Do you ever ask God, “Why, Lord?”
Most of us have at one time or another.
Life often is harsh and unrelenting, or at best, confusing. In these times more than any others, we feel a great need for answers. We feel an overwhelming need to know—Why?
We ask God questions like—
- Why does life have to be so hard?
- Why did I have to lose my child?
- How am I supposed to go on without my husband?
- Who will provide for my family now?
- Why did I have to suffer so as a child?
- Why would my husband cheat on me?
- How am to provide for my children without a job, Lord?
- Will I ever be well from this sickness?”
The questions we have for God are varied and many. And I praise Him that He does not rebuke us for asking! Rather, He longs for us to turn to Him with our questions, instead of turning away from Him in our pain and confusion.
Our God is big enough to handle our questions. And we might as well ask Him, since He knows what we’re thinking anyway, right?
Do you turn to God or away from Him when life gets hard? Do you ask God questions, too?
In our reading this week in Mark, the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees ask God, the Lord Jesus Christ, several questions. As I read, I noticed Jesus’ reaction and answers to their questions and realized that there are…
3 things God looks for when we ask Him questions.
First, when we ask God questions, He looks for salvation.
God looks for faith, saving faith. God looks at whether we are His child or not. For, God does not obligate Himself to hear, answer, or help those who do not belong to Him.
The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous. Proverbs 15:29
Listen to how Jesus responds to these unbelieving chief priests and scribes who ask Him by what authority He did what He did.
And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.
The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.
And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him?
And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things. Mark 11:29-31, 33
Notice Jesus felt no obligation to answer these unbelievers.
However, God does promise and obligate Himself to be there for His children. (1 Peter 5:7)
And to answer us when we pray in faith!
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. James 1:5-6
In the Book of James, James writes to his “brethren,” to saved people. (James 1:2) Therefore, we know that this promise is to believers, those of us who have trusted in Christ as our Saviour.
Are you God’s child?
Then ask away!
Your heavenly Father wants to help and guide and encourage you through this journey of life.
I’m reminded of something my mother used to tell us children.
If you do not come to me, I cannot help you.
If we try to hide our feelings and questions, pretending all is well, we forfeit the help and comfort and wisdom God longs to share with us.
As His daughter, run to God with your questions. And wait with a listening heart. For He will answer!
Second, when we ask God questions, He looks for sincerity.
God looks at our motives for asking. Are we honestly seeking to know the answer?
Or, are we really just disguising our complaint as a question?
Are we asking God…or accusing God?
The Pharisees and scribes ask Jesus 4 questions in our reading this week. Jesus responds to 3 out of 4 of their questions with a question of His own…because He knew their hearts and knew their motive was to try to discredit and mock Him.
They were not really seeking after truth.
And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words. Mark 12:13
Do you ever ask God, “Why, Lord? Why is this happening?”
Do you really want to know? Or, are you maybe a little…or a lot…angry with Him?
I’ve heard that it’s OK to express our anger when talking with the Lord, since He already knows our heart anyway. But I will say that I do not agree.
Yes, God knows our hearts, but that does not make our anger toward Him acceptable with Him.
Anger toward God is not a godly reaction to our situation, whatever that situation may be.
God is always to be approached with reverence and godly fear. He is the holy Creator God.
And we are not! Who are we to figuratively shake our fists at God and demand that He answer to us?!
With that being said, there are times when it is needful for us to ask God, “Why?”
Maybe we are going through a difficult season and we need to ask God “Why?” in order to find out whether some sin in our life is the cause of our difficulty. Or, whether the cause is simply God’s desire to teach us something in order to mold us to further Christ-likeness.
Other times we may be confused by the events taking place in our lives and need to ask Him more than just “Why?” We need to ask questions like, “How do I move forward?” “What should I do about this?” “When?”
The kinds of questions we ask, and the reasons behind them, are extremely important when we approach God.
If our motivation behind our questions is to know and follow God’s will, then He will surely hear and answer us. (James 1:5-6 above)
Almighty God doesn’t have to tell us anything.
But He delights to answer the prayers of those who are honestly seeking after Him and His ways.
Finally, when we ask God questions, He looks for a surrendered heart.
One of the scribes asked Jesus what the first, or greatest, commandment was. (Mark 12:28) And this time Jesus answered outright, instead or responding with a question.
But when this man responded to Jesus’ answer, he revealed his hardened, unyielding heart.
And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question. Mark 12:34
Notice, Jesus is not impressed with this kind of heart attitude when we ask Him questions. Jesus lets this man know that He knows his heart condition.
This scribe was not asking out of a desire to more closely align his life with God and His ways. This man didn’t ask out of a surrendered heart. He simply wanted his turn at trying to trap Jesus with His words. (Mark 12:13)
When you ask God your questions, are you willing to hear, really hear His answers? Are you ready to obey whatever He tells you? Repent of any sin He reveals to you? Let whatever lesson He is trying to teach you really sink in?
Then know that God will reveal Himself and His will to you. In His time and in His way. For Jesus promises…
If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. John 7:17
In other words, if we are willing to act on the answers that God would give us to our questions, then He will reveal His truth to us! But we must make sure we are truly willing, truly surrendered to Him, whatever His answers may be.
How can we tell if we are truly surrendered?
In Psalms 18:1 David gives us a way to…test how surrendered to God we really are.
I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. Psalms 18:1
We must ask ourselves…
Will I still love God, if I don’t like His answer to my question?
Will I still love God, if I never get an answer to my question?
And I think that is where we have to land on this idea of asking God questions. Understanding that God is God and does not owe us any answers to our “Why?” questions. At all. And deciding to trust Him and honestly say to Him, no matter His answers…
I will still love You, Lord.
In conclusion, of course, God wants us to come to Him with our questions, to seek after Him and His way for our lives. For, just as with our own children, if we don’t ask questions, how else will we learn?
But we have to be careful what we ask, why we ask, and how we ask.
Drawing nigh to Him,
Let’s talk about it.
What ‘why’ questions have you asked God in your life?
Is something weighing heavily on your heart right now? If you’d like me to pray with you about it, please leave a comment below or on the contact page. And while you are praying for answers, search the scriptures, too. Because, many times, our questions are already answered in the pages of God’s Word. (Mark 12:24) Or else, God will use a passage to give us the direction and encouragement we need.