Wise Words on Trust

"My Strong Tower"
I trust in the Lord in spite of the things I don’t understand about Him—because of the things I do understand about Him. And one of those things is that He looks at the heart of a matter and not just external appearances. Every one of us knows what it’s like to be in a situation that looks really, really bad, but onlookers are unaware of a few facts that would unfurl their eyebrows if they knew. What about the poor guy who walks into church on Sunday morning filthy because he stopped to help someone on the way who had a flat tire?...God knows all that stuff. But mortals jump to conclusions...Therefore, as we learn in today’s chapter, God invented the cities of refuge, because there are extenuating circumstances in life. There were six cities of refuge scattered throughout Israel (for your convenience), and each was a place you could run to if you had killed a person accidentally, without malice aforethought. You didn’t get off scot-free because you still were forced to leave everyone and everything you knew and to go to a strange city and hang around there until the high priest died. But it was better than vigilante justice on the streets of Debir or Medeba. God once gave King David a choice of punishments: famine, fleeing from his foes, or pestilence. David didn’t miss a beat: “Let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man” (2 Samuel 24:14).Today, of course, the cities of refuge are all done away with, superseded by the refuge that is in Christ: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe” (Proverbs 18:10).
Andree Seu

“Freeze Frames”
The faithfulness of God is why the perseverance of man (and little girls) is so important. What you’re seeing now is middles, freeze frames, the crest of the curve and not its falling arc, the ball as it looks snapped in mid-air by your Polaroid. But ‘you have seen the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful James 5:11)
Andree Seu

"The Faithful VS The Skeptic"
To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible
Thomas Aquinas

"Faith Makes All The Difference"
Faith sees the invisible, expects the impossible, receives the incredible.
Author Unknown

"Off Your Rocker"
Worry is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere.
Author Unknown

"I Can't Believe My Eyes"
If God claims to be present and my trouble goes on and on, I need to decide whether to give up the faith or to put the Word of God (which says God claims to be present) above even something so fundamental a touchstone as my five senses. The five senses are our normal ways of knowing the world. But are they ultimate?
Come to think of it, why should the crumbling of my world be considered counter-evidence of God’s presence? Will I dictate to God what form His presence should take? Am I the judge that I should say what is inconsistent with God’s presence?
What if God is up to something in this crumbling of the world, something I have no idea of, something that will take time to be visible or come to fruition? If it comes to it, you and I must make this policy statement: Even if there is a choice between God’s Word and our eyes, I believe you, God. Because you say that you are with me, even now, I believe you.
Andree Seu

"God's Ways: Inscrutable Yet Perfect "
Summertime and the living is easy, except for a resumption of hostilities in the backyard where Mr. McGregor is determined to snag wily Peter Rabbit this year, liberating his green peppers for humanity. My dad is a relatively gentle captor, preferring banishment to execution; the local state park has absorbed into its ecosystem not a few furry transgressors formerly residing at this address.

I don't know how it all works, this ecosystem business. Take a prairie. Bunnies eat the grass; wolves eat the bunnies. No grass, no bunnies. No bunnies, no wolves. If wolves disappeared, rabbits would rule, but it would be a short reign. They would devour all the grass and then starve themselves to death. If rabbits disappeared, there would go our grass trimmers, and trees would take over the world.

And so the weary world wags on. Wolf and Sheepdog, aka Ralph and Sam, show up at the sheep meadow each morning, lunch box in hand, exchange pleasantries, punch their time cards, and chase each other for all they're worth. At whistle shriek, they freeze in their tracks, punch out, and wave goodbye. Tomorrow will be the same.

God has an ecosystem of another kind, but no one has figured it out. He says so in Isaiah 57:1: "The righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; devout men are taken away, while no one understands." We have had many deaths of righteous men and women in our local church congregation lately. "Senseless deaths," as they say. All way too young, most by cancer, no scientist yet having discovered some curative chemical in a mosquito that would justify its place in the circle of life.

The unbeliever scoffs: "How could a good God . . . ?" We who from time to time are forced to cull our herds (when I hit a deer in Michigan, the mechanic called them "forest rats") find fault with God's culling methods. We have no idea. Dr. James Gills says in RX for Worry that the human "brain stores the equivalent of 25 million books [and] it can function at ten thousand trillion computations per second." We let that go to our heads, but the designer of the computer is greater than the computer.

We who want to control history, and who can't even predict tomorrow's NASDAQ, ought to mind our Star Trek lessons. In "The City on the Edge of Forever" (1967), the intrepid time travelers do something to change history for the better, so they think. Finding themselves thrown back to 1930 at the 21st Street Mission, Kirk pushes the beautiful Edith Keeler out of the path of an oncoming car. She is good-hearted and noble, and it is "senseless" that a creature so fine should die.

But Kirk and Spock soon learn, to the smitten captain's chagrin, that they must go back and undo their saving work. If Ms. Keeler is not allowed to be killed that day—as planned by an unseen Hand—she will go on to organize a powerful pacifist movement that will delay the country's entrance into the war, giving Hitler time to develop the atomic bomb before we do, and to achieve world domination, resulting in much death and servitude of multitudes.

It is because of God's delicate ecosystem that the tares are left to grow with the wheat until harvester angels with sickles bring an end to the confusion (Matthew 13:24-30). God's children need auto mechanics, Christian or no.

Another factor not generally considered is that the early rapture [death] of the righteous, while sad for us who sigh over their photographs, is not so tragic from their present perspective. "For the righteous man is taken away from calamity; he enters into peace; they rest in their beds who walk in their uprightness" (Isaiah 57:1b-2). What do we call this unconditional prejudice of ours for longevity on planet Earth that clouds our better judgment—"Earthism"?

Simon Peter wanted to rewrite the script and cut the crucifixion scene. It elicits the only harsh remark from Jesus toward His disciple in the recorded gospels. No crucifixion, no reconciliation with God. No reconciliation with God, no point to life. No point to life, and my dad may as well let Peter Rabbit do his thing because the whole thing's senseless anyhow.
Andree Seu

"Through Christ Who Strengthens Me"
...in one sense, the road back to God is a road of moral effort, of trying harder and harder. But in another sense it is not trying that is ever going to bring us home. All this trying leads up to the vital moment at which you turn to God and say, 'You must do this. I can't'...To trust Him means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice.
C.S. Lewis

"Manure For Christmas? Resort Hourly."
Counting all difficulties as joy

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trails of various kinds . . .” (James 1:2).
Have you ever met a person who actually, literally did what this verse says? I have. Marilyn (not her real name) phoned and told me that her husband has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, her son is recovering from multiple stab wounds inflicted by a crazed stranger in Center City, and her daughter-in-law is so weakened by some bizarre condition that she is unable to hold her newborn. And she was radiating joy.

Marilyn figured that God must be really up to something! He must be really shaking things up for a good purpose for all this to be coming down at once. This, she reasoned, must be nothing other than the “testing of faith” of verse 3 that issues in a new level of “steadfastness,” whose “full effect” makes “perfect and complete” (verse 4). Marilyn wants that “perfect and complete” thing, for herself and for her family. She wants it more than she wants their or her health.

It’s like the old joke about the optimistic kid who gets a pile of manure for Christmas and excitedly concludes that there must be a pony hiding in there somewhere. And indeed, Ray Stedman in his book Authentic Christianity cited first in his list of the marks of the authentic believer: “unquenchable optimism.”

I know that Marilyn’s counting all of her inherently difficult circumstances as joy is accompanied by a fair amount of muscular thinking and believing. Her logic seems to be this: God is love; He sends trial to build faith; He will reward tenacious faith with something wonderful that no eye can see nor ear can hear nor the heart of man can conceive. Immediately, that understanding of Marilyn’s yields a quiet hope and a joy. It turns out that God really does keep at perfect peace the heart that is steadfast, because it trusts in Him (Isaiah 26:3). Who’d have thought it?

Marilyn understands something of the mechanics of God’s trial boot camp because she has been through it before. God has a track record in her life. She is familiar with the dynamic of trials putting pressure on a person to force the issue of whom or what she is going to trust. The trial may be so severe that one must resort hourly to recommit to trusting God with it. A robust prayer life develops. The practice of praise is engendered. Marilyn is in the midst of this process, and she feels like she can taste the final outcome already.

