Acknowledging that God’s ways are not our ways and accepting that truth has made a real difference in my life, and it can in yours, too. Romans 11:33 says, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!”
This single verse has taught me how to accept the unacceptable. The following principles, drawn from the application of this single verse, give me a lens through which to look at everything that happens to me. I offer them to you as well.
Principles to Accept the Unacceptable
- I don’t have to understand everything — What freedom this acceptance brings! Imagine, no more digging or dogged determination to get to the bottom of an issue.
- I don’t need to understand everything — What release this attitude brings! Why? Because it’s an attitude that acknowledges that God is in control.
- I can’t understand everything — I am finite and limited, but God—who knows all and understands all—is infinite and limitless.
- Why ask “Why?” — The man Job in the Old Testament never asked why when he was suffering. He worshiped instead. Notice very carefully what carried Job through his ordeal. Unlike the stance of the stoic (grin and bear it...or at least, grit your teeth and endure it), Job grabbed on to facts about God. Facts like—God is...
Believing these facts about God should erase all why’s. We are to stop asking Why? and start looking at Who stands behind the scene. It is God in His absolute sovereignty! This calls us to worship.
- It’s O.K. — When we can say this to God about our unexplainable and seemingly unacceptable situations, we experience the rest of faith and the peace of faith.
- Let it go — Pry your grip off your problem, and let it be gone forever. Oh, the freedom you will experience, even without any change, when you accept the unacceptable.
- Let God be God — And what is He? Un-understandable, unsearchable, inscrutable, inexhaustible, unfathomable, and impossible to grasp.
- Let go of your right to know — Stop demanding answers from God. Cease saying to God, “I’m not getting up from prayer until You tell me or show me why this is happening!”
- These are God’s judgments — Whatever has happened to you, it is a part of God’s judgments...and they are “unsearchable.” You may never understand or know why, so you must accept the unacceptable.
- These are God’s ways — Again, note the emphasis on God. Whatever has happened to you, it has to do with His ways, and they are “past finding out!” Again, you will never understand or find out, so you must accept the unacceptable.
- No vengeance! — (And please note, that’s spelled n-o, not k-n-o-w!) God is the Author and Creator of your situation. He has a plan and a blueprint for your life that includes your situation and any people involved. God says to you, “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘VENGEANCE, IS MINE, I WILL REPAY, says the Lord” (Romans 12:19).
- It’s not them, it’s Him! — One person does not have the power to limit, alter, or change your life. People are only God’s instruments, and He uses them to conform you to the image of His dear Son.
Dear Lord, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of Your wisdom and knowledge, O God! How unsearchable are Your judgments and Your ways are past finding out. Your greatness cannot be imagined. You are greater than all language, and no words can express your majesty. You are above all, outside of all, and beyond all I can even imagine. You are without limits. When I speak of You I cannot refer to amount or size or weight, for You are beyond measure. You are not less or more, large or small. You are simply God, the infinite One. A human mind has no capacity to comprehend You. What I can do is praise, adore, and worship You.” Amen. (prayer by Robert Savage)
Memorize Romans 11:33 and recall it when the Why? questions come up.
Turn your focus away from your circumstance and onto God. Write on a notecard: “God did this! He allowed this, He planned this, He brought this. He knows this, and He has used it for my good. My situation is a part of His wisdom, His knowledge, His judgments, His ways—and those are past finding out!”
Stop asking Why? and start looking at Who stands behind the scene.