Have you ever had a thought that was so big it didn’t quite fit in your brain? If you don’t know the feeling I’m talking about, take a few minutes to think about forever (like…actually forever, stretching out in front of you, never ending into eternity). Crazy, right?
The Bible is full of these concepts, the ones that are just a little too big for our brains. And that bothers a lot of people. Those thoughts are uncomfortable. It’s much safer and much easier to think about smaller things. Confronting the idea of an ultimate Source of life and love is challenging. Understanding how that God is actually Three People but One Being is especially hard.
What’s unfortunate is that many of us withdraw from big thoughts. We pull back from what we don’t understand, back to where it’s safe and easy. The Bible is the inspired Word of God, but that does not make it easy to read. It is full of hard passages that we don’t understand. When we come to these passages, it’s easy to skip over them or withdraw from them. But that doesn’t get us anywhere. If we want to understand, we have to sit with the parts of the Bible that make us uncomfortable. That process takes a few important qualities:
- Faith: We have to believe that God is who he says he is, and that his words are true. The Bible might make us upset, but that doesn’t make it wrong. While we’re waiting on answers, we’ve got to believe that God’s word is true, even when we don’t understand it.
- Humility: At the end of the day, we either believe that God’s Word is true or we don’t. If we believe that, then we’re going to let it say what it says. We can also let those words affect us on a deep level. They might bother us, and that’s okay. God wants to meet us there and walk with us through the process of understanding.
- Perseverance: If you don’t understanding it today or tomorrow or next week, that’s okay. The Bible isn’t some TV dinner, prepackaged, and ready for us to consume. It’s an adventure. The Bible is a lifelong study of a God who loves us. That might take us a lifetime to wrap our minds around, and we need to be okay with that.
So don’t give up! What stands out to you in the Scripture? What messes with your mind a little? Is there something in there that bothers you? Lean into that, and know that God is big enough for your questions. James 4:8 tells us that if we draw near to God, he’ll draw near to us. He wants to be found by us and understood.
Brothers and sisters, understanding is possible. It won’t be perfect understanding (not this side of Heaven). But it will lead to a deepening in our walking with Jesus. This search for God’s truth in his Word will always be worth it.