Why should I trust God even when I don't understand who He is or what He is doing?

Being a cerebral guy, I like to try to figure things out. It frustrates me when I don’t understand something. In the early years of my Christian life, I really struggled with some issues I did not understand. Some of them were doctrinal and some of them were practical. This, for a time, led me to question the truthfulness of the Christian faith and the accuracy of the Bible. And that questioning led me to have a degree of distrust in God.

Eventually God “cured” me of this by reminding me of how many things in this world I don’t completely understand, and yet still trust. I don’t understand everything about how cars or airplanes work, yet I don’t hesitate to use them when I need them. I don’t entirely understand how computers or smartphones work, yet I am more than happy to use them on a regular basis.

I definitely don’t understand women, yet I very happily remain married to one.

So, why do we treat God differently? Why do we demand that God explain Himself to us? Or, why do we refuse to accept something the Bible says unless we can fully and perfectly understand it?

Doctrinally, how can God be three Persons — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — and yet there only be one God? How can Jesus be God and human at the same time? How can God be sovereign and yet humanity have a free will?

Practically, why does God allow evil? Why doesn’t God do more to prove His existence to people? Why is Jesus waiting so long before returning?

I don’t have perfect or complete answers to any of those questions. I know the various theologies and attempted explanations, but I do not believe any of them are fully adequate. The choice is this: can I trust God when I do not fully understand what He is doing and/or why He is doing it?

There is no point in me trying to explain the hypostatic union to my dog. How much greater is the difference in intelligence between me and God than the difference between me and my dog? God is holy, infinite, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. I am none of those things. Why should I, a sin-infected, finite, and limited creature expect to be able to perfectly understand the Creator?

I presume every Christian would admit the inability for finite creatures to understand our infinite Creator. But, it is one thing to admit it. It is another thing entirely to live and think like it is true. How much time do we waste trying to figure God out when, ultimately, we will never be able to perfectly understand Him?

Now, I am not saying we should neglect our brains. We should diligently study God’s Word and seek to understand everything it says (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17). But, part of studying God’s Word is taking into account verses like Romans 11:33-35, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor?” If God’s judgments are unsearchable, why are we wasting time searching for explanations for His judgments? If God’s ways are inscrutable, why are we scrutinizing them?

There are countless reasons given in Scripture for why we should trust God. As far as I can find, there is nothing in Scripture that instructs us to understand God.

Getting to the point where you can trust God even when you don’t understand is a key issue in the Christian life. Study, think, seek, and strive to understand. But, when you reach your whit’s end, be ready, willing, and able to trust God even when you don’t understand...no...especially when you don’t understand.

S. Michael Houdmann

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Why should I trust God even when I don't understand who He is or what He is doing?