Questions help us explore the unknown, scrutinize our understanding, investigate our surroundings, deepen our relationships, and more. Here are five more important questions to ask when exploring faith with God. Did you miss Part 1? Click here.
#6 What if I made some terrible decisions?
Concerned you can’t connect with God because you’ve made some terrible decisions? Worried that the church roof might cave in if you step inside? Guess what, you’re not alone. The church is full of people who have made bad decisions, and so is the Bible.
Ever heard of Jesus’ disciple named Peter? He promised Jesus he would never betray him, and less then twelve hours later, he betrayed Jesus three times. Ever heard of Paul in the Bible? His life goal was to stop the spread of the church. In fact he authorized the murder of Christians. Ever heard of King David? He committed adultery and tried to cover it up by having the woman’s husband killed.
Most of us spend the first six days of each week sowing wild oats, then we go to church on Sunday and pray for a crop failure. —Fred Allen
Those biblical examples qualify as some terrible decisions. Can you top those? Even if you could, God’s response would be the same: “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved,” Romans 10:9. The issue in coming to faith isn’t what you’ve done. It’s what Jesus has done. And he has sacrificed his life so that you, and I, and everyone you can think of can have a relationship with God. Bible teacher Luis Palau says it well: “It’s bad when you fail morally. It’s worse when you don’t repent.” Repent is just a fancy way of saying “turn to God.” Turn to God today . . . right now. You’re invited.
#7 What if I don’t trust the church?
If you doubt the trustworthiness of the church, you’re not alone. News reports abound with church leaders who deceive and abuse, creating mistrust amongst many. What you don’t hear enough of, if at all, are the stories of hope and life change that God is doing in the church.
The local church is the hope of the world. –Bill Hybels
But if we’re honest, here’s the natural dilemma:
- The church is filled with hypocrites, but that’s because it’s filled with people in process. No one has arrived. Everyone, even the most spiritually mature, is being molded and shaped into the person God created him or her to be.
- The church is God’s plan for change in the world. Jesus loves the church and died for her, so it’s where we should invest our lives.
You don’t have to fall in love with the church instantly. Any healthy church would prefer you fall in love with Jesus. But over time, you will come to see that the local church is the hope of the world, and God wants you to use your gifts to help make God’s vision a reality.
#8 What if I tried God before and it didn’t work?
First, it would be good to define “didn’t work.” What were you expecting to happen? Did you expect the consequences for your sin to disappear? Did you expect the bad habits you’ve developed over a lifetime to evaporate instantly? There are occasions where some of those things happen, but that’s more the exception than the norm.
A little knowledge of God is worth more than a great deal of knowledge about Him. —J. I. Packer
The good news is that incredible things do happen the moment you put your faith in Jesus: you get a new identity, your sins are forgiven, you get the power of the Holy Spirit, your eternity is secure and much more. But just as graduating from college doesn’t guarantee you will automatically secure your dream job with a good salary, beginning your faith journey with Jesus doesn’t assure you’ll never get sick or get stuck in traffic. What you can be sure of, however, is that God will be with you every step of the way, strengthening you to overcome your challenges and comforting you when times are tough.
#9 What if I don’t have enough faith?
Everyone has faith. Faith is merely believing or trusting in something. Even believing the chair you’re sitting on will support you requires faith. But if you’re worried you won’t have enough faith in God, that’s not your concern. Jesus says, “Don’t worry about tomorrow . . . each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).
Not a great faith we need, but faith in a great God. —J. Hudson Taylor
Instead, ask yourself, “Who or what is the object of my faith?” God is a promise keeper and he will sustain you and give you the faith you require each moment. Right now, all you have to do is place your trust in God for this moment. Let God take care of the faith you need tomorrow.
The Apostle Paul knows something about faith. His life mission was to attack Christians and destroy their communities. His faith was in the belief that he was doing God’s work. He wasn’t. God got his attention and realigned his life and mission. As a result, Paul wrote, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). Paul reminds us that the faith you fear you won’t have isn’t yours anyway. Faith is a gift from God. So do you have faith right now? Thank God for the gift of faith and believe he will provide what you need tomorrow . . . and the next day . . . and beyond.
#10 What if I still have unanswered questions?
Welcome to the honest life! Far too many people fake their faith and then wonder what all the fuss about the Christian life is about. It’s OK to have doubts. It’s OK to have questions. I’d actually be worried if you didn’t. It’s not possible to completely understand an infinite, eternal God. Sure, God provided the Bible to reveal much about himself, and he speaks through his creation as well. But he’s still God, and we’re not. We’ll never completely know everything about God, and you need to be OK with that. If you think it’s possible, you’re following the wrong god.
To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible. –St. Thomas Aquinas
Let questions haunt you. Let them linger. Embrace them. And then pursue answers. Seek wise counsel from others; read your Bible and other Christian books; spend time in prayer and reflection. But do something. Take a step toward finding an answer. The only time questions are dangerous is if we become overwhelmed by them. There’s no need for that. You’ve got a God who loves you and who wants you to know him. It’s OK to have unanswered questions. It’s not OK to hide from them.
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QUESTION (leave a comment below)
If you could ask God one question and get an answer, what would it be?