Are God’s Ways Anything Like Mine?
God’s ways can be pretty baffling at times, especially when there is something critical at stake!
This year has started in an interesting way. My first lesson for the year is currently in progress, and I am gradually learning that God’s ways are truly nothing like what I usually have in mind. Don’t get me wrong – I believe in God and I trust in Him fully, but when things do not work out when they are supposed to, or how they are supposed to, my faith gets a little bit shaky!
Shaky? What? I can almost see the expression on your face as you read this. Every week I write articles that inspire, encourage, and challenge, yet here I am, talking about shaky faith? Well, the truth is, I prayed for something, and God did not answer the prayer. I am still not sure whether the answer is ‘No’ or ‘Wait!’
And then… in the midst of all these thoughts, this verse comes to mind…
Isaiah 58:8-9 ‘“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”’ (NLT)
How do these words help me, anyway? Right now what I really need is a solution, not a reminder that I will never comprehend how or why God works.
Have you ever had thoughts like the ones I have shared above – thoughts that come in when you are in a desperate situation and it seems like the Lord is not coming through fast enough? Keep reading…
Well, after getting over the initial shock of being reminded by God himself that his ways are not like mine, I began to meditate on the verses above… and below are the truths that came up as a result – truths that settled my heart and spirit.
God always acts out of love
Sometimes the things we ask for are not the best for us, much as we would not like to admit it. Picture this – you are called for a job interview for the role that you have been dreaming of for years – great salary, great perks, opportunities for career development, etc. You pray for the interview, walk confidently into the interview room, and ace the interview! But guess what – you don’t get the job! Why?
After you discover that somebody you know very well gets the job, you get angry with God. A few months later, however, you meet the other person, who tells you how hectic the job is and how her family barely gets to see her. In shock, you think back to the moment you got angry with God, and ask for forgiveness as you remember the precious moments you have shared with your family and how you have grown in the faith since the day you sat the interview.
God knew something about this job that you didn’t. The job would have taken you away from your family. You would have had to spend long hours in the office and on work trips, struggling to meet targets so that you could continue to earn your dream salary. You would no longer be able to attend church, bible study meetings, and even disciple your own children. You would have been a slave to this job, and your faith and family would have suffered.
It doesn’t matter what the situation is – God always acts in our best interests, out of love. He loves us too much to give us everything we want, especially if what we want will draw us away from him. Though it is hard to do so, we need to accept that whatever answer God chooses to gives us is always backed up by a love that rivals all others – His love.
God acts out of faithfulness
Psalm 33:4 “For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.” (NIV)
It is hard to believe that God is faithful when he openly denies me something that I really need. I don’t know about you, but I get very discouraged when this happens, even though I have been a Christian for a long time!
Let’s think about the reason why I get disappointed for a minute. Is it because I have become so used to God answering prayer – almost like I am entitled to a positive answer? Perhaps, also, it could be that I have started trusting in myself to the point that I only pray for God for validation of decisions I have already made!
If you and I truly believed that the Lord always acts out of faithfulness, we would relax even when his answers differed from what we want. God is faithful because he is faithful by nature – steadfast, true to his Word, never changing, does not lie, etc. How do we compare to him? We are human, prone to mortal actions that sometimes do not make sense, and we are far from perfect. Who, then, is in a better position to decide what is best for us? God, of course!
It seems that I need to re-learn what it means to trust God even when the answer is not what I want to hear. I need to trust in his faithfulness – trust that his response is in my best interests, and be content that I do not always need to understand his ways. I need to remember that the Lord remains faithful even when I am faithless, even when I walk away from him because I don’t understand what he is doing.
God’s ways are more certainly nothing like mine. I do not always act out of love or in faithfulness, as He does. Maybe, then, it is best if I accept his answer for now, whatever it may be, and wait patiently to see what surprises lie around the corner! How about you?
Dear friends, thank you for reading through this week’s article and walking with me as I took a quick look at God’s ways. I hope that you are encouraged to know that God always acts in our best interests out of love because he is faithful! If you know someone who may need to read these words today, please share this article with them. Have a blessed week ahead!