Think God won’t understand what you’re going through?

Ashley Wheelon

I like to think that I have a great relationship with my teenage daughter. We talk through things, we laugh together, we have fun. 

So when I signed up to lead a room at Gauntlet for the first time, I went straight to my daughter to fill me in on all the lingo I needed to know — the slang, the hashtags, the music. 

Her response? “Mom, it doesn’t sound right when you say it. You just don’t understand.”  Ouch. 

While painful to hear, what my daughter said had a ring of truth to it. I don’t understand all the pressures she faces. Things are different than when I was in school. And I can identify with how she feels because I remember thinking my own parents didn’t understand when I was younger.

How Can God Possibly Understand?

At times, we feel completely misunderstood by our earthly parents. They don’t know the whole story or can’t relate to the circumstances we’re facing. Our tendency is to assume the same is true of God, that He doesn’t understand what we’re going through. When we allow that thought to take root, we start to question His Word and whether obedience to Him is really in our best interest

The truth about God is there is nothing in this world He doesn’t understand. He empathizes with us in our temptations because Jesus was tempted in every way (Hebrews 4:15). 

There is nothing in this world God doesn’t understand.

Not only did Jesus face all the same temptations we do, He also knows each of us individually. He knit us together when we were still in our mothers’ wombs (Psalm 139). He knows our every step and every thought. He is with us wherever we go, and we can trust that He knows what is best for us.

God Gets Us and Is Best Positioned to Help Us

In the same way that teenagers rely on their own wisdom because they feel misunderstood by their parents, our sinful natures tell us to rely on the world’s wisdom because God certainly doesn’t understand us. 

In James 3, the Bible says that when we doubt God’s wisdom and listen to the world, we open the door to disorder and all kinds of evil. But when we listen to God’s Word, He gives us wisdom that is “pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:16-18). 

God’s plans may look different than ours. In fact, they often do! But God’s plans are always good.  

Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us that God’s ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. His ways and His thoughts are higher than our ways because He is everything that we are not — perfect, all-knowing, all-powerful, ever-present, full of love. 

No one on earth has more wisdom or knowledge than God (Romans 11:33). He sees each if our stories individually and weaves them together for His glory and our good. 

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