Does questioning God offend Him?
There is a common misconception which causes many people to stay in doubt of God; that misconception is that God expects us to blindly trust Him.
Real faith is not blind, nor is it ignorant.
The only individuals that discourage questions are those with no answers.
I often read Facebook posts by people who have been struggling with hard questions; questions that every person works through at some point: about God, truth, eternity, judgment, etc. Then “Christians” respond with dumb answers that prove that they, instead of finding the actual answers, have copped out. These people call their ignorance “faith” and suggest that you do the same.
There are many people who use the mind they were given to ask questions, and yet are discouraged by the terrible answers offered. Christians are commanded to “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason…” (1 Peter 3:15).
I’m sad to say, many Christians are too lazy to search for truth; instead they rest in the explanation of a spiritual leader, and don’t ever understand the issue fully themselves. These types of Christians try to answer questions, but lack sufficient study of their own. When these attempt to answer questions, their info-lacking answer discourages honestly inquisitive people who hope for comprehensive truth. The hazy understanding of those who rest in the explanation (or opinion) provided by their leader does not only limit the abundance of their own life, but also serves as a potential barrier between the unsaved question-asker and the knowledge of eternal life. Don’t let these lazy people dissuade you from finding your answers. The answers exist! Maintain a teachable heart, and ask God.
Let me say from experience, as one who has asked God the hard questions and found answers; God has an answer to every question you have. The only variables are whether you are willing to search for it; and, when it is found, whether you will consider it with an open mind.
There are a few ways I want to approach this topic. First, Common Sense, second God’s Written Word, lastly, How Do We Question God Effectively.
1. Common Sense Says That God Encourages Questions.
For the sake of groundwork and the conversation, let’s assume something: did God make us? The assumed answer is “Yes, God made us.” Did he make our brains? “Yes.” So, if He made your brain, does He expect you to use it? Obviously! Your questions are then legitimate to God, based on simple reason.
Let’s make another assumption (I intend to write on all these questions eventually, but today I’m dealing with the concept of “Is Questioning God Wrong”) If God was interested in us enough to make us, and to make us intelligent beings capable of abstract thought and verbal communication, would He then ignore us? Again, common sense says that He would communicate to His intelligent creation; He took notice of us before, He would do it again. He interacted with us in making us, He would do so again to fulfill and satisfy us.
So, a God Who made brainy people with questions would have also supplied the answers to the questions. It would be contradictory for God to enable us to have questions, but not allow answers. He is “Not the Author of confusion” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Does God hate questions? Even apart from the Bible, common sense says “Absolutely not.” Any (nice) person who has answers also encourages questions; God is that way too.
2. The Bible Says That God Encourages Questions.
Is God offended by questions? Common sense says “No,” but what does the Bible say? After all, common sense can be interpreted differently. The Bible on the other hand is very clear on what it says.
Take it directly from Jesus:
Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
Jesus is the best Teacher, and he never turned down an honest question.
May I personally vouch? The Bible has answered all of my questions to this date. And I have asked some whoppers, like “Do you even exist, God?” and “Is the Bible actually your Word” among hundreds of related questions. God saw the questions coming, and gave answers in the Bible.
Let me reference a story found in Acts 17 about the Church at Berea:
Act 17:11 “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
The Apostle Paul preached to them; and instead of taking His word for it, the Bereans “searched the Scriptures” to make sure what He said was true. Paul was glad they questioned Him! In fact, He thought they were more noble than their counterparts who believed without question.
God thinks questions are noble.
The Bible says in James 1:2-5
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh patience (endurance). But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect (complete) and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally (generously), and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
Not all “trials” are circumstantial. Many trials are internal, and have to do with our minds and hearts. God says “Let the tests come, they will make you sturdy. If you need help figuring it out, just ask for wisdom and I’ll gladly give it.”
What better way of being firmly grounded in your faith than to ask the big questions? God isn’t afraid of your questions; in fact, He wants you to be inquisitive.
3. How Do We Question God Effectively?
James 4:6 “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”
There is a circumstance when God will not answer a question. If someone has a disrespectful, arrogant attitude while asking; God will not answer. God says pride is a disgusting sin. If someone questions in order to accuse God, God will not give an answer. Consider when Jesus was being crucified, they asked Him several times whether He was the King, and He remained silent. He knows when someone is not really interested in the answer, and that they will reject the truth when it is given.
James 1:6-7 “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. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.”
Come to God expecting an answer.
Come to God expecting Him to be good to you. If you think of Him as selfishly holding things away from you, that obviously offends Him. Expect Him to give you what is best for you.
How do we question God effectively?
- Get a question
- Ask God the question
- Read the Bible.
- Keep asking
- Live your day expecting to figure it out.
What does the 5th mean? From experience I can say that sometimes after you have asked God, He will enlighten your mind in the middle of something you are doing. He will bring a Bible verse to mind in the middle of a living illustration of His answer; suddenly you will “get it.” That is what wisdom is, the application of knowledge. But if you want wisdom you must (as Jesus would put it) “Ask, seek, knock.” Remember, if you ask God for wisdom, He gives it generously (James 1:5). Go after the answer! God wants you to understand.
Real faith is not blind. Real faith is “tested” and has received confirmation. Real faith has answers; it has asked questions.
Have a question for God? Ask Him. You don’t have to worry about offending Him by asking, just keep a teachable spirit. Expect to be convinced, and God will answer.