Have you ever wondered is it okay to question God? Or is it a sin to question God?
The reality is in life we will face difficulties. We will have hard seasons. That’s part of the human experience and Christians are not exempt.
For many Christians these seasons can cause us to start questioning God.
Why is God letting this happen? When will things get better? Does God really care about me? Why is a good God allowing such pain? Is there even a God?
I’ve found that while these questions are common, they often bring about guilt. Many Christians feel that questioning God reveals a lack of faith. Rather than doubt and question God we should just shut up and trust him.
But I don’t think that should be the case. These seasons of doubts and questions can actually grow our faith when we don’t bury and hide them.
So, let’s look at this question, is it okay to question God? And what should we do when we are questioning God.
Questioning God In The Bible
I want to start by looking at characters in the Bible who questioned God. I think this will give us a good baseline to understand how God feels about it.
The Bible is full of people who question God. And what’s incredible is the Bible doesn’t hide their questions, but rather highlights them.
Here’s a few:
In Ecclesiastes Solomon continually asks difficult questions about life and God. Habakkuk starts off his book by crying out to God asking when God will finally hear him (Habakkuk 1:2). Gideon questions God’s answer in Judges 6-8. Abraham and Sarah question God’s ability to provide several times throughout their years. We see countless examples in the Psalms where the Psalmists are struggling to understand what God is doing. In John 20:24-29 Thomas questions Jesus’ resurrected body. The disciples, specifically Peter, continually question Jesus. In Revelation 6:10 we see those who were slain questioning God about when he will avenge them.
These are just a few examples, but I think the point is clear. Questioning God is part of the human experience.
When we face trials and tribulations it’s normal to ask questions as we struggle to understand what’s happening. We find these examples all throughout the Bible.
Is It Okay To Question God?
We’ve seen that people in the Bible question God regularly. The Bible highlights these questions, rather than hiding them. But still that doesn’t really answer our question, is it okay to question God? Is it a sin to question God?
To question God is not wrong in and of itself. What matters is how we do it. Bringing out questions and concerns to God is not wrong, but rather it is healthy. But we still must do so in a way that is respectful.
There’s a difference between questioning God and accusing him. We can question God in a way that still holds that he sees what we do not. When we question God we should do so in a way that is respectful and honoring.
But the Bible seems to be clear. Not only can we question God, we should. We are finite beings trying to grasp an infinite God. We are going to struggle, and questions can help.
God doesn’t get angry with our questions. He invites them. It’s often through our questioning that we come to a deeper understanding of who God is.
God doesn’t want blind allegiance. He wants a relationship. And that means that sometimes we are going to struggle. In those struggles questions will arise. That’s normal and good. That’s what leads us to a closer relationship with our creator.
How To Question God
I want to end by looking at how to question God in a healthy way. Here are some practical things we can do when we find ourselves in a season of questioning God.
1. Don’t Hide Your Questions
When we bury our questions and pretend they don’t exist it can hinder our relationship with God. But when we bring them into the open we can grow in our faith and experience closeness with him.
Air out your questions. Regularly share them with God. He wants your heart, whatever is on it. So give it to him.
I think the Psalms are the perfect place to turn for this. David continually asks God questions about whatever he’s struggling with. It’s a great model for us to follow.
Here’s what David says in Psalm 5: “Listen to my words, Lord, consider my lament. Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” Psalm 5:1-3
God invites your questions. You don’t need to hide them or pretend you don’t have them. When we hide our questions we are hiding part of ourselves from God. We are keeping our faith from growing. Don’t hide, bring your questions to God.
2. Don’t Be Ashamed Of Your Questions
I often see Christians beat themselves down because they are questioning God. They think they should just have it all together. Their faith is weak. That they should just trust God.
We are finite beings trying to understand an infinite God. Of course we are going to struggle to understand. We don’t need to be ashamed of our questions. It’s often through our questioning that our faith and trust in God is built. Instead remind yourself that it’s through your questions that your faith is built.
3. Recognize That Your Questions Can Produce Something Of Value
Questioning God can actually build something of value in our life. It can strengthen your faith.
Questions show that you are engaging with and thinking about important things. When we ignore the questions, we are missing an important time to turn to God and grow.
The times I’ve grown the most in my life and faith are when I’ve asked hard questions. Uncomfortable questions. It’s not always easy, but the result has always been worth it.
When you question God it can produce something of value in your life. It can grow your faith.
4. There’s A Difference Between Asking And Accusing
When we question God we should do so with the right heart.
Think of the story of Jonah. Jonah was struggling to understand what God was doing and found himself questioning God. But he did so with an accusing heart; he thought he knew what was best and failed to show any humility.
Even with this attitude, God still used him and offered him grace and forgiveness. But because of his attitude Jonah had to learn the hard way.
Here’s the point. God knows things we do not. He sees things we cannot. He has the power to do things we are incapable of. When we approach God with our questions we should come humbly understanding that we do not have all the answers, but he does.
Now, just like Jonah when we do come in a little too hot and accuse God without humility, he will still forgive us. But we will make it harder on ourselves.
5. Don’t Stop Asking Questions
Finally, don’t stop asking questions. In this life we will never have it all figured out. There will always be something that causes us to question God. And it’s important that we never stop bringing our questions to God.
There will be times when we are tempted to hide our questions. Fight that urge. Ask your questions. When we do that we will find a loving God who will use these questions as an opportunity to grow our faith.
Final Thoughts On Questioning God
Is it okay to question God? Yes. We can and we should. It’s through these questions that our faith will grow and we will come to a deeper understanding of who God is.
I would also encourage you to share with those around you times that you’ve questioned God. There’s still a stigma around questioning God that leaves many feeling like they are alone, something is wrong with them, and their faith is weak.
You don’t need to hide your doubts or questions or be ashamed. God isn’t ashamed of you in these seasons, and he can use them to do incredible things. In our questions God will give us what we need.
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