I ask a lot of questions. Recently, I’ve asked how records work (how do you get the sound of a trumpet verses a voice?), how far apart stars are from each other, and how chlorophyll works in plants.
Questioning the world around us is how we stay lifelong learners, and asking questions of others is how we get to know people on a deeper level. Questioning is good.
Except questioning God, right? We can’t question the all-knowing, all-powerful ruler of the universe. We have no right—we can’t possibly know His plans for His creation. It’s bigger than us, and we have no business questioning it.
God is omniscient and omnipotent and omnipresent (question what those words mean and learn something new today!). We are most certainly small and feeble and earthly-minded and couldn’t possibly know His plans.
But that doesn’t make life easier—and so you might begin to question God, and then immediately feel guilty about it.
You question why you’re sick. Why your friend passed away suddenly. Why you lost your job. Why you’re single or divorced or widowed. Why you’re moving.
Or maybe you’re just questioning God in general—if God is present in your life, if God really has your best interests at heart, if God is even real.
You ask these big questions, and then quickly backpedal as if God would disown you for asking Him a question.
You’re not the only one.
We typically think that everyone in the Bible had a completely rock solid faith in God—a permanent “here I am, send me!” mentality. But many characters in the Bible questioned and doubted God, boldly crying out in anger, in sadness, in pain to God.
- Habakkuk: “O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear?” (Habakkuk 1:2)
- Job: “Today also my complaint is bitter; my hand is heavy on account of my groaning. Oh, that I knew where I might find Him [God], that I might come even to His seat!” (Job 23:2–3)
- David: “How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?” (Psalm 13:1–2)
There is a delicate balance between acknowledging God’s sovereign will and recognizing that we are able to come to Him with our questions and doubts.
Like in Psalm 13, we see David approaching God with questions and requests in the first four verses, but in verse 5 there is a turn:
“But I have trusted in Your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.”
Despite his doubts, despite his current situation, despite his big questions, David calls upon the Lord. He brings the weighty things to God, and then he leaves them at His feet. He approaches God with the confidence you’d approach a father—knowing you can be a little angry, a little irrational. And, after you’ve finished punching the ground in classic temper-tantrum frustration, you can stand up and take a shaky, post-tear breath. Your father smiles down at you, wipes your tear-stained cheeks, and envelops you in a strong hug.
God welcomes your toughest questions. You can come to Him in your anger. In your sadness. In your heartbreak. In your confusion. In your doubt.
At the end of the day, you’re still approaching your heavenly Father. It might be with screams, cries, tears, outbursts, or rants—but you’re still coming to your God.
Because God is God and we are not, we won’t always know why things happen, and that’s hard to accept. There’s no blanket statement that anyone can offer that makes us feel any better about not knowing why God does what He does.
So come to God with your questions. With your doubts. With your worries.
He is big enough to handle them all. He is God, and He loves you.
“God welcomes your questions and outcries. Even when you don’t receive immediate or complete answers, you will receive His immediate and complete care. . . . Bring everything to God—even your most brutal questions.” (Hope When Your Heart Breaks, p. 124)
This blog post was adapted from Lutheran Life™, a digital magazine for everyday Christians. Read the full magazine and download free bulletin inserts at cph.org/lutheranlife.