If God works all things together for our good, then we must learn to look past the surface to see the hand of God working behind the scenes. It’s called faith.
We will either believe our eyes and our own interpretation of events, or we will believe what God’s Word says about what is happening in our lives.
If we only believe what we see on the surface of our lives, we will conclude God is either cruel or unkind, like someone who sees a doctor cutting into a patient, and concludes that the doctor is cruel. In reality, the doctor is doing a c-section to deliver the woman’s baby – an occasion of incredible joy. So though on the surface it appears the doctor is being cruel, he is actually being kind to the patient. In fact, if he didn’t do the surgery, he would be cruel to both mother and baby.
Our hearts are continually interpreting life as it happens to us. Mature believers bring biblical interpretations to the surface events of their lives, as Joseph did in Genesis. On the surface, he was a victim of his brothers’ evil intentions. But looking below the surface, he knew that he was the beneficiary of God’s good intentions.
“One property of a humble soul is this; it will quietly bear burdens, and patiently take blows and knocks, and make no noise. A humble soul sees God through all the actions of men. He looks through the secondary causes, and sees the hand of God. He looks through to the supreme cause.” — Thomas Brooks
This is the “good fight of faith” — to daily look past the surface of the events of our lives and interpret them according to Scripture. Even if we don’t understand why certain things are happening to us, with the eyes of faith we can see God’s hand behind them working all things for our good.
This is where Israel failed in the desert. In Deuteronomy 8 God tells Israel that he took them through the desert to humble them, to teach them to rely on his Word, and to teach them that God provides for and disciplines his children. Yet most of the time, Israel interpreted the surface events as “God brought us out here to kill us.” If only they could have looked past the surface with the eyes of faith.
What’s happening on the surface of your life? How will you interpret it? Through the lens of the natural mind? Or through the lens of faith?
photo by sadimfadhley