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Why God Makes Understanding Difficult

Jonathan Edwards, from Miscellanies #139:

I am convinced that there are many things in religion and the Scriptures that are made difficult on purpose to try men, and to exercise their faith and scrutiny, and to hinder the proud and self-sufficient.

John Piper addresses this same issue, speaking particularly about difficulties we encounter in Scripture, in his sermon, “Why God Inspired Hard Texts.” He says God has given us hard texts to prompt at least four things, which seem to match well with Edwards’ thoughts above:

  1. Desperation – A sense of utter dependence on God’s enablement.
  2. Supplication – Prayer to God for help.
  3. Cogitation – Thinking hard about biblical texts.
  4. Education – Training young people and adults to pray earnestly, read well, and think hard.

Read the full sermon.

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Desiring God exists to say, "God's ultimate goal is to glorify himself...and that's good news." Everything they do aims to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ. Desiring God provides free access to the preaching and teaching resources of John Piper, pastor for preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis and author of over 30 books on ministry.