May you have Marilyns in your life too.
Andree Seu

"Do You Believe?"
He does not believe, that does not live according to his Belief.
Thomas Fuller

"Earning The Challenge"
Abraham made up his mind to put the Word of God and his promise of a progeny above everything else—above the condition of his body, the age of his wife, the fleshly logic that said this waiting makes no sense. He faced the facts (Romans 4:19). And then, having faced the facts, he didn’t go with the facts. Or rather, he considered the promise of God a greater “fact” than any other fact. Perhaps he envisioned an old-fashioned scale with balancing plates, on one side containing all the data of his eyes and senses and on the other side containing only the ethereal Word of God. And he went with the latter.

Then Abraham had a son. And a day came when the Lord told him to put his son on an altar and kill him. I am thinking that Abraham had to have earned a challenge that difficult. I do not think that God would spring a test like that on just any man, but only one who had worked up to it and proved worthy of it by a thousand prior obediences.

Abraham saddled his mule and took Isaac. God did nothing. Abraham tied up his son. God did nothing. Abraham found the firewood. God did nothing. Abraham listened to his son crying. God did nothing. Abraham unsheathed the knife. God did nothing. Abraham raised it high. God did nothing.

How long are you and I prepared to keep saying to the Lord, “I trust your Word completely” before we bail out?
Andree Seu

"Sink Or Swim. With Faith"
I am one of those who would rather sink with faith than swim without it.
Stanley Baldwin

"The Only Shoulders"
I read the statement “Abraham believed God” (Galatians 3:6). It jumped out at me with all its loaded implications: “Abraham believed God”—and not man. “Abraham believed God”—and not what well-meaning pastors or little old ladies told him about God. “Abraham believed God”—knowing that different preachers and professors teach opposing and contradictory things, and theologies are not infallible, but go awry. “Abraham believed God”—and that’s all you and I can do, at the end of the day.

I can just imagine what Martin Luther’s counselor told him in his office when the monk of tender conscience came to him with a troubled mind: “Martin, pray that God will forgive your arrogance and presumption. Who do you think you are, that you can see something that has escaped the divines of the centuries, and many a better scholar than you? Martin, don’t you know: We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us.”

I wonder if the monk replied: Dear Abbot, the Word of God must always stand above the word of man. I cannot judge his word; it judges me. The only shoulders I can stand on are Jesus’, Peter’s, and Paul’s.
Andree Seu

"Muscular Steadfastness"
Peter is quite right that the “fall from your own steadfastness” is abetted by bad theology, “the error of wicked men.” Most of these men are not straight-up “wicked,” but the germ of error in their theology is; a ship that begins off course by 1 degree will be many miles wide of the mark by the end.

What is the “error”? It is a slightly skewed view of grace that encourages passivity and discourages a striving for greater faith, since all striving—or any muscular “steadfastness”—is suspected of being works righteousness. Never mind that God says to “grow in grace” (2 Peter 3:18).

There is a “holding on” that must be part of the Christian’s everyday life (Hebrews 3:6,14). “Steadfastness” is not the staunch maintaining of a theological position but something much more personal and difficult: It is fighting for your very life, using every weapon listed in Ephesians 6. These articles of armor were not meant to be admired on a shelf but scuffed up in battle.

I wish I could say the battles involved noble campaigns against Gnosticism and Liberalism, but they are more typically wrestlings with coveting your neighbor’s talents or his new car.
Andree Seu

"He Has Been To Us A Fountain of Living Waters, Overflowing, Everflowing"
They have affronted their God, by turning their back upon him, as if He were not worthy their notice: "They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, in whom they have an abundant and constant supply of all the comfort and relief they stand in need of, and have it freely." God is their fountain of life, (Ps 36:9) There is in Him an all-sufficiency of grace and strength; all our springs are in Him and our streams from Him; to forsake Him is, in effect, to deny this. He has been to us a bountiful benefactor, a fountain of living waters, over-flowing, ever-flowing, in the gifts of his favour; to forsake Him is to refuse to acknowledge his kindness and to withhold that tribute of love and praise which his kindness calls for.

They have cheated themselves, they forsook their own mercies, but it was for lying vanities. They took a great deal of pains to hew themselves out cisterns, to dig pits or pools in the earth or rock which they would carry water to, or which should receive the rain; but they proved broken cisterns, false at the bottom, so that they could hold no water. When they came to quench their thirst there they found nothing but mud and mire, and the filthy sediments of a standing lake. Such idols were to their worshippers, and such a change did those experience who turned from God to them.

