Misery, fatigue, and frustration characterized my feelings in 2013. For four months, I had been working in the call center for the Illinois Department of Revenue. During the peak of tax season, I grew discontent and angry at God. As an introvert, the grind of taking one hundred calls a day and answering the same question, “Where is my refund,” sucked out my vitality. I thought to myself, “Why God did you give me this job? Couldn’t you have given me another position? Is this the best use of my skills? How does this work glorify you? How does it further the kingdom?” To my shame, I doubted God’s wisdom.
Jerry Bridges defines wisdom “as good judgment or the ability to develop the best course of action or the best response to a given situation.” A twenty-year employee, for example, may object to his new manager’s decision, because it would not be the best course of action. The manager has the power, but he does not have the right knowledge. In the same way, when individuals know that God is sovereign over every atom, we may be tempted to respond to difficult circumstances by doubting God’s wisdom.
Having established God’s control over everything in last week’s column, we will enumerate on five aspects of God’s wisdom.
First, God is incomprehensible. Isaiah 55:8-9 states, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Finite human beings who blunder daily cannot accurately judge God’s actions. It is foolishness. Moreover, Paul rejoiced over God’s wisdom in Romans 11:33, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” For a man to judge God’s actions is to proclaim, “I am wiser than God.”
Second, God’s wisdom is exhaustive. Psalm 147:5 teaches, “Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.” God’s knowledge has no limits, unlike men. According to Jeremiah 10:12, God used His understanding to create the earth. “It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.” He has displayed His wondrous architectural work—everything contained in the universe.
Third, God acts in wisdom towards Christians for their good. To bring spiritual growth is God’s desire for His people—not merely wealth, health, and comfort. Romans 8:28-29 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.” In His infinite wisdom, God plans every event in a Christian’s life to aid conformity into Christ-likeness. God will discipline His people as a parent does to a child to produce godly fruit (Hebrews 12:5-11). Additionally, Paul suffered with a physical illness according to the Lord’s purpose (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). After seeing the glory of heaven, Paul would be tempted to pride. God, therefore, humbled him through pain to keep him from sinning.
Fourth, God is good in the application of His wisdom. King David sings, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” God always uses His power and wisdom to do good. He is not a cruel, sadistic tyrant who sticks pins into our voodoo doll likeness for evil delight. Instead, God always makes the right, godly choice.
Fifth, God’s wisdom manifests His glory. Paul commands Christians to live with this supreme goal in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” A Christian’s life is not about attaining selfish goals for manmade praise. On the contrary, a follower of Christ should sacrificially serve the Lord joyfully and without doubting His wisdom.
Six years removed from my first tax season at IDOR, I now rejoice over God’s wisdom. Through His providence, God provided a paycheck. He allowed me to save money to be used for future desires. He gave me opportunities to love my neighbor, to love my enemy, and to bless those who persecute me. Consequently, I grew by God’s grace in contentment, patience, and faithfulness. Today, while serving as a pastor, my experience prepared me to teach difficult topics with clarity, empathize with the frustrations of the secular workplace, and encourage believers to trust God even when they do not understand.
Friend, do not doubt God’s wisdom, but doubt your own.
Brandon was born and raised near Springfield, IL. He graduated from Illinois College in 2007 with a B.A. in History and from Moody Theological Seminary in 2010 with a Master of Divinity. He is a PhD student in Historical Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City and an ACBC certified Biblical counselor. In April 2016 Brandon accepted the call to pastor at Faith Baptist. He loves history and reading and has a heart for street preaching and evangelism.