Friday, January 29, 2010

Parable of the Soils: Good Soil

Luke 8: 8,15
Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown. 
 We have thus far learned that there are three categories of people whose hearts are characterized by ineffective soil. They are, in the final sense, not Christians in the Bible's sense of the term. Today, we shall look at the silver lining, for there is hope!.

The noble hearted person is described by Jesus as having three characteristics. One is a matter of comprehension, one of retention, and the other of implementation (v. 15). All have to do with the message of the gospel contained in the Word of God.

Jesus begins his concise summary by asserting that they "hear the word." Hearing the word in this sense must be different than hearing in the other two senses. I mean "two senses" because the thorny heart and the shallow (rocky) heart prove to not comprehend the gospel in the final result. They were either naive, misled, or halfhearted. I did not include the heart characterized by the path because it seems to me that the person who rejects the gospel at first sight may indeed understand it. In fact, it is their comprehension that leads to their rejection. For example, think of the rich young ruler (Mt. 19: 16ff ), who turned away from Jesus when he understood what the gospel would require of him. But, by contrast, those who grasp it and embrace it are those who are the fourth type of soil--good soil.

He continues his description  by saying that, not only do they comprehend it, they retain it as well. For the noble hearted, Christianity is not a fad. There is also no justification in believing that Jesus anywhere condones  a "fire insurance" gospel--a belief that it's good to have your bases covered just in case there actually is a God. Indeed, Paul warns Timothy to teach perseverance, even in such strong words as these: "If we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us" (2 Tim. 2:12). Please note that this is not a campaign to advocate either salvation by works, or that salvation can be lost once it has been obtained. Clearly, those who are true believers prove themselves by their comprehension, retention, and now lastly, their implementation.

Jesus taught that noble hearts will be observed producing fruit. They put feet to their faith. They understand and then do. Indeed, the scriptures not only say there will be change in the life of the person--in character, attitudes, actions, etc. (Gal. 5:18ff; Col. 3, Eph. 5:8ff), but our passage today (v. 15) teaches that the change will be lasting change. Liken it, if you will, to the difference between a corn field and an apple orchard. One grows quickly, produces fruit once only. The apple trees, however, grow slower by comparison, yet produce a consistent crop year after year.

I want to end this series with a note from Dr. W. Hendriksen's commentary. In it he concludes the section on the passage this way:
The real lesson of the parable is not grasped unless its clear implication is understood. On the basis of 8:8 (cf. Matt. 13:9, Mark 4:9), that lesson is, "Examine yourself to discover to which group you belong. If you belong to any one of the first three groups, be converted! Not, of course, by power residing in yourself but by God's sovereign grace! Even if you should belong to the fourth group, ask yourself the question, 'Am I sufficiently fruitful?' The parable is therefore really An Exhortation to Self-examination, leading either to Basic Conversion or else to further Sanctification." 
I hope you have been encouraged to look within your heart. If you feel you have read this series only to discover that your heart is described by one of the first three soils, do not hesitate to contact me. Your heart can change! For the rest of you: keep the faith, keep comprehending, keep retaining it, and keep implementing what you have learned in your life. God bless.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Parable of the Soils: Thorny soil

Luke 8: 7,14
Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants.       -Jesus
This parable is grabbing my consciousness. How many times have I read it? How many times have I taught it? The first type of soil represented the calloused, tough exterior that stubbornly refused to consider the message of the gospel--the good news in the Word of God. The second type showed much enthusiasm initially, but could not handle the test of basic training like the naive army recruit. This is perhaps not a fault of their own, quite possibly owning to a shallow gospel presentation by some deceptive recruiter.

The third type of soil - the thorny soil - has one or more of three characteristics that all prove fatal in the end. Some are choked by the weeds of the cares (worries) of the world.  Are you preoccupied with what the world thinks of you? Is your heart held captive by material things? Those who belong to this category fret endlessly about their looks, clothes, cars, and social status. They are no heavenly good because they are too earthly minded (1 John 2:15-16 includes a powerful warning about this).

Jesus further explains that weedy hearts are also choked by the love of money. Have you ever held your life up to the light of Paul's axiom in 1 Tim. 6:10 "the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing to have it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang." Wealth is so alluring, yet there are so many that pursue riches and exhaust themselves. How sad it is that they come to their senses on their deathbeds admitting it was all an enticing mirage!

