“You can’t become famous if you hide like this! If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world!” For even his brothers didn’t believe in him.
John 7:4-5, NLT*
Jesus’ brothers were urging Him to go to Jerusalem, where more people could see His miracles. They clearly believed in His power, but didn’t “believe” in the sense of recognizing Him as the promised Messiah.
Without that crucial piece of understanding, the future they saw for Jesus wasn’t in line with the Father’s actual plan. Jesus, who always listened to the Father and did what He said, knew the path ahead of Him and chose His actions accordingly.
Jesus’ brothers’ advice was aimed at reaching a different goal. So was Peter’s, when he rebuked Jesus for saying He had to die. Jesus’ strongly-worded response included this assessment: “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” (Matthew 16:23b, NLT. In context: Matthew 16:21-23.)
Today, Christians know Jesus is our Saviour, who gave His life and rose again to restore us to relationship with Him. But don’t we still ask or expect things that aren’t in His plan?
In our limited perspective, we ask for what we see as right, not knowing we don’t have the full picture. We ask for what we want, what we think is best. Sometimes that’s selfish and near-sighted, but sometimes it’s clearly the best – at least from our limited, human perspective.
Those are the hard times, when God doesn’t answer as we expect because He sees and knows more. He sees the future, and the ripple effects from the need we’ve been praying about. He sees how to better use this time of struggle.
When we don’t understand, it has to come back to trusting the God who does understand. The better we know His character, the easier it is to trust Him and to surrender to His will and His way.
God our Creator, Saviour and Sustainer, help us to surrender every aspect of our lives into Your capable hands. Give us open eyes and hearts to see more of what You see, and give us the faith to trust You even when we can’t see.
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.