When we find ourselves plunged into the darkness of despair, crisis, tragedy, or loss, the need for answers can be so strongly and even painfully felt. Amidst such darkness, is there light in the Bible for us to look for answers?
To be sure, the Bible verse: “for we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7)—is not admonishing us to suppress our need for answers or curtailing our search for answers. On the contrary, this gracious exhortation in God’s Word is guiding us to find the ultimate answers. To guide us, this gracious Word of the Lord trains our focus on the signposts of faith. Proverbs 29:18 affirms this, even though its immediate context may be different from our situation; “Where is no vision, the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”
The word “law” in this passage does not infer legalism, but to God’s Word
instructing us in ways which leads truly to life, a blessed life resulting in being . The word “happy” more precisely means “blessed”. The word translated as “vision” does not actually refer to those typical management or organizational types of vision per se. But that word specifically refers to prophetic revelations from God, which relates ultimately to His plan for the full redemption of humanity and creation at the completion of time. For many Christians who have sailed, or are still sailing through tragedies and losses, catching sight and understanding this vision of God’s full plan is the bulwark that lifted them up and kept them from falling over into the sea of despair, frustration, anguish and losing their grip of faith.
The vision and understanding of God’s full redemption plan also enabled David Kinnaman, President of Barna Group, to journey with faith and hope as his beloved wife’s battled with cancer in her final months. “What are we supposed to expect as Christians from Christ’s finished work on the Cross to save humanity—to the day of God’s final restoration of all things?” David Kinnaman could not shake off such questions from his heart till he found that prophetic vision of God’s plan, foretold in Jeremiah.
Nancy Guthrie, the internationally known Bible teacher and author, wrote in her book, “Holding On To Hope” about how she sailed through very hard questions when her daughter, and then her son died. Her heart found its rest when she saw and began to understand that vision in the Bible of God’s plan for full redemption of humanity and creation. She went on to describe that life-giving and hope-restoring biblical vision in her other book, “Even Better Than Eden”.
Understanding God’s plan for His full redemption of humanity and creation did not eliminate Nancy Guthrie’s pain in losing her children. Her pain rose from her love for her children. As much as God’s plan honoured her love for her children, it also honoured her pain in having to part with them. Understanding God’s plan however more than comforted her. It assured her that she will see her children again and filled her with steadfast joy in knowing how wonderfully well they are now and will go on to be in the fullness of God’s redemption of humanity and creation. May we all pursue to understand God’s plan in the Bible.
Rev. Joseph Goh