The simple answer is that we should have questions and we should take them to God. However, we should ask questions because our hearts yearn to know God better and to understand His will and ways. We should go to God with our questions, before doubts set in.
God in His grace has been revealing Himself to man ever since the beginning. First through a called-out nation, then through the Law and Prophets, and finally through His Son and in His written Word.
God wants us to know Him better and that means that questions can be a good thing. They cause us to seek God in prayer and to look to His Word for answers.
A great book in the Bible that teaches about questioning God is the book of Habakkuk. Unlike other prophets, to whom God spoke and they prophesied to the people, Habakkuk took the people’s questions to God, seeking answers. Habakkuk’s name means to “wrestle” or “embrace” and the book so accurately reveals the tension we all experience when we wrestle with unanswered questions and try to embrace the revelations of God in His Word.
God created us with minds that can reason, and He has clearly said, “Come let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18). This tells us that we should have questions and that we should take those questions to God in prayer, and we should search His Word for answers. However, we always need ask questions in a way that honors God.
There are three principles we should remember when we bring our questions to God. By remembering these we will question with faith and trust in who God is and ask our questions with the reverence He deserves
1) God’s ways are not our ways and we will never fully understand everything.
Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
2) God is Sovereign and His purpose and plan is perfect.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
Psalm 18:30 As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven…
3) God is Faithful and True and He is working all things for our good and His glory.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Questions Vs. Doubts
If questions are brought to God with a heart that seeks Him, they are a good thing. God loves us and wants us to know Him better. Jesus spoke of this when He said,
And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 17:3)
Paul also taught this, when he said
…they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us…(Acts 17:27)
Questions are a good thing, doubts are not. Questions are asked to seek answers or better understanding. Doubts are a conclusion, based on information or lack of information. Questions indicate a desire to know God better. Doubts indicate a lack of belief or an uncertainty.
Back to the Prophet Habakkuk, who had many questions that he took to God. God did not fully answer his questions. Rather, God reminded Habakkuk of who He is. Habakkuk’s circumstances had not changed, his questions were not answered as he desired, but his heart was renewed in trusting God. In chapter 3 Habakkuk still did not understand what God was doing, but he now remembered that he could trust God to be just and faithful. With a stronger faith and trust in his God, Habakkuk closed in worship:
Habakkuk 3:18-19 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength…
When we don’t get answers to our questions, and when we don’t understand what God is doing, we must remember who God is and know that He is acting according to His good nature and character.
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
We should also remember that the work He has already begun in us, He has promised to complete in us. Therefore, we don’t need to know all the answers to our questions in order to trust Him.
Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ
Is it OK to ask God questions?
Yes! Bring your questions to God and wait on the Lord! Wait reverently, expectantly and faithfully—knowing and trusting that He is Sovereign, Faithful and True.
Psalm 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
Don’t make having answers a substitute for faith. Understand that not getting answers to questions can be a real blessing also. Too often when we have answers, we trust in the answer. Without having an answer our trust must be directed to God.
The book of Job is a great example of trusting God when one doesn’t know why things are happening. Job did not understand why he was afflicted with such great pain and sorrow from unforeseen circumstances. We know why, but Job never got the answer to the “why” question. Instead of revealing the answer to “why,” God pointed to the real answer, “Who.” God revealed Himself to Job and reminded Job of His faithfulness and that Job could trust Him in all things.
Trusting God, when we don’t have answers, is always a great blessing. It draws us closer to Him and reminds us of our dependence on Him.
Know that God hears your questions. It might not always be apparent how or when He answers them, or why He answers as He does, but you can have faith and trust in knowing that He hears and responds. He will provide for you what you need.
Remember…. when you can’t trace His hand…you can trust His heart!