If we make an idol of any creature-wealth, or pleasure, or honour,-if we place our happiness in it, and promise ourselves the comfort and satisfaction in it which are to be had in God only,-if we make it our joy and love, our hope and confidence, we shall find it a cistern, which we take a great deal of pains to hew out and fill, and at the best it will hold but a little water, and that dead and flat, and soon corrupting and becoming nauseous. Nay, it is a broken cistern, that cracks and cleaves in hot weather, so that the water is lost when we have most need of it, (Job 6:15). Let us therefore with purpose of heart cleave to the Lord only, for whither else shall we go? He has the words of eternal life.
Matthew Henry

"Live In The Present"
When I am anxious it is because I am living in the future. When I am depressed it is because I am living in the past.
Author Unknown

"Where Man Lives Beyond Himself Is Where God Most Shines"
I told my sister-in-law Aline that there is so much of the Old Testament I don’t understand. She said: Just ask the Lord for one thing in each chapter. Surely even the census lists of Numbers and the bad advice of Bildad in Job impart spiritual value, if you look for it.

As I happen to be in Joshua in my private devotions, let us test Aline’s proposition here. If the gambit proves successful, we will come away with 24 words from the Lord, the better to know him, obey him, and enjoy him.

I would be very dense indeed not to see the emphasis of chapter 1, as it is commanded four times: “Be strong and courageous” (verse 6), “Be strong and very courageous” (verse 7), “Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened” (verse 9), and “Only be strong and courageous” (verse 18).

I say “commanded” as a reminder to myself that this is an order, not a sweet nothing in my ear, as I am prone to make of it. I have done this same injustice to many an imperative in Scripture. “Do not be anxious about anything,” Philippians 4:6 insists, and I have received it as treacly sentimentality—and not obeyed.

Israel under Joshua is being told to do something totally beyond herself—to go in and take possession of a land of giants and fortified city states (Numbers 13). Where man lives beyond himself is where God most shines. God is best glorified in the differential between our natural ability and the size of the objective....

This is true whether the conquest is the Old Testament takeover of land or the New Testament takeover of land. Land is involved in both cases—a repossession of territory from the enemy. Just as the devil was sitting on Israel’s physical inheritance, he sits on our spiritual inheritance. Warfare should be our all-consuming passion as it was our ancestors’. I don’t see much difference between Joshua 1 and Matthew 28:18-20.

The convicting question is: Are we of the new age army really up for it? Do we get up in the morning bent on warfare, determined to “take captive every thought” and “put to death” every unholy desire? Or is Ephesians 6 just talk?
Andree Seu

"Responding To God's Promises"
God makes a promise. Faith believes it. Hope anticipates it. Patience quietly awaits it.
Author Unknown

"This I know"
“Jesus loves me, this I know.” It is the doctrine that just keeps giving. It puts a spring in our step when we believe it—the same way it makes you feel good to know, when you and your husband have parted in the morning, that somewhere out there is a man who is thinking about you.

The doctrine of “God is love” means I don’t have to be forever watching my own back. It means I don’t have to worry about treachery or lies or gossip or scheming or unfairness. God has got that—just stand back and watch Him work. King David knew that too, and so he didn’t kill his pursuer Saul when he had the chance. Jesus knew that as well, so he kept silent when falsely charged. He “entrusted himself to the one who judges justly".
Andree Seu

"Without Doubting"
I thank You right now for a more glorious answer to my prayer than I can imagine.
Catherine Marshall

"Perplexed? Take A Seat"
Paul admitted to being “perplexed but not in despair” (2 Corinthians 4:8). I am curious about what could perplex a mature believer like Paul to the extent that despair was in the ballpark of contemptible reactions. He doesn’t go into detail, so we must imagine.

Would Paul have been perplexed that people turned on him? Maybe. But I would think that, like Jesus, he already “knew what was in man” (John 2:24-25). Would he have been perplexed by the relentless volley of suffering in his life? Maybe. But then again, surely he knew that “to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example . . .” (1 Peter 2:21). Was he perplexed when the Galatians wanted to turn back from grace to earnings? Well, we know he was at least “astonished” (Galatians 1:6).

