
Keep one thing in mind today as you meditate on these verses. Our Lord loves us more than we can ever comprehend and everything He does is in our best interest. His main desire for us is that we are His, totally and completely. Do you feel as though God has abandoned you or maybe has just forgotten about your needs? Ask Him to help you understand more of His ways. Ask Him to open your mind to comprehend the Scriptures. Go to Him, repent if you have un-confessed sin and trust that His higher ways will always be what is best.
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