Incomprehensible God: Is It Ok That I Don't Completely Understand?
Several weeks ago, I had an interesting conversation with one of our boys. That Sunday’s sermon was a simple gospel message that opened the door to talk with him about his faith. As we talked, my son shared that though he believed Jesus is the Son of God who died and rose from the dead to pay the price for our sins, other parts of the Christian faith were confusing. The things he wrestled with made him question whether he was saved. If he didn’t understand all of it, was that ok?
He was wrestling over things brilliant men and women have grappled with for thousands of years. Questions like how do three distinct persons make up one God known as the Trinity? How is it possible that God has always existed; how could He not have a beginning? How was there nothing before Him? How did He speak the heavens and earth into existence? As my son fired off questions in rapid succession, I sensed an internal struggle in his spirit, causing him to doubt his faith in Christ Jesus.
The enemy is slick; he doesn’t always outright lie to confuse us. Often, he takes truths and twists them in our minds because if there is some truth in our wrestling, doubt has a way into our hearts and minds. The enemy waters seeds of doubt in hopes they will grow into massive roots that pull us from the Father.
After all, how can we call ourselves His children and not understand Him? If we truly love Him and believe He is who He says He is, wouldn’t we comprehend His fullness?
Those thoughts are lies meant to destroy our faith in God.
The truth is, God is incomprehensible to our finite minds. We can spend our entire lives seeking and learning about Him, but we will never fully grasp all there is to know about Him. God is beyond our comprehension. Job 36:26 (HCSB) succinctly states, “God is exalted beyond our knowledge.”
God is incomprehensible because He is beyond the capacity of our limited minds. Scripture reveals many mysteries about God:
God is immutable; He does not change (James 1:17).
God is eternal; He always has been and forever will be (Psalm 90:2).
God is unsearchable; we cannot reach Him (Psalm 145:3).
God is omnipotent; He is all-powerful (Psalm 147:5).
God is omnipresent; He is everywhere all at once (Psalm 139:7).
God is omniscient; He is all-knowing (Matthew 6:8).
God fills the heaven and earth (Jeremiah 23:24).
There is no one equal to God (Exodus 9:14, 2 Samuel, 7:22).
God is beyond our comprehension because there truly is no other being like Him. We need only look at the night sky to realize how limited we are compared to the Creator.
“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?” Psalm 8:3-4 (ESV)
God hung the moon and stars in place the way you and I hang ornaments on the Christmas tree. Yet, in all of His majesty and glory, He knows us and cares for us. How can that be?
Even more perplexing is the knowledge that the same God who hung the moon and stars in place, the One who was and is and is to come (Revelation 4:8), bends down low towards us, pouring out His love because “God is love” 1John 4:8 (NLT). How can it be that the God of all creation not only knows us intimately but loves us? It’s possible because love is who He is.
1 John 4:9-10 illustrates how He loves, explaining that “God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” 1 John 4:9-10 (NLT)
I’ll never forget my first Christmas as a mom. We were at our church’s Christmas Eve service, and I was holding our beautiful six-month-old son in my arms. I remember looking down at him with great love and affection in my heart when suddenly I was overwhelmed by the love of God. As I looked at my baby boy, I realized that God chose to send His baby boy to die a horrible, humiliating death for us.
In His great love, God sent His perfect, blameless Son, Jesus, into the world to pay the price required for our sin. He did that because He loves us and desires a relationship with us. That, my friend, is incomprehensible to me!
He didn’t do that because we deserved His forgiveness. In fact, Scripture reveals that God sent Jesus as the sacrifice for our sins while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8, Ephesians 24,5). Sin requires the wrath of the Holy God; that is what we deserve. But in His great love, the Father sent His Son to take our sin and shame from us, placing His righteousness onto us instead. He did that to provide a way for us to be free from our sin and the wrath it warrants.
My mind still cannot fully comprehend what God did for us. Even if my son could save the world, I would not have enough love for others to sacrifice him in their place. I just wouldn’t.
Yet God in His great love did just that for you and me. And, while I can’t fully understand how or why He did that, I believe it, and I gladly accept it.
As I talked with the same son who I held in my arms that Christmas Eve so many years ago about the things of God his teenage mind can’t understand, I shared that I don’t have answers to all of his questions. And that’s ok because we aren’t meant to understand all there is to know about God. He is incomprehensible.
Faith requires believing in things we don’t fully comprehend. Faith requires humbling ourselves and admitting we are limited in our knowledge and understanding while believing in a God beyond our grasp. Faith believes God is who He says He is and that He can do what He says He can do. Period.
Do you believe God is who He says He is? Do you trust that in His great love, He sent His Son to take our sin so that we can be reconciled with Him? Have you confessed to Him that you are a sinner in need of the Savior, Jesus Christ?
When we answer yes to those questions and proclaim God’s truth, we abolish the enemy’s power to twist our thoughts and destroy our faith in God. When the enemy whispers doubt into our minds, we achieve freedom from His schemes by professing that we believe our incomprehensible God does what He says He will do.
Today we proclaim:
“The Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.” 1 John 4:14b-16a (NLT)
All glory and thanks be to the incomprehensible God of Love!