I would suspect that what perplexed Paul was what has perplexed God’s people of all time—God seeming to act inconsistently with his promises or character. One psalmist asked God: “Why, O LORD, do you stand afar off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1). That’s my perplexity too. Recently I prayed according to Hebrews 6:11 for “grace to help in time of need”—and I felt no different afterward, no abating of symptoms.

There are two different choices you can make at that point. You can be perplexed in doubt, or you can be perplexed in faith. Francis Schaeffer had said that there are at all times only the two “chairs” in the room: unfaith and faith...“I will put my trust in him” Hebrews 2:13.
Andree Seu

“How Much Do You Trust Your Rope?”
You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you. It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong and sound as long as you are merely using it to cord a box. But suppose you had to hang by that rope over a precipice. Wouldn’t you then first discover how much you really trusted it?...Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief.”
C.S. Lewis

"Just Do The Next Thing"
I bagged rice on a co-op line elbow-to-elbow with a peaceful woman who was the mother of five children and several foster children, and was involved in the pro-life movement. I asked how she did it, and to her credit she didn't brush off the question with feigned modesty, but said, "I do the next thing that needs to be done."
I have pondered that statement for years, the distillation of a lady's life of wisdom. Laurie is a Christian, so I know what lay unspoken in her answer: God is sovereign, and God is good. Indeed, it cannot be otherwise if one would simply "do the next thing that needs to be done."

First, if God were not in perfect control, Laurie would have to control all things, even every atom in the universe, to assure a desirable outcome. But she knows she cannot in fact control all things, not even the next two minutes, and so she concedes control to Him.

Second, she believes that the God who controls all things controls them for her good (Romans 8:28). On these twin pillars does her soul find rest.

Laurie's Bible also contains commands, rules to live by. And so, what Laurie has done, evidently, is to divide life into two categories: the things she can and must do something about, and the things she cannot and must not, for they belong to God (Deuteronomy 29:29).

Mary the mother of Jesus was hep to that division of labor. She "did the next thing" during an awkward wedding moment. Being lousy at making water into wine, she turned to her Son and said, "They have no wine," then went on her merry way to do whatever it was she was able to do herself—folding tablecloths or stalling thirsty guests. Jesus, not one to turn down people who come to Him for help while acknowledging their own helplessness, performed the harder part.

Am I too busy these days? Discouraged over duties left undone? I will preach to myself that there is only one priority—the glory of God—and under that the several duties. When these come flying fast and thick, I will do triage and decide what should come "next." It's God's problem, not mine, to orchestrate the universe and make it all pan out.

Am I fearful? Fear is a focus on phantoms of the theoretical future. But the future is God's, not mine; mine is only the present moment. I am fearful because I'm thinking I have to live the rest of my life. But I don't. I only have to live the next five minutes. To me belongs obedience; to Him belongs outcomes.
We have so far discussed in general terms. But life does not throw up "general terms"; it throws up brutal concreteness: No one's been fed dinner; Aimee is having a sixth-grade crisis; the roof leaks; unread newspapers pile up like an indictment. I will review what I know of God, and do "the next thing." His job is making it all work.

Am I depressed? The concept of doing "the next thing" is just the ticket. Granted, I am far too weak to go on with life—but I can do a load of laundry. And after that I can make the kids breakfast. And after that I can pick up the phone and call a deacon for help on balancing that checkbook. One foot in front of the other: Do "the next thing."

Have I totally messed up my life? Fine, make a list. Here are the things I cannot do: I cannot turn back the clock, I cannot cork up sinful words once spoken, I cannot take back squandered opportunities in career or love. But here are things I can do: I can start from today—with today's time, today's skills, today's health, today's grace. I can do this trusting, even at this stage of the game, that God is still sovereign and still good. And faith, come to think of it, is the whole enchilada.
The lady at the co-op was a well-placed prophet. And said it more succinctly than this writer could.
Andree Seu

"I Will Put My Trust In Him" (Hebrews 2:13)
I have read these words all wrong for years. They are not a pious sentiment; they are the final, exhausted act of will at the end of a grueling fight. They are a white flag waving from the barricades of self-will and striving. They are a victorious shout of defiance against hell’s arrows that would fell him before he reaches the finish line, whether by sweet seductions or by fear or perplexity.

