As I was reading J.I Packers book, Knowing God, I was given the realization that I try to see the secret things which belong to God.
In chapter 10, Packer discussed God’s Wisdom and our wisdom. He took us through the book of Ecclesiastes, which he said has more to do with how humans view the world when they are trying to figure out how all the events are working themselves together. If we try and take the perspective of God and see how our works, the things we do or happen to us, how they play out in the long run, if they will last, what purpose it has with everything else, then we will ultimately freeze up and not care to do anything. For the world is messy. It’s difficult. And many things that happen seem “unfair.”
Why does the good men suffer while evil men prosper? This is something we cannot answer, but only God. As a Christian, the only thing we can say is that it’s for the purposes of God. And perhaps if we know a little about the circumstances we can figure out maybe what caused something to happen, but that’s not the same as explaining why it happens.
Another way to put it is this: We can watch a train crash. We can discuss how it was going too fast around a turn, or something about the railroad-ties were off, or that there was too much or too little weight, or that the captain or conductor of the train was too tired to notice what he should have. But in doing this we are only explaining what caused it to happen, not why it happened. As in, not purpose it happened. For what purpose did this train derail? Is a different question than, what caused this train to derail?
So, as Christians we can and ought to find out what happened. And we can learn from what happened and some of the things that caused it to happen. But the fact it happened doesn’t tell us the purpose it happened. And we can create purpose, like saying that we learned from it, but that’s not purpose. God gives things meaning and purpose, not man. Why did we need to learn from it? What if God never let it happen ever? Then would we need to learn from it?
In the end, we ought to not ask and seek the secret things of God. We shouldn’t spend our time asking why we stub our toes. God purposes all things and there is a point to it, from the greatest act, to the most insignificant thing, but that doesn’t mean we will know or be told in this life time why everything happened, happened. But, we can answer why everything happens in a general sense, for God’s glory, because everything God does is for His own glory. Everything that happens is for His glory.
Far too often have I tried to figure out my “specific purpose” in life. The truth is, I don’t know it. No clue. But I do know that God has given us commands, and calls us to obey His word, and desires that we live and lead Godly lives. So I will take all that God has said, learn and love it, and then live it out by the power of the Holy Spirit, in every circumstance and situation.
Which means what I do for work is not something I need to divine from God. It is left to me to decide. And I will decide, trusting God not to lead me into temptation nor sin.