<< Today's Insight with Chuck Swindoll

Day by Day - Nov. 24, 2009

Thinking Theologically
by Charles R. Swindoll

Hebrews 6:17-18 

I confess to you, at times I've doubted God's purpose and promise. I say that to my own embarrassment. When things hadn't worked as I thought they would, when I received a no instead of a yes or a yes instead of a no as an answer to prayer, when I couldn't unravel a situation and fit it with the character of God . . . those have been times when I've said, "I know down inside this isn't right."

When the bottom drops out of your life, when hope starts to wear thin, when human logic fails to make much sense, think theologically! Read Hebrews 6:17-18. The theological facts are: (1) there is an unchangeable purpose with God, and (2) that purpose is guaranteed with an oath.

It's at this juncture I should add: Don't try to explain it all to someone else. You can't. If you could, you would be God. The only thing you can explain theologically is that the issue you struggle with is part of His unchangeable purpose, guaranteed with an oath, neither of which is a lie. That's theological thinking. As Solomon states so well: "[God] has made everything appropriate in its time" (Ecclesiastes 3:11a).

Let me give you a syllogism---a theological syllogism:

God is in control of the times and seasons. 
Some times are hard, and some seasons are dry.

So the conclusion is:

God is in control of hard times and dry seasons.

We are quick to give God praise when the blessings flow: when the checking account is full and running over; when the job is secure, and a promotion is on the horizon; when the salary is good; when our health is fine. But we have a tough time believing when those things aren't true.

There are benefits that come from thinking theologically, as found in Hebrews 6:18:

So that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.

One benefit to thinking theologically is you will have "strong encouragement." Logical thinking will discourage you, but theological thinking will encourage you. And you will also have a refuge of hope. Encouragement is the opposite of discouragement. Hope is the opposite of despair. When you accept the fact that sometimes seasons are dry and times are hard and that God is in control of both, you will discover a sense of divine refuge, because the hope then is in God and not in yourself.

In those seasons when it's difficult to see God's purpose and promise, remember where your hope and encouragement are found---in the person and purposes of the Lord Jesus Christ. 


Excerpted from Stress Fractures, copyright © 1990 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

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