When We Question God

If you think back to high school, I bet you can remember sharing a class with that one kid who knew it all. Every time the teacher asked a question, they blurted out the answer.

Or maybe it’s at work. Your boss says something, and that one person always jumps in and makes sure everyone knows how smart they are.

We all know those types of people, right? (*insert eye roll*)

I wish I could say I was never that person, but I think we all have been a know-it-all in different ways….So when it came to high school and college, even though I got a lot of things wrong, I asked a ton of questions in class.

And here’s the reality…it wasn’t because I was trying to be a teacher’s pet or trying to learn anything!! I usually just wanted to “catch” my teachers in something. To prove them wrong. It was as much about learning as it was about competition.

Even though my motives weren’t always the best, the teachers liked that I asked questions. Because when students ask questions, it means they’re engaged, learning, and growing.

But let’s be real — it often feels totally different with God, doesn’t it?

We definitely aren’t a know-it-all when it comes to God, but so often we feel like we can’t even ask God a question, especially not a tough one…

Sometimes it just feels wrong to question God.

If I’m asking God for something I desperately want, I worry I’m being selfish. If I’m questioning God about something he did (or didn’t do) in my life, I worry I’m being unfaithful or a “bad Christian.”

But asking God questions is actually a really healthy thing for us to do.

Why? Great question! (see what I did there…)

How can you really get to know anyone without asking them questions? (That question was rhetorical, by the way.)

We can only get to know another person by asking them questions. Whether it’s about who they are, or what they like or dislike, questions help relationships grow. We put ourselves in a tough spot when we treat God like he’s an impersonal being, a great judge in the sky who’s indifferent or uncaring.

Here’s the truth: God is a personal God, and we get to know him the same way we get to know people.

God’s not afraid of, ashamed of, or bothered by your questions.

I’m reminded of Hebrews 4:16, which says, “Let us come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” In other words, not only is it perfectly normal to ask God questions, we can ask him questions with boldness!

Now, I totally get that for some people right now, you are having a hard time with me saying God is encouraging us to ask questions. But the key is to understand that there’s a difference between questioning God and asking God a question.

Questioning God stems from doubt that He is trustworthy, good, REAL.

On the other hand, when we ask questions, we express our interest in learning more about who he is and what he’s up to. And that distinction between questioning and questions makes all the difference.

The key to asking him questions is, first, taking him at his word. When we trust that God is who he says he is, if we trust that he keeps his promises, then we can ask him whatever we want. Because if we trust that God is good (who he says he is) and that he intends good for us in life (keeps his promises), then we don’t have anything to fear.

And we can trust that however God answers our questions, at the heart of it is His goodness and love.

So let’s boldly ask God questions. And let’s trust him with our lives because God’s plans are often different from ours – and always better.

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