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Words of Life

We Live on Promises, Not Explanations

By Jeremiah Johnston April 10, 2022 Words of Life

To experience peace, we must learn to live by faith in the promises and character of God. No one lives by having faith in explanations. All of the heroes of the Scriptures lived by faith in the promises of God. Faith is taking God at his Word, not asking him for an explanation. That doesn’t mean we cannot ask God, “Why?” But in my experience, God wants us to trust him in the moment, rather than asking for an explanation.

When God promises shalom—peace that passes all understanding—he means it. As a father of five, my children often want to know why they cannot do certain activities. Even if I explained the ramifications of some dangerous activity, they would likely still not understand why they can’t do it. In those moments, my children trust me and the promise I make to them: “Follow me… don’t do this… do that…” The point is, they trust the promise, not the explanation. If you are injured, you may not even care how the injury specifically occurred (an explanation). Rather, you want the promise of the doctor for when you will be better. We live life on promises, not explanations. The great Bible teacher Warren Wiersbe discussed this point at length in his Genesis commentary, both in the preface and his comments on Genesis 22:3-5:

Living by faith means obeying God’s Word in spite of feelings, circumstances, or consequences. It means holding on to God’s truth no matter how heavy the burden or how dark the day, knowing that He is working out His perfect plan. It means living by promises and not by explanations.

One particularly challenging comment Wiersbe made is this: “Faith does not demand explanations; faith rests on promises.” This reminds me that as I pray for peace and shalom, I can trust God to bring his peace. It does not mean I should expect a full explanation for my trial. Our job is to obey God’s Word, his promises, knowing that since God is truth, he can never lie and is fully reliable. Resting in God’s promises rather than requiring explanations allows you to stay focused on your calling and priorities, and then moving in the direction of your values. And perhaps God will show you in his time (not yours) why the road bended in your life.


Jeremiah Johnston helps you find peace in every circumstance this Thursday on LIFE TODAY. Excerpted from Unleashing Peace by Jeremiah Johnston. Copyright ©2021 by Jeremiah J. Johnston. Published by Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Used by permission.

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