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When mystery clouds theological clarity

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By Dave Henning / January 5, 2019

“Everyone faces moments when a cloud of mystery covers theological clarity.  In these moments we don’t want a theological outline or a set of wisdom principles.  We cry out for an answer that will dispel the mystery that has us in its emotional and spiritual hold.”- Paul David Tripp

Paul David Tripp continues Chapter 11 of Suffering as he asks us to think with him about mystery.  Thus, at times God brings things into our lives that confuse us.  So when we face such times, we cry out for answers we’ll never get.  Yet, it seems impossible to live without these answers.

Therefore, sometimes we find ourselves tempted to withhold our trust until God provides us with an explanation.  In other words, our peace of heart depends God dispelling our cloud of mystery.  But, embracing the truth of God’s sovereignty doesn’t remove mystery’s confusion from our lives.  Pastor Tripp explains:

” . . . rest and peace of heart will never be found in understanding what God has ordained for us and his world, because we’ll always lack understanding to some degree.  God knows that we are incapable of carrying the burden of sovereign knowledge that he carries, so he lovingly protects us by telling us what we need to know: we are to rest in him and live as he has ordained, while he protects us from what would overwhelm us.”

As a result, we must not allow situational confusion to sow seeds of doubt.  That allowance, in turn, leads us to question the truths the Bible makes clear and that we’ve held dear.

For example, consider Job.  While God knew that Job’s instinct was to seek answers, what Job really needed to do was seek God.  When a sufferer withholds trust in God, Pastor Tripp cautions, nothing good ever happens.  Also, it never works to demand what it’s impossible to have.

Today’s question: What mystery in your life clouds your theological clarity?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “What God’s sovereignty guarantees”

About the author

Dave Henning


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