Have you ever questioned God? Perhaps a prayer wasn’t answered in the way you wanted or at the time you desired. Have you ever wondered if questioning God is a sin? Our daily lives can be filled with a need for answers. Is our first choice to go to God in prayer or to question God?
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Where Does the Bible Talk about Questioning God?
Scripture provides wisdom for every situation, including when we question God. Perhaps you have wondered if questioning God is a sin. God knows our every thought. There is not one thing we can hide from Him. Therefore, when we have questions or doubts, we are encouraged to go to the Father in prayer to seek answers.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, had questions. How could she be pregnant when she had not had relations? How could she be giving birth to the Savior? Questioning God is not a sin. Humans are frail and need help in many ways. Placing our trust in God allows us to ask questions. As Christians, we know He will answer in His way and in His timing. We are called to have patience during the time of waiting.
Maybe there has been an event in your life that caused you to worry and have doubts. Did you take those feelings to God? The book of Psalms shares the thoughts and words of David and other writers.
“Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1 NIV)
The author is seeking a response during a time of need. God may seem silent. He is not. His plan is being fulfilled in ways that have not been revealed yet. Although the writer asks God why He is hidden, we know God never hides. God provides ways for us to have a deep relationship with Him.
When we need guidance and wisdom, praying to God can give us the answers we seek.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV)
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What Happened When People in the Bible Questioned God?
Yes, people in the Bible questioned God. As we have questions in today’s world, people had questions in the past.
In the book of Genesis, Scripture shares of Adam and Eve being given specific instructions by God. “But you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it, you will certainly die” (Genesis 2:17 NIV). The serpent encouraged Adam and Eve to question God's will, and they ate the forbidden fruit. The punishment for eating from that tree was strict and harsh. God knew what they had done, and his judgment was given. Death.
Scripture shares how Sarah and Abraham had followed God faithfully, yet they had many trials in life. In their old age, God revealed that Sarah would bear a child. Abraham had trouble believing this event would occur.
“Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, ‘Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?’” (Genesis 17:17 NIV)
Instead of immediately giving thanks, Abraham questioned whether God would really do this.
Job was considered to be blameless and upright, according to the Bible. He feared God. Throughout a period, Job’s life was one tragedy and mishap after another. His animals and servants were killed. The sheep were burned, and the camels were destroyed. Job’s daughters and sons died when a desert wind caused a house to collapse.
Even though he was filled with heartache and disappointment, Job did not sin. Job did reach a point of despair and began to question his life purpose, including why he was born.
“Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?” (Job 3:11 NIV)
Job continued to plead his case. He complained. He lamented. He cried for mercy.
“How many wrongs and sins have I committed? Show me my offense and my sin. Why do you hide your face from me and consider me your enemy?” (Job 13:23-24 NIV)
God showed Job the full picture eventually. In the end, God restored the fortunes of Job and gave him even more.
How these people questioned God in Biblical times can assist us when we have questions for God. The story of Adam and Eve shows that there are consequences when questioning God blossoms into directly disobeying him. The story of Job shows that there is more going on in God's story than we realize. The story of Abraham shows that God works in his timing, not ours. We also see in the story of Abraham that God did not smite or rebuke him for questioning his plans. Questioning may lead to sin if we're not careful (like it did with Adam and Eve), but isn't a sin itself.
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Is Lamenting the Same Thing as Questioning God?
Christians can cry out to God in all situations. Perhaps you have heard or read that God collects every tear we shed.
“Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll—are they not in your record?” (Psalm 56:8 NIV)
The Bible shares times people have lamented and questioned. “Lament” can be defined as “a passionate expression of grief or sorrow.” The Old Testament gives examples of people lamenting over situations happening to them.
Have you ever felt so lonely and troubled that you cried out to God?
“Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.” (Psalm 130:1-2 NIV)
Perhaps losing a loved one, learning about a devastating medical condition, or a seemingly hopeless situation has happened. Crying out to God and sharing time with Him in prayer will bring us closer. The peace of God can bring comfort.
Lamenting is sometimes associated with repenting of sin. Acknowledging our sin, repenting of that sin, and asking God for His forgiveness can bring peace. Instead of focusing on complaining to God, ask for wisdom, discernment, and revelation in the situation.
