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If we’re honest, it’s a question we’ve all asked at one time or another. Especially me! As a journalist, I’m careful to include the five “W” questions (WHO, WHAT, WHY WHEN and WHERE) in writing my feature stories. And, as a Christian, I’ve often confronted God with my endless questions.
But should Christians question God? Aren’t we clearly instructed to “walk by faith” and in Hebrews 11:6 aren’t we forewarned that “without faith, it’s impossible to please God?”
Also included in Hebrews 11 is a list of our heroes of faith. The “Faith Hall of Fame” begins with the Old Testament patriarchs and goes down to the early Christian martyrs. Their heroic examples encourages us contemporary believers that through faith we can work righteousness and endure trials.
But did our Faith Fathers ever question God? Aren’t they also honored for never doubting God’s promises to them?
If you’ve been deceived into believing that you could never develop their quality of faith because you’ve questioned God, take heart. The heroes of our faith in Hebrews 11 also struggled with questions and doubts.
Take Abraham. If any Biblical patriarch walked by faith, it was Abraham. Yet God had to reassure him four times before he actually believed God’s promise to make him the father of a nation. (See Genesis 12-15:6). And even after he finally “believed in the Lord” (and then God considered Abram righteous on account of his faith), he still questioned God’s ability to perform. At the suggestion of his barren wife, Sarah, he took her Egyptian main, Hagar, who bore him Ishmael. Ishmael was not the promised son, but did God give up on Abraham and take back His promise?” Not at all--- He blessed him with the promised Isaac, as He must have foreseen Abraham’s “faith potential”. And, of course, we’re family with story of the offering of Isaac and how Abraham was willing to give up his son in obedience to God. Because of his then developed faith and obedience, God provided Abraham with a substitute sacrifice for Isaac and renewed the promise that Abraham would have countless descendants.
At the burning bush, Moses (another Hebrews 11 faith hero) didn’t immediately dash off, full of faith, without a question or doubt of God marching orders. In fact, he asked God five questions at the burning bush. And then, he still hesitated before committing himself.
“Can you find a better man for the job?” debated a less than confident Moses with his new-found Lord.
“Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?” he further reasoned with God. (See Exodus 3:11)
And, what’s more, the Son of God, Himself, asked, “Why God?” as He breathed His last breath on Calvary’s cross.
“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus cried out in His last desperate moments.
You see, God knows our human frame. He knows our hearts and what we’re really thinking even while we’re confessing with our lips that “we’re walking by faith and not by sight.”
I truly believe in the power of agreeing with and confessing the Word of God and walking by faith. Innumerable testimonies of healing have proven that believing in and confessing God’s Word works! And, even if we never heard a testimony, just believing God’s Word is enough to produce a miracle, for God cannot lie. (See Hebrews 6:18).
However, on the other side of the coin, there are also countless believers who are faithful to confess the Word of God over their bodies and circumstances, but their faces register the five “W” questions.
"WHY am I still sick?" "WHERE are you, God?" "WHEN will I be healed?" "WHO am I--am I really your child, redeemed from the curse of the Law?"
Whether or not they’re spoken verbally, these questions are crying out for answers to a God they’ve been told not to question. While confessing that they’re “standing on God’s Word”, their spirit-man is actually crumbling inside and in need of a deeper healing than their sick bodies.
The Scriptures describe God as both a best friend (Proverbs 18:24) and as a Father (Romans 8:15). Do you feel free to share your doubts, hurts, and questions with your best friend and father? It’s a strained father/child relationship that forbids a child from crawling into Daddy’s lap with our questions, fears, and doubts. Our loving Heavenly Father beckons us to “Come unto Him” with all our burdens, with all our questions, with all our doubts and with all of our fears. It’s only when we can bring and leave our “broken toys” with our Father God that He can mend them for us. Just “come to Me,” He whispers in our ears as we continue to echo our empty faith confessions.
But is God always obligated to answer all our questions?
When I was raising children I realized that not every questions my children asked me warranted an answer. If the answer to your child’s question is for her benefit (such as “Why should I eat carrots?”) a parent is more than happy to offer an explanation. However, there are other questions that just don’t need a “because…………” In other words, there are some questions that are to remain unanswered. Some orders Mom gives her children are to “just obey, simply because Mother says so.”
It’s the same with God. There are some questions that will have to remain unanswered this side of eternity. Perhaps God chooses to explain why our loved one wasn’t healed. Or, perhaps, He’ll gently tell you that “it’s none of your business.”
In Deuteronomy 29:29, God told Israel that “the secret things belong to God…”
This verse clearly shows that God has chosen not to tell us everything. However, He has equipped us with all we need to know. “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29
Asking “Why, God?” is not a sin. It’s demanding an answer when we’re told we don’t need one that places us in rebellion with God and breaks our fellowship with an all-knowing, all-wise, loving Heavenly Father who knows what’s good for us better than we know ourselves.
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Good reminder that we're to walk by faith - which is trusting dependence on God, not unquestioning passivity.