There is more you don’t understand; more that I don’t understand, than what we do understand. That is a truth in Christianity.
We often forget that we are mortal human beings with limited knowledge and limited abilities. Many people don’t fully embrace or understand this as a truth in Christianity and as a result we have people who are Atheists. Our limited understanding and abilities set us apart from God and His supernatural being.
There are many things that God can do and that God and those in Heaven understand that we do not. God’s supernatural presence is not a part of a human’s capability to square with anything in their understanding or with any limit on their own abilities. Much like understanding human will power; this is something that is fundamentally often misunderstood by many people who are Christian and many more people who are not.
Many people who do not believe in God believe that the limits on their knowledge and abilities are the ultimate limits on all knowledge and abilities and so this negates the possibility that there is a God who is all-powerful, all-knowing or omniscient, omnipresent and capable of anything. What we don’t know is far greater than what we do know.
The ability to accept God’s supernatural nature without understanding it is called faith. We saw this played out in a real scenario when Peter was walking on the water. Every human being understands that we cannot walk on water. We have tested our abilities starting as children and accept what humans can and can’t do. We instinctively understand that we cannot walk on water, but after seeing Jesus do it, Peter was encouraged that he, a mortal human being, could do the same in the presence of Jesus. With the confidence that challenged his own knowledge of his abilities, and any human’s abilities, Peter actually walked on water until his brain took over and reminded him of the limits of his abilities.
At that moment, Peter began to sink. Faith was replaced with doubt because the limits of Peter’s abilities, formed by his knowledge and experience, overtook the supernatural experience he was having. What you don’t understand; what I don’t understand, is what Peter’s brain reminded him of; that we don’t understand how Jesus could walk on water. Jesus’ ability to walk on water was supernatural and that is something that challenges our understanding.
Doubt is the absence of faith. Some will point out that fear is also the absence of faith. When Peter allowed his brain to return to a knowledge of the limits of his own abilities as a human, he began to sink.
At that moment, Peter cried out; “Lord, save me.”
Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of Peter, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
In this Biblical story, we are reminded of our limits. We know we are incapable of walking on water. Most people would not even attempt it in the middle of a large body of water. In Peter’s case, he was in the presence of God in the form of a man, who Peter had witnessed do many supernatural miracles. For a moment, Peter was able to go beyond the limits of his own experience and abilities because he had a great faith in the presence of Jesus. But, then Peter’s human limits crept in and his own supernatural ability quickly disappeared.
It Requires Faith
It’s a valuable lesson for a new Christian or anyone pondering whether or not they might want to become a Christian. How can God be everywhere at once? How can God be all-knowing? How can God know the number of hairs on the head of more than 7 billion people? How could Jesus walk on water or turn water to wine? How could Jesus heal the sick, bring a person back from the dead or feed thousands with only a few fish and loaves of bread?
It is not wrong to ask these questions. It is understandable to ask these questions and you should. Just as people forget that the will of humans is not the same as God’s will; there is a misunderstanding that we are supposed to understand everything in our environment or everything described in the Bible. Of course, neither is true. There is modern day healing that none of us can understand or explain. In Biblical times, Moses parted the Red Sea. There is not a person on earth who can explain how this happened. The supernatural is far outside our realm of understanding.
This is why Christianity relies on faith. It is why you must have faith to be a Christian. God’s supernatural presence and abilities are not meant to be explained with our limited knowledge, so we rely on faith instead. We don’t understand the supernatural, but we know it exists and is a real thing. We know the limits of our abilities, but we have faith that God’s abilities far exceed anything we can imagine. Faith is key to the Christian life.
In 2 Corinthians 4:18, the Bible says; “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
In this passage, we are asked to have faith in two supernatural phenonium that test our ability to understand; a place that exists that is unseen and the concept of eternity. We can read about Heaven in the Bible; a place that Jesus referred to as “paradise” and which has mansions and streets of gold; but this description goes beyond our ability to fully perceive of a place that exists out of our sight. And eternity is a concept that defies our thinking of space and time. God is timeless; we are not. We have days, weeks, months and years; God does not.
For people who are Atheists, the limits of our human thinking or abilities are the absolute limits in the universe. There is no belief in any greater abilities or knowledge and so there is no reason for faith. When someone is not willing to accept anything by faith, then they may not believe in God. It’s ironic that the same person will drink a can of soda. They have faith that there is nothing in the can that might hurt them, although it is unseen in the can. Faith may be selective then.
You must understand that there are some things that you can’t understand. You must accept that humans have limits on our abilities and our knowledge. Understanding these principles are key to living life as a Christian. This understanding is simply accepting faith as a part of your being. You cannot understand the supernatural and you are not meant to understand the supernatural, but one day you will.
“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”
– 1 Corinthians 2:14