So often our first response to trials is to begin thinking about how to solve them, how to get out of them, how to cope with them. We might think our greatest need is more money, or more time, strength or wisdom.
These might help, but none of these are our greatest need. Our deepest need is knowing God better, as Sinclair Ferguson points out:
“Scripture refocuses our hearts and minds on the God whose character is revealed in it. Knowing him better is our deepest need. Meeting that need will put all of our other needs – our doubts, discouragements, depression, disconsolation – in their proper context.
“On one occasion when he was greatly discouraged, Martin Luther, the sixteenth century reformer, was forcefully reminded of this by his wife, Katharine. Seeing him unresponsive to any word of encouragement, one morning she appeared dressed in black mourning clothes. No word of explanation was forthcoming, and so Luther, who had heard nothing of a bereavement, asked her: ‘Katharine, why are you dressed in mourning black?’ ‘Someone has died,’ she replied. ‘Died?’ said Luther, ‘I have not heard of anyone dying. Whoever can have died?’ ‘It seems,’ his wife replied, ‘that God must have died!’
“Luther took the point. He, a believer, a Christian, with such a great God to call his Father, was living like a practical atheist.” – Sinclair Ferguson, Deserted by God, p.16
I’m grateful for my wife, Kristi, who has asked me the question, “What are you believing about God right now?” when I’ve felt discouraged or overwhelmed.
How about you? What does your response to trials reveal about what you’re believing about God? Are you acting as if God has died? Are you acting as if he has forsaken you, won’t help you, won’t give you grace and strength? Are you living like a “practical atheist?”
“Knowing him better is our deepest need.”
May we be like Mary who chose “the good portion,” to sit at Jesus’ feet and know him better.
photo by simpologist