They are spoken by Jesus, the one who after battling the flesh in Gethsemane, after hours of pleading for some other way to accomplish the plan, after coming so close to the edge that He is talking in terms of “my” will and “thy” will as two distinct things, comes to rest in the place we must all come to rest in: “I will put my trust in Him.”
Andree Seu

"Repose Thyself in Him"
Concerning the abundant satisfaction which those have, and will have, who make God their confidence, who live by faith in his providence and promise, who refer themselves to Him and His guidance at all times and repose themselves in Him and His love in the most unquiet times. The duty required of us-to trust in the Lord, to do our duty to Him and then depend upon Him to bear us out in doing it-when creatures and second causes either deceive or threaten us, either are false to us or fierce against us, to commit ourselves to God as all-sufficient both to fill up the place of those who fail us and to protect us from those who set upon us. It is to make the Lord our hope, His favour the good we hope for and His power the strength we hope in…
Matthew Henry

"Discover Their End"
Better is the end of a thing than its beginning (Ecclesiastes 7:8).

It is well to keep in mind, when we are tempted to either discouragement over our own lot or covetousness over the happy lot of the godless, that “better is the end of a thing than its beginning.” That is, what matters is the final outcome, not this particular snapshot in time. If only we could get this straight, could we not better endure the messy middles of life?

The Psalmist got bogged down in messy middles. It’s easy for us to be unsympathetic: “Hey, Asaph, trust in God and cheer up! The bad guys you envied are all pushing daisies now.” But that’s the point, isn’t it—that you and I see Asaph’s end from the beginning, knocking off his whole life in one sitting with Psalm 73. What we don’t visualize so conscientiously is our own ending. Are we just lazy? Asaph finally came around to wholesome thinking after 15 verses of slogging in the slough of despond:

But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a weariness task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discovered their end (Psalm 73:17).

During my youth, Bill Masters and Virginia Johnson were all the rage in the academic world for their hands-on research into America’s sexual habits. I just learned in Newsweek the final chapter: “We see the thrice-divorced Johnson cursing her former partner from the confines of a nursing home. . . .” As for Masters, he admitted, “I haven’t the vaguest idea . . . what love is.”

I wish we had a sci-fi time machine we could step into that would show us the end of our lives if we keep following Christ and don’t give up. But I think God just wants us to employ our imaginations.
Andree Seu

"On The Far Side of Every Risk for Righteousness, God Will Still Be Holding Us"
On the far side of every risk---even if it results in death---the love of God triumphs. This is the faith that frees us to risk for the cause of God. It is not heroism, or lust for adventure, or courageous self-reliance, or efforts to earn God's favor. It is childlike faith in the triumph of God's love---that on the other side of all our risks, for the sake of righteousness, God will still be holding us. We will be eternally satisfied in Him. Nothing will have been wasted.
John Piper

"Follow Now. Ask Questions Later."
It was hard to see a dime’s worth of difference between the responses of the priest Zechariah and teenaged Mary to the angel’s announcement of the miraculous births. Zechariah: “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” Mary: “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

Oh, I suppose you can tease their words with a fine-toothed comb for clues, but I suspect the solution lies on the heart level, not the linguistic level. The angel is pleased with the maiden’s response but rebukes the priest’s unbelief.

One of the exquisite sufferings of the Christian life is intellectual suffering. Is this not the “perplexity but not despair” that Paul himself was afflicted with (2 Corinthians 4:8)? Why hasn’t Christ returned sooner? Why did the Holy Spirit forbid me to bring the gospel to Asia (Acts 16:6)? Why has God allowed the Corinthian church to splinter into factions almost from the get-go? Why am I sitting in a prison in Rome when I could do so much more on the road?

I and a friend of mine are both perplexed about a prayer of ours not answered. I heard him say, “I don’t understand why God has not answered this prayer.” I also said, “I don’t understand why God has not answered this prayer.” But he said it with a spirit still tender toward his Lord, and I said it with a sneer.

René Descartes resolved to begin with doubt as a way to truth. But it doesn’t work in the Christian life; there is always one more objection that rears its head. Jesus passed Levi the tax collector at his booth, and said, “Follow me.” Levi got up immediately. Follow now; ask questions later.

The methodology of doubt produces a hobbling walk (1 Kings 18:21). I have decided today to be “perplexed” from the chair of faith and not unbelief. Hold me to it.
Andree Seu