By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Thinking of God with Larry Sheehy: Be fully persuaded
Larry Sheehy mug web
Larry Sheehy

G.L. Archer, editor of the "Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties" (Zondervan Press), begins his introduction with this suggestion about how to handle seemingly serious contradictions and other problems in Scripture: "Be fully persuaded in your own mind that an adequate explanation exists, even though you have not yet found it. The aerodynamic engineer may not understand how a bumble bee can fly; yet he trusts that there must be an adequate explanation for its fine performance since, as a matter of fact, it does fly! Even so we may have complete confidence that the divine Author preserved the human author of each book of the Bible from error or mistake as he wrote down the original manuscript of the sacred text."

Some, of course, express great skepticism at the idea, as they see it, of beginning with "blind faith" that satisfactory explanations can be found for these difficulties. But, as with the bumble bee, success is hard to argue with. Our faith, rather than being without adequate basis and therefore "blind," is grounded in the performance of God. The Lord has yet to fail in keeping his promises and fulfilling his purposes. Again, skeptics often manifest unbelief in the total accuracy of the Bible as it was originally given. Many times this is because they can be characterized in the way Jesus described some in his day: "For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes" (Matthew 13:15).

One of the Bible's greatest examples of being "fully persuaded" about the abilities of God is the Old Testament patriarch Abraham. The apostle Paul wrote of him in his letter to the Roman church: "Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead - since he was about a hundred years old - and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised" (Romans 4:20-21).

Abraham's faith is legendary in its totality. This doesn't mean he never wondered about the Lord's plans or acted in ways unbecoming to the father of the faithful (Genesis 12:10ff, 16:1ff.) But his overall life was one of deep faith, and because of that trust, God blessed him immensely.

The writer of the letter to the Hebrews said in the great chapter on faith that "without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him." As we seek to live a life guided by faith, let's determine to give up all doubt in his willingness and power to keep his promises to his people.

 

 

Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter