No Easy Answers

Quote from Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

August 23

No Easy Answers 

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 91:9-16 | Job 8:1-11:20 | I Corinthians 15:1-28 | Proverbs 21:28-29

Today’s Scripture Focus: Job 8-11

“So what’s new? I know all this” (Job 9:1 The Message).

“God’s wisdom is so deep, God’s power so immense, who could take him on and come out in one piece?” (Job 9:3 The Message).

Job’s friends came with all the easy answers. In many cases, what they were saying would be true. But there are seldom “one size fits all” answers to life’s big questions. Job is a book about struggling with life’s mysteries when all the “right answers” don’t seem to fit.

We grow up learning the “Sunday school answers” to all of life’s questions. But life’s questions sometimes require more than just a simple answer. Especially when we are dealing with the mystery of suffering. Even more so when we are dealing with trying to figure out God’s purpose in our suffering.

“God’s wisdom is so deep.” Job had it right there. Trying to understand the mystery of suffering would require us to understand the mystery of God and his wisdom. Our brains would short-circuit for sure if we got close to perfect understanding of God and his wisdom.

We all have times when the easy answers just don’t seem to fit our questions. They ring hollow. What do we do? Like Job, I believe we take our questions to God. He doesn’t always give us the answers. But we do a lot of learning in the process. As our faith is stretched, as our character is developed, as we search for deeper answers, and as we just stand in awe of the God whose mind and purposes are beyond our understanding we come to know Him in a deeper way. As we learn to trust him even when the answers don’t come and when we don’t sense his presence, we learn the fellowship of sharing in Christ’s sufferings. These are lessons of trust we could learn no other way.

Father, I don’t know why you have taken me on this path. I don’t know why I sometimes feel so alone—abandoned. The cliches ring hollow. So I pour out my questions, my objections, my fears, my doubts, my worries. I wrestle, I struggle, I wait. Even if the answers must wait, meet me here. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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