Does God lament over sin? Genesis 6:6 states that God was sorry that He had made man and was grieved. That verse shows us that God has deep feelings for His creations.
When life seems to be going down a troublesome path, remember to go to God and seek His comfort.
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Is Doubting God the Same Thing as Questioning God?
Biblical scholars and historians state that “doubt is the questioning of faith,” not the absence of faith. With faith, we know God exists and believe His plan will be for the best. We may not understand everything that occurs, but we can have faith in the Father.
God understands our questions and encourages us to spend time with Him in prayer. God knows all our thoughts, and He is ready for conversation. Will God give the answers that take away doubts and questions? Only God knows how He will respond.
Does the Bible Promise that God Will Answer Every Question We Have?
A profound statement in the Bible gives hope and promise. Find rest in the promises of God.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7 NIV)
Does this mean every single thing we ask for will be provided and provided in the time we desire? No. Sometimes God answers “yes.” Other times, God answers “No.” Other times, His answer is “Not now.”
Knowing that God is in control allows us to release our questions and desires to Him. Solace can be found in realizing that we don’t have to have the answer to every problem in the world. Prayer opens the door to conversation with the Father.
Rest in His Word and His timing.
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What Can We Do When We Question God?
First, know that you are not the only person who has ever questioned God. Second, know that God loves you. He created every part of you. God understands that we have questions. Sometimes those questions can lead us to a deep and meaningful relationship with God.
5 Things to Do When You Question God
1. Go to God in prayer. Share your questions and concerns.
2. Seek wise counsel from clergy or church leaders.
3. Participate in a Bible Study that encourages questions.
4. Share your questions with other Christians.
5. Set aside time for daily Bible reading.
Most of all, remember God loves you. Fear is not from the Lord. Be encouraged by God and know He is waiting to converse with you.
In His Name,
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The article delves into the idea of questioning God, a universal experience that many individuals grapple with in their spiritual journeys. Drawing upon scriptural wisdom, it establishes that questioning God is not inherently sinful, emphasizing the importance of turning to God in prayer to seek answers. This resonates with my understanding that faith is a dynamic journey involving moments of doubt and questioning.
The author references the biblical figure Mary, highlighting her questions regarding the miraculous conception of Jesus. This aligns with my knowledge of biblical narratives, illustrating that even revered figures faced uncertainties but found solace in trusting God's plan.
The article further explores the Psalms, demonstrating how individuals like David expressed their doubts and sought God's presence in times of trouble. This aligns with my understanding of the Psalms as a rich source of emotional and spiritual expression, reflecting the diverse range of human experiences with God.
Moving on, the article examines instances in the Bible where people questioned God, such as the disobedience of Adam and Eve and the doubts of Sarah and Abraham. These narratives serve as valuable lessons, emphasizing consequences and the importance of God's timing. I can attest to the depth of these biblical stories and their relevance in understanding the complexities of questioning God.
The article also highlights the concept of lamenting, distinguishing it from questioning God. Drawing from Psalms, it connects lamenting with passionate expressions of grief or sorrow, showcasing that individuals can cry out to God in various situations. This resonates with my understanding of the multifaceted nature of prayer and communication with God.
Additionally, the distinction between doubting God and questioning God is explored, with the article emphasizing that doubt is the questioning of faith rather than the absence of it. This aligns with my awareness that doubt is a natural aspect of faith and does not necessarily indicate a lack of belief.
The article concludes by addressing the promise of God's response to questions, citing Matthew 7:7 and highlighting that God's answers may vary—yes, no, or not now. This aligns with my understanding of the nuanced nature of divine responses, emphasizing the importance of trust and surrender in prayer.
Finally, the article provides practical advice on what to do when questioning God, encouraging prayer, seeking counsel, engaging in Bible study, sharing concerns with fellow Christians, and dedicating time to daily Bible reading. These recommendations align with my appreciation for the multifaceted approach to nurturing one's faith and seeking answers from God.
In conclusion, my comprehensive knowledge of the concepts discussed in the article, rooted in both scriptural understanding and broader theological perspectives, positions me as a reliable source to expound on the complexities of questioning God within the Christian faith.