If the origin of human faith and value is reduced to the facts that history or science can give us, the life direction that a person's faith and value supply, are lost. The values and meanings that animate us as human beings must be located in the mystery of being, or literally nowhere, and the mystery of being is real, leaving the possibility of and the need for faith open --- and so our faith, our lives are defined at the same level as we confront the mystery of being.
The questions must be asked; How does one establish a coherent sense of self? How does one act when a clear understanding of one's life situation leads to confusion, not clarity?
1 Cor. 2:7, "...but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory,..." This verse may have more understanding if it was translated as, "We proclaim the Divine wisdom hidden in a mystery."
The Young's literal translation says, "...but we speak the hidden wisdom of God in a secret, that God foreordained before the ages to our glory,..."
and the Darby translation says, "...but speak God's wisdom in [a] mystery, that hidden [wisdom] which God had predetermined before the ages for our glory:..." The word mystery with us is commonly used in the sense of that which is beyond comprehension; the word properly denotes that which is concealed or hidden; that which has not yet been known;
The un-wanting soul sees what's hidden,
and the ever-wanting soul sees only what it wants.
Two things, one origin,
but different in name,
whose identity is mystery.
Mystery of all mysteries!
The door to the hidden.
Self-absorption and self-importance are vain and self-destructive. Every age has had its conceit and vocabulary. The true wisdom is God's and is eternal, absolute and superior to all other attempts of understanding the randomness, ambiguity, senselessness and diversity of the pursuit of knowledge and self-determination. Self knowledge with emphasis on that knowledge begetting humility, is the path to a comprehensive understanding of the desires, ambitions, the heart and soul-longings of man and the working of God in aligning those objects with the purposes, thoughts and plans of His. Jeremiah 29:11-14, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.
1 Cor. 2:9 But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him."
The deepening pursuit of the meaning of life leads many on different paths seeking to resolve the dilemma of the vacant, vacuous and purposeless life. We can design, create, plan and intend to increase our awareness of our inner self, our spiritual being, to find our essence and to live life feeling fulfilled and justified, but, the mystery remains, the imprisonment of the soul still exists, the prison bars are merely hidden in the canvas of life by the layers of paint and gloss. There still exists a mystery, the layers of paint we add separate the true portrait, that depiction of reality that exists as painted by the original artist, from the intended masterpiece. We are counterfeiters painting on the canvas of life a forgery. We still do not know. We still cannot comprehend. The great truth lies not in who we are, in who we can become, in what we can attain to or achieve, but in the reality of a living God and that God manifested in all of His creation, this existence as a result of His intelligent design incorporating all the imagination and wonders of a mind incomprehensible to man; that mind seeking love and fellowship with His greatest creation, man; man created in the very image of the Creator; man whose design and purpose was the fulfillment and purpose of the mind and heart of God. We are not the masters of our life.
Knowing others is wisdom;
Knowing the self is enlightenment.
Mastering others requires force;
Mastering the self requires strength;...
Faith is appropriated in relation to the actions we take with respect to what we believe. The mystery lies in the depth and wonder, width and breadth of a God who is really beyond our understanding, but Who in a desire to have our love chose to reveal Himself in a manner we could understand but which still leaves the immensity of His thought outside the realm of our natural and rational thought. God created an anomaly and it is into this quagmire of philosophical investigation that God places us, as we attempt to deal with the world around us and the abundance of contrary ideas to that wisdom which is found at the Cross. It is the Cross that creates the problem of our faith, because in its absolute, excruciating absurdity it flys against the popular opinion of God as being the strict and harsh Judge and Condemner of man, and displays the hidden wisdom of the God of abundant Mercy and Grace and Love. It is said in Luke 11:33 (NKJV) "No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light. Luke 8:16 (NKJV) "No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light. Jesus was hung on a cross, on a hill, beside a highway, during the day so that all could see, He was the light that was seen around the world and He said, "...and I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself."