Around the time my younger brother was becoming an adult I started realizing we held some different beliefs about God. We are both Christians. We both love Jesus. But when it came to theological beliefs about God's character we had some differing opinions. When we talked about these difference we usually just ended up arguing (we were young and arrogant, thankfully things are different now) and I for sure wasn't open to hearing what he had to say. I remember in particular being stuck in van with him driving from Austin to Durango, Colorado and at one point in our argument I said, "it doesn't matter. It doesn't determine my faith."
But here's the deal. It does matter. A lot. The things we were arguing about are in the Bible. I believe that the words in the Bible are literally God's words. If God chose to speak to us through the words in the Bible then all of the teachings in it are important. Even the ones that are hard to understand. If I really want to know who God is then I need to study all his words. I can't dismiss them because they're too hard. Everything God has to say is important and it all has a purpose.
Instead of clinging to verses in Scripture that make me feel good and support my view of God, I have to cling to all of Scripture. My view of God is so limited and I know that I'll never be able to understand all of him, but that doesn't mean I get to just ignore what he tells me about himself in his Word. I can't say God is loving and ignore scriptures that teach about his wrath. I can't say God gives us free will and then ignore scripture that teaches on God's sovereignty. Just because a topic is hard or goes against what I think I know about God doesn't mean I get to walk away from it.
It's when I am studying the hard things in the Bible that I really get to press in to God. I get the privilege of asking him to show me who he is. I am able to go to my Father and ask to see his heart. And, he is faithful. He shows me himself. It may not be all of him. It may just be a small part. But it's exactly what I need.
Things of importance are hard. That's okay. It's actually more than okay. It's really really good. It makes us value it more. In my journey to get to know God (which is far from over) I have begun to value my relationship more as a dig deeper into the harder things. And it is so worth it. Every moment I spend questioning, wondering, searching is a moment I get to know my Father. Nothing is worth more.