Tuesday, December 14, 2021
It’s been over seventeen years since my first grandchild spoke his first word. It wasn’t long until the questions started rolling off his tongue. His first question was, “Wha dat?“ He would ask it about everything he saw, and he fully expected an answer. Then the question became “Why?” and he would ask it over and over and over again. I would do my best to give him answers. I love the natural curiosity of children who need to know what things are and how they work. I love being the one who can tell them.
When God speaks to us through the Holy Spirit and as we read His Word, it is not wrong for us to ask questions. We must, however, ask the questions from a position of faith and not doubt. The Christmas story contains examples of both. Zechariah, the father of John the Baptizer, questioned the angel Gabriel after being told he would have a son. His question asked for proof before he would believe. “How can I be sure of this?” The result of his faithless question was the discipline of God expressed as a speech impairment until the son was born. Then there was Mary, who also asked a question but clothed it in faith.
Luke 1:29 – 34 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.“ “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?“
Mary did not doubt the angel’s words like Zechariah did by asking how she could be sure of it. She affirmed the angel’s promise by asking, “How is this going to happen?“
We have two options for the kinds of questions we can ask God when He speaks to us: we can ask questions that seek faith or questions that affirm faith. We have the same two options when life’s circumstances change. We can ask questions that express doubt that God is really in control, or we can ask questions that state our faith in God’s promises. There is a huge difference between asking, “God, how is this ever going to work out?” and “God, how are you going to work this out?“
God hears both questions, but only one carries consequences. Questions of doubt will extend and deepen our suffering. But rest assured that suffering is God’s way of deepening our faith. Questions of faith also deepen our faith because God the Perfect Father loves to answer them and show us the how and why so we can know Him more deeply and trust Him more fully. I don’t know about you, but I am going to assume that you want to grow by asking the right questions instead of the wrong ones. So ask questions that spring from faith. God wants to show you even more than He already has.