Understand/Understanding

<<comprehend, consider>>

On earth Jesus was recognized as having a spirit of wisdom and understanding (Isa 11:2; Lk 2:47). This was evidence of His true character; He was the Son of God come to earth. He truly understands our lives because He walked this earth, being tempted yet did He did not sin

Like my Saviour, am I motivated by love                                                      and goodwill?

(Heb 4:15,16). He came to serve, not to be served; He saw our plight and died in our place (Rom 5:8). Understanding His mission is the foundation of Christian compassion and concern for the disadvantaged.

Throughout life apply your mind to analyse the facts, study to comprehend how things work, ask questions and learn from those well-informed in a particular field for “Whatever you do, get wisdom and understanding” because they are closely linked with knowledge, competency, good judgement and ability (Prov 2:2-11, 4:5,7, 23:23).

Endeavour to discern where your attitudes and lifestyle will lead. “Consider the path of your feet” is sound advice – evaluating past actions as well as projecting forward to future outcomes will help you to make wise choices in the present (Deut 32:29; Prov 4:26). We should also seek and be sensitive to divine direction, acknowledging Him in everything we do for He will direct our steps as we entrust ourselves to Him (Prov 3:5,6). We are to put into practice what we have learned thus far and then we will gain more understanding because growth is progressive.  Building on what is already established and viewing situations from God’s perspective, together with reflection, will protect us as we apply our heart to the issues of life (Ps 73:17; Prov 16:22; Mk 4:24; 2 Tim 2:7; Jas 1:22-25, 3:13).

In our thinking we are to be mature, perceiving and understanding what God’s will is, through the work of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 14:20; Eph 5:17; Col 1:9). “I pray that eyes of your heart may be enlightened so you know the love that passes knowledge” and God’s peace which transcends all understanding (Eph 1:18, 3:19; Phil 4:7). As pure wisdom and understanding come from God, it is important to know and live by the principles and commands of His Word, for by them we will be judged (Deut 18:18,19; Ps 111:10; Jn 12:48; Heb 4:12). Unless we are increasing in discernment and obedience to the Lord, we are not growing in true knowledge and maturing (Ps 119:104; 2 Pet 3:18).

Paul said, “I want you to know, to understand that what has happened has actually helped advance the gospel” (Phil 1:12). We need to grasp that all things work for our ultimate good; in the short-term this will not appear to be the case (Rom 8:28). God's perspective sees the whole picture.

The wise are those who endeavour to grasp the meaning of life, what is unfolding on the earth and what to do in the various times and seasons and act accordingly (1 Chr 12:32; Dan 9:23, 10:12, 12:10; Mt 16:3).  In contrast, a fool who is so wrapped up in their own world doesn't try to gain insight into

Try to see things also from the others’                                                       point of view

the facts (Prov 18:2). A horse, lacking understanding or conscience, can only be governed by power or fear (Ps 32:9). Similarly non-Christians can’t understand God or His ways (1 Cor 2:14). Those with limited knowledge and understanding should humbly receive instruction from those more mature, who must also be prepared to mentor these less experienced ones, with attitude and desire often determining the level of understanding (Mt 13:14,15; Act 18:24-26). At all times we should try to see situations from the other person's perspective; there are reasons for what they think and do.

Faith and Understanding

We may not understand the reason behind God’s instruction and commandments yet we disobey them at our peril because the Christian life is a walk of faith (Rom 1:17; 2 Cor 5:7). When we don’t understand His dealings with us we must trust His loving justice as He chooses to keep some things hidden and it is wrong to try to find the answers to those divine secrets for “His ways are past finding out” (Deut 29:29; Rom 11:33). Our responsibility is to obey God even when we don’t see why we should. The Bible is clear, obedience is better than trying to fix a mistake that was caused by ignorance or rebellion (1 Sam 15:22,23). Don’t be like those who “although they hear they do not perceive or understand”, but rather be like those who “hear the Word and understand it, producing a good harvest” (Mt 13:13,14,23).  “Whatever He says to you, do it”, then ultimately you may, like Job, be able to say “Even though He kill me yet I will trust Him” (Job 13:15; Jn 2:5).

See also: discernment, empathy, faith, insight, knowledge, misunderstanding, trust, wisdom/wise.


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