Finally, and possibly most seductive to today's generation, the love of the pleasures of the world choke countless souls. As Americans we have come to extract from the Declaration of Independence the fatal notion that the "pursuit of happiness" is really the "pursuit of pleasure." We are driven by our appetites. We are slaves to our desires. We whine when anything stands in the way of what makes us feel good. We over eat, we over drink, over buy, over possess, over sex, are always craving more. We compose a small fraction of the world's population, yet consume the vast majority of its resources. We follow our hearts, not our heads, and wind up, like Oscar Wilde* pursuing pleasure and finding destruction.  Are you swimming with this current or against it? Be careful, lest you are dashed on the jagged rocks below the unseen waterfall.

Thankfully, there is a fourth type of soil! I can't wait for tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Parable of the Soils: Rocky Ground

Luke 8: 6, 13
"Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture."
The second type of soil is rocky soil. It is not the kind of soil that has many loose stones scattered around. It is the type that has a layer of bedrock just below the surface. The difference between the heart of this person and the heart of the person characterized by the path is the location of the hardness. The path-like heart reacts negatively to the Word of God (message of the Gospel) right from the start. However, the person we will describe today has an initially wonderful reaction. But, the hardness is revealed later on. This is the person who is emotional and impulsive.

Emotion is wonderful. Many examples can be found in the New Testament where great emotion accompanied the work of God in a heart or the sorrow of human loss (See Mt. 7:37ff; Ac 20:19,31; Phil. 3:18; Jn 11:35-Jesus weeping over Lazarus). The problem with the emotionalism explained in the parable, however, is its superficial nature. It is not based on deep conviction. These people "have no roots."

Here is note from Pastor John MacArthur that should be in flashing lights:
Sometimes shallow acceptance of the gospel is encouraged by shallow evangelism that holds out the blessings of salvation but hides the costs--such as repenting from sin, dying to self, and turning from the old life. When people are encouraged to walk down the aisle, raise their hand, or sign a card without coming to grips with the full claims of Christ, they are in great danger of becoming further from Christ than they were before they heard the message. They may become insulated from true salvation by a false profession of faith. *
So, how do we know whether an emotional response to the Word of God is evidence of genuine faith? The answer is simple: whoever can endure testing is the real deal (see James 1:12). Think for a moment about the army. How do you know a genuine soldier from a fake one? Both sign up at the recruiter's table. Both get hair cuts. And  together they rise early from their bunks on that first morning at boot camp. But when the testing comes, only the genuine soldier endures.

Can you think of ways in which your faith has been tested? The faith of some is tested by pain or loss. The testing of others comes in the form of ridicule. Some also must face the testing of the mind (Colossians 2:8). Whatever your testing was, is or will be you will probably succeed if you learn to embrace it as necessary ( James 1:2-4).

To what extent do you know Christian theology? The surest way to endure is to get grounded in the Word of God. Learn to love sound doctrine and pursue wisdom from on high.

Recommended reading:
1. Knowing God (J.I. Packer)
2. Intimacy with the Almighty (C. Swindoll)
3. The Pursuit of God (A.W. Tozer)

*MacArthur, John. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 8-15. Chicago: Moody Press (c)1987 p. 358.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Parable of the Soils: Path

Luke 8:4-5,12
"While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: 'A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up." (NIV)
 When a farmer tills the soil he breaks it up. It becomes receptive, softer, and seed takes hold. But a path is made hard by foot traffic. Seed that falls there stays exposed to the eyes of circling birds. We understand from Jesus' explanation that the soil is the heart (inner parts) of a person--the core. Something, it seems, has hardened the heart of the person represented by the path resulting in an easy target for the Devil's thievery.

What, we may ask, is the cause of this hardened state? Why would a person insulate them self against the Word of God? The answer is given to us by the writer of Hebrews. He says, "See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." (3:12-13) Indeed, the answer is plain, sin is the cause of a hardened heart. But sin has many forms and it would be worth our while to name a couple in the short time we have.

Indifference, or apathy, is a prime reason for hardheartedness. It creeps in slow, undetected, and little by little the effect is made complete, until one might mistake flesh for stone. Let me ask you, have you ever sat under the teaching of the Word of God and had your heart pricked by the truth only to walk out the door and do nothing in response to the moving of the Spirit? Doing so is like a tiny shot of Novocaine to the soul. The next time you hear the Word the prick will be a little bit less noticeable, and less the next, and the next, until no feeling is left.

Another culprit is desire. The Apostle James warned that, "each one  is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." (Js. 1:14-15) Is not death often characterized by the absence of feeling--of sensation? When we speak of someone having a dead limb do we not mean that it is lifeless, unresponsive and incapable of feeling the prick of a pin? This, James says, is the effect of desire. Listen carefully, your desires are often your worst enemies. And though it may seem strange that "feelings" can leave us numb, we must understand the difference between lower, base desires and higher, noble ones. This is why Peter admonishes us this way: "prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled." (1:13) When we speak of self-control are we not speaking of disciplining ourselves to submit our lower desires to reason--to the truth? This is why he says we must prepare our minds. And, incidentally, Dr. Feel Good is a quack!

