God’s Ways are Not Our Ways
Background: The death of a child.
Isaiah 55:89; James 1:2-5 and Philippians 4:4-7 emphasize several truths we need to know and be reminded of:
God's Ways are Not Our Ways
1. He is infinite--we are finite.
2. He knows the end from the beginning while we see just a short part of the now.
3. He knows the whys, while we grasp for wisdom.
4. Examples through scripture and experience clearly illustrate that His ways are not our ways and His thoughts re not our thoughts.
(In spite of our difficulty in understanding God's ways and thoughts, He in His mercy and promise provides.)
God Promises Us Help in Difficult Times
(James l:2-5 and Philippians 4:4-7)
In these verses God promises us some vital things for times like this.
First, He promises wisdom instead of confusion. (James l:5)
- The context is trials.
- God will allow us to understand and to see the good as we ask in faith believing.
- He promises us wisdom to understand the thoughts and ways of the infinite God.
Second, these verses tell us that God promises peace instead of anxiety (Phil. 4:4-7).
- A peace that passes understanding.
- A peace that stands as a sentry to guard your hearts and thoughts
- A calmness and a rest in God.
- Both of these (wisdom and peace) are ours for the asking.
- Both are conditioned upon prayer.
- Both are ours for the asking.
May I encourage you to pour out your hearts to the Heavenly Father and express them to Him and ask Him for His wisdom to understand and His peace to guard your hearts. (There is something else that these verses emphasize that is . . . )
Third, these verses tell us that we can rejoice and be thankful even in the darkest hour.
This is certainly not saying that it is wrong to sorrow and to grieve. Even our Lord grieved at the loss of a loved one and friend.
What it is saying is that even in sorrowful times we can find things for which to be thankful and rejoice. And these things are what we are to concentrate and think upon. Not what might have been but what is and shall be.
There are several things that come to my mind for which we can be thankful and rejoice.
1. First of all the reminder of Philippians 4:5 "The Lord is at hand." One of the meanings of this is that the Lord is locally near. He is with us--as He told us "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Heb 13:5). He is with us and He is in control.
As Moses reminds us, "The eternal God is our dwelling place and underneath are the everlasting arms. (Duet. 33:37) For God's presence and control we can be thankful and rejoice.
2. Second we can rejoice and be thankful that the Lord is at work in our lives.
a. James l reminds us that through this trial you will grow in your faith as you trust God.
b. As gold is refined and purified by fire so our faith is refined through trials.
c. God wants to make you stronger and increase your faith in Him. He is at work in your lives and for that we can rejoice.
3. Third we can rejoice and be thankful in the knowledge that the souls of these little ones are with God. And He will care for them and bring them back with Him when He comes for us.
4. Finally we can rejoice in the families God has given to us.
a. For the love of husband and wife.
b. For the love and concern of Mom and Dad, brothers and sisters.
c. For the prayers and concern of your church family and friends.
d. You are not going through this alone. We love you and want to carry the burden with you.
1. So we've seen though God's ways are not ours nor His thoughts our thoughts.
2. Yet he offers us:
a. Wisdom instead of confusion.
b. Peace instead of anxiety.
c. As we ask in faith believing.
3. We also saw that our minds are to be occupied not on what might have been, but what is? (i.e. even in times like this we can rejoice and be thankful).
a. That God is with us and in control.
b. That the Lord is at work in your lives.
c. That these little ones are with Christ.
d. That our families and friends want to bear these burdens with you.
4. I thank God (Parent's names) that I see these things already reflected in your lives and I challenge you to continue to go to God in prayer for wisdom and peace, and to spend your time meditating on these things for which we can rejoice and be thankful.
In that it has pleased our heavenly Father, who loaned these little ones to us for this short time, to take them back to Himself, we commit their bodies to the ground. Looking for that blessed hope; when the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.