How does God handle our questions?
BIBLE READING: Job 38:1-41
KEY BIBLE VERSE: Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind: “Why are you using your ignorance to deny my providence? Now get ready to fight, for I am going to demand some answers from you, and you must reply.” (Job 38:1-3, TLB)
God sometimes answers our questions with questions. Out of a mighty storm, God spoke. Surprisingly, he didn’t answer any of Job’s questions; Job’s questions were not at the heart of the issue. Instead, God used Job’s ignorance of the earth’s natural order to reveal his ignorance of God’s moral order. If Job did not understand the workings of God’s physical creation, how could he possibly understand God’s mind and character? There is no standard or criterion higher than God himself by which to judge. God himself is the standard. Our only option is to submit to his authority and rest in his care.
BIBLE READING: Job 42:1-17
KEY BIBLE VERSE: You ask who it is who has so foolishly denied your providence. It is I. I was talking about things I knew nothing about and did not understand, things far too wonderful for me. (Job 42:3, TLB)
God sometimes leaves our questions unanswered. Throughout the book, Job’s friends had asked him to admit his sin and ask for forgiveness, and eventually Job did indeed repent. Ironically, Job’s repentance was not the kind called for by his friends. He did not ask for forgiveness for committing secret sins, but for questioning God’s sovereignty and justice. Job repented of his attitude and acknowledged God’s great power and perfect justice. We sin when we angrily ask, “If God is in control, how could he let this happen?” Because we are locked into time, unable to see beyond today, we cannot know the reasons for everything that happens. Thus we must often choose between doubt and trust. Will you trust God with your unanswered questions?
BIBLE READING: Luke 7:18-35
KEY BIBLE VERSE: When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?’” (Luke 7:20, NIV)
God welcomes our questions. John was confused because the reports he received about Jesus were unexpected and incomplete. John’s doubts were natural, and Jesus didn’t rebuke him for them. Instead, Jesus responded in a way that John would understand: Jesus explained that he had accomplished what the Messiah was supposed to accomplish. God can handle our doubts, and he welcomes our questions. Do you have questions about Jesus—about who he is or what he expects of you? Admit them to yourself and to God, and begin looking for answers. Only as you face your doubts honestly can you begin to resolve them.