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April 15, 2024
April 15, 2024

Faith and Understanding

“Jesus replied, ‘You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’” - John 13:7

Jesus did many confusing and odd things. In this text, He's responding to Peter, who doesn’t want Jesus to wash his feet.

Jesus doesn’t immediately explain what He's doing or the reason, but He promises Peter will understand later. This forces Peter to choose between his intuition and faith: Will Peter lean on his understanding and reject Jesus’ approach, or will he lean into faith, though it doesn’t make sense?

So much of Christian life and counseling involve the same dichotomy. God doesn't promise we'll understand what He's up to in our lives or His methodology to grow us in Christlike maturity. He often calls us to do things that don’t make sense. He says, “Follow me,” without always telling us where He's going.

Such moments force us to choose between trusting our understanding and grabbing onto faith. To put it succinctly, we place our faith in ourselves or Him.

To choose faith, we must accept that we cannot always explain what God is doing or why He is doing it. Instead, we must know God and His character.

If we and our clients are to move forward when God calls us to confusing and even painful paths, we must properly understand God’s character as loving, kind, providing, patient, merciful, perfectly wise, and grace-filled. Understanding His character makes faith a reasonable choice.

As believers, we're ambassadors for Christ and ministers of reconciliation. As counselors, we direct our clients to God's beauty and goodness. We don’t shepherd clients into self-sufficiency built on their understanding. Instead, we shepherd them into dependence and trust of the true Shepherd, who already knows the path ahead and its purpose.

This is why we must focus not on the problems of the path but on the footsteps of the Good Shepherd who goes before us.

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Andrew Dealy
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Austin Stone Counseling
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