This is quickly becoming more than a "Daily Bible Thought," but I must clarify one point before concluding. Psalm 37:4 tells us "Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart."  The principle we must not miss is that when we submit our desires to God's desires, he transforms our low desires to mirror his own higher desires. We then will have our desires fulfilled because our Heavenly Father only gives gifts which are good for the soul.

So, does this part of the parable describe your inner life? Are you hardened against the Word of God? Breaking up the hardened soil of any heart will require painful decisions. There may be sinful desires to lay down, but look to God and trust that he will help you.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Sower: Why Parables?

Luke 8:4-8
Today we begin the study of the parable of The Sower in Luke chapter 8. I have selected this particular parable because of its vivid imagery and concrete application.

It should be noted that Jesus was not the first to use parables when teaching. It was used frequently among ancient moralists and philosophers--the most famous being Aesop. However, there is enough difference between the parables Jesus told and the fables of Aesop that I must pause to clarify. Parables are generally stories of comparison between something known and something unknown. The former was used to explain the later. The comparisons utilized real world situations readily understandable to the hearer. The fable, on the other hand, though seeking to achieve similar ends, employed a more "fairy tale" style. The main characters were generally talking animals. Jesus never did this. He was not a teller of fairy tales. When he told a story the hearers could not be faulted for wondering if they had missed a happening in the news.

Now to the parable at hand. The parable of The Sower is quite possibly misnamed. It gives the impression that the point is to study the farmer sowing the seed. However, the real emphasis is on the four types of soil upon which the seed was scattered. If we are to understand Jesus explanation as definitive, then we are meant to grasp that there are four types of people and each one of us is represented by one of the soils. There does not seem to be a fifth category we can wiggle into as we are apt to try to do.

The questions laid upon all of us by the parable of The Soils (yes, I changed the name) are: firstly, What kind of soil am I? and secondly, What consequences are there for remaining the type of soil I am? The answers to these questions affect all of life and are therefore absolutely essential to grasp.

Thankfully, Jesus answers these questions and tomorrow we will begin.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Four Soils

Luke 8:1-8

Jesus told many parables. Parables are stories that correspond with real life and have a metaphorical meaning. Some of Jesus' parables were clear and understandable to all while others were so cryptic that even his closest friends could not decipher their meaning.

Over the course of the next week I will be taking a look at one of Jesus' most famous parables: the parable of The Sower. In it he masterfully illustrates powerful truth about the way we receive the Word of God. On Monday I'll give some background information and then tackle the four types of soil on Tuesday through Friday.

God bless!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Earth Waking

Psalm 5:3
The pale cold morning arrives--
The orange-yellow sun rising through
Bare winter trees.
Life stirs, though all remains quiet.
What will the day bring?

Coffee steam dances--
The smell quickens my senses
As I zip my sweatshirt.
God's promises come like a
Flock of birds singing.

A smile traces--
A Scripture verse calls in
The stillness of air.
And the notes from an old
Hymn frame my consciousness.

"In the morning, O LORD,
You hear my voice;
In the morning I lay my requests
Before you and wait in
Expectation." (Ps. 5:3)

This creation sings--
And the melody of light chases
The darkness.
Great is Thy Faithfulness, 
Lord unto me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Are you Better for having Known Me?

Eph. 2:10 and 1 Peter 3:15
God has called us all to do his work. So much of what this means can be summed up in the word relationships. We come into contact with so many people in our lives it can be difficult to keep track. Are the people that have met me better for having done so? Have those with whom I have developed relationships better as a result?

These questions are incredibly important as part of the reflective process we call self-evaluation. When I asked them to myself I was initially discouraged--there some people that I have just not been able to bring closer to the Lord. But then God showed me how important it is to understand my mistakes as learning experiences. Perhaps there are people God has planned for me to meet someday that will need the encouragement I can offer as a result of what I've been through.

What about you? Do you seek to move people closer to fellowship with the Lord? Are you building into the lives of others? Ask God to help you see with his eyes. There are people all around you that can benefit from us if we are only alert.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Romans 6:6
One of the first words many children learn is the word "no." Sometimes I run into people who have the impression that Christians must live in the world of "no." Do you know the world of NO? It's that world where we don't do this, and we don't do that--and about that other thing? We don't do that either.

For those who have not had their eyes opened to the freedom we have in Christ our relationship is misunderstood to be oppressive--enslaving even. But we read in Romans 6:6,
For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin--because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
 When someone becomes a believer there is a mind shift. What once looked so attractive becomes tasteless and dull, while new appetites are awakened that otherwise would have seemed ridiculous. When we crucify our desires God gives us his desires. And his desires are righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 14:17) To that we say a hearty, "YES!"

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Worship Question

Romans 12:1
How do we demonstrate to the world that it is God whom we serve and not something else? The answer is through a changed life. You might yawn at this simple answer. Get specific, you might say. What does it look like? Perhaps the issue can be clarified by changing the initial question. How do we demonstrate to the world that money (for example) is what we serve instead? We most certainly do not do it by thinking nice thoughts about money or singing praise songs to money. The way we worship or serve money is by being controlled by it (Matthew 6:24) .

Unfortunately, we are likely to believe that we are God worshippers by showing "worship services" as evidence and little else besides. Songs of praise are wonderful to be sure. Indeed, the Psalms are full of instruction about singing. But demonstrating to the world that we are servants and worshippers of the Most High God is so much more than tunes and thoughts. John wrote, "Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth." (1 Jn 3:18)

Perhaps the words of Paul can best summarize the issue. He urged the Roman believers to, "offer their bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God as their rational act of worship." (authors trans.)

Does your life demonstrate God worship?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Beautiful Imagery (Exibit B)

Isaiah 40:29-31
Here now is the second in the Beautiful Imagery Series. I love to scour the Scriptures for artistic beauty as well as for practical instruction. It is also enjoyable to draw parallels between holy writ and the masters of prose and poetry. Today's selection is from Alfred Lord Tennyson's fragment of a poem entitled “The Eagle.”
He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring’d with the azure world, he stands. 
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

Hear now the words of Isaiah the prophet:

He gives power to the weak, 
And to those who have no 
might He increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Did God Really Say?

Genesis 3:1

This is an entry for those who know they have been running. If you are the kind of person I'm referring to you know that your life is in conflict with the life you should be leading. You have been faced with choices and you have chosen to walk down dark paths for some attractive reason. You have been justifying your choices by hiding behind doubts that hearken back to the Garden of Eden--whispers like "did God really say?" (Genesis 3:1)

The seed of doubt planted in any mind can grow into a full blown destructive lifestyle. For some, it begins with a hurt and the whisper goes something like this: "How could God let this happen?" This seed grows most quickly into the specter of unbelief.

Others who long so desperately to feel they belong will practically sell their souls to feel someone accepts them. The whisper for these may be, "How do you know the Bible is God's Word? Yes, these are the kinds of people it warns about. But, when was the last time following that book ever paid off for you?"

Faith is not the complete absence of doubt. Acting on faith often must be in spite of our doubts. I believe that certainty is something increasingly rare today and achieved only by those who have conquered their doubts through repeatedly experiencing God's faithfulness. Indeed, these people would neither claim to have all the answers to life's problems, nor would they pretend the path of faith is smooth and easy. But, whatever else they have, they all have this in common: they can tell when the whispers of doubt are in the wind and they fight them off with the truth of God's Word.

Hear now encouraging words spoken by the prophet Isaiah:
Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Sharpened Mind

Proverbs 27:17

My grandfather really knows how to put an edge on a knife. As a skilled woodcarver, he would be quick to explain how essential it is to have sharp tools.  Consequently, some of my earliest memories are of him patiently working a blade over the surface of a stone. When he was certain he had made enough progress for a test, he would roll up his sleeve and carefully run the edge over the surface of his arm. Not until a knife was sharp enough to shave with was it sharp enough.

There is a principle that applies to both knives and our minds and that principle is eluded to in Proverbs 27:17

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

Just as it is difficult—even dangerous—to work with a dull knife so it is with a dull mind. Research has shown us that the mind can be strengthened with exercise as well as atrophy with neglect. Indeed, we must all ask ourselves if we are neglecting this vital aspect. With this at the fore, I would like to highlight two ways in which we can sharpen our minds.

The first is developing and maintaining quality friendships with those who are concerned with the development of their own mind as well as that of those they meet. This can have a powerful effect on us because such people have natural curiosity and a penchant for learning. Covet such relationships and treasure them if you have them.

The second way is a personal soapbox issue for me. Reading quality books from respected authors—not from obscure internet websites!—is a necessary activity for developing the life of the mind. I know what you are thinking, I just dismissed my own blog as irrelevant by my own standards. If so, so be it! I see an alarming number of people develop bad doctrine by reading crummy web trash. Note: you can justify reading from the web if you know the character and reputation of the author.

The usual objection to this second point is that some people are not “readers”. I even heard one man say he didn’t have the reading gene. Imagine! I will concede that some take to reading faster than others just as a seven foot man has a head start toward a basketball scholarship. But, I cannot imagine saying to myself, “I see that a treasure of knowledge lies over there and I see some worthy souls sampling it. But, I will not venture there because, for me, it will take longer to reach and the path seems difficult.” Remember that Solomon wrote, “fools despise wisdom and discipline.” His further instruction included these words,

My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Pr. 2:1-6)

* The picture is of one of my most cherished possessions--my great grandfather's knife. It was handed down to me by my grandfather (after a good sharpening of course!)

**For those who take Solomon seriously I recommend J.I. Packer's classic book Knowing God as a good place to start sharpening their minds.

Thursday, January 07, 2010


Note to Readers:

I have not discovered any captioned picture gadgets yet. I would love to have one that could be inserted into actual blog entries so I could explain the photographs I use. So, this will have to do in the meantime. If anyone out there knows how to insert captions please enlighten me!

The photos I use are almost exclusively my own. I love taking pictures and nature is my primary focus for stills. My inclusion of photos in my entries is at least half random, though I do try to match the mood of the picture with the mood of the entry. There is something inviting about pictures and I hope you enjoy them.

All the best,

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Favorite Bible Verses: Reader Input Required!

Normally I just state my case. Today I have decided to see who is out there and get your feedback. So, if you would be so kind to indulge the rest of us, please respond with one of your favorite Bible verses and the reason it means so much to you. Including the text of your verse would be helpful for those who do not have a Bible handy to look up your reference. One more thing: since some read on Facebook and some on Blogger, I intend to include all responses in Friday's blog for a real sense of community.

As for myself, Psalm 19:14 struck me today like it does every time I come across it. It is a request carefully written to summarize the life of an earnest God follower. I want that to be me. Here is the text: "May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."



Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Beautiful Imagery (Exibit A)

Psalm 36:8-9
Powerful imagery is found within the best books. Take this passage from Tolkin for example:

Day came pale from the East. As the light grew it filtered through the yellow leaves of the mallorn, and it seemed to the hobbits that the early sun of a cool summer's morning was shining. Pale-blue sky peeped among the moving branches. Looking through an opening on the south side of the flet Frodo saw all the valley of the Silverlode lying like a sea of fallow gold tossing gently in the breeze.*

Sometimes there's nothing to say after reading a powerful text. This one in particular struck me this morning:

How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you  is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. (Psalm 36:8-9 NIV)

Dwell on these words for a while. Do you hear the flapping of powerful wings or perhaps the water of the fountain? How good it is that God has not left us his word in some industrial sterilized form. There is great artistry and imagery in Scripture--both wonderful and powerful. Yes, we can certainly come to the Scripture to receive all the advice we need, but those who stop running through pages long enough to smell a rose will find exquisite beauty. How satisfying!

*Tolkin, J.R.R., The Fellowship of the Ring, p337 This scene is rendered powerful by contrasting what the fellowship had just experienced: the darkness of Khazad-Dum.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Panorama of Grace

A lady in Church asked me to pray for a four year old girl yesterday. The girl's name is Charlotte, and she is lying at home with a terminal illness. I asked the lady who made the request how she was praying and she replied that she was not only praying for Charlotte, but that the rest of the family would cope with this hardship.

There is perhaps no human experience that rocks our faith more than the suffering of children. Why does God allow such evil to take place if he has the power to stop it? Explanations are many, and some of them do make me curious. There is one in particular I find intriguing. It is believed that the very brief lives of some children have been cut short by an all -loving, all-merciful and all-powerful God who knows the greater suffering they would have experienced had they lived to see adulthood.

Whatever the truth may be in these situations, it is safe to say that the hope we have as Christians is sometimes all that can sustain us through sorrow. In the Bible, King David comforted himself at the loss of his infant son by looking forward to seeing him again beyond the grave (2 Sam. 12:23). This hope should never be taken for granted, for it is not the hope of all mankind. A growing percentage of those who study philosophy and Evolutionary science do not believe anything awaits us after death. They say we must make the most of this life because it is the only one we shall have. How sad.

Christians refer to the Second Coming of Christ as the Blessed Hope. Indeed, without a living Savior any hope is a fools hope. But we have these words from Jesus in John 14 that push back the darkness of despair:
Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
I strongly believe that someday all our questions will be answered. Indeed, they will not just be answered, they will be answered in such a way that we will praise God for his infinite wisdom and mercy. We may not see it now, but that is to be expected with our limited perspective.  To be sure, it will be a wonderful day when at last we see the panorama of divine grace.