Have you been there? Asking questions, wondering why God is not answering prayer?
Depressed! Frustrated! Scared! Each day when you listen to the news or read the news, are these some of your feelings? The world is filled with so much evil. Levels of violence and crime seem to be only increasing. The wars and conflict and their impact seem to be spreading their tentacles into all areas of life, causing so much pain and suffering across the globe. The more you see and hear, the more you are concerned and so the more you are praying. Yet nothing seems to be improving, rather things only seem to be getting worse, it seems. Where is God you wonder? Why doesn’t He answer?
Are there things you have been struggling with, praying for, for a long time? The salvation of a child, spouse, or friend. Healing for a loved one down with cancer. The restoration of relationships, and marriages gone awry. The more you see and hear, the more you have been praying. Yet nothing seems to be improving, rather things only seem to be getting worse it seems! Where is God you wonder? Why doesn’t He answer?
This Old Testament prophet, Habakkuk is in a similar place of frustration. He has been praying for the salvation of his people, Judah, over and over and over again! But as he looks at the world around him, the immense injustices meted out to his people, the pain and suffering all around him, his heart is breaking. He has been praying, asking God for help. There is wrongdoing, destruction, violence, and crime. And like all good Christians, he has been praying faithfully for a solution. He has been praying for long. At least it seems really long to him. The more he sees and hears, the more he has been praying. Yet nothing seems to be improving, rather things only seem to be getting worse. Where is God in all of this, he wonders? Why doesn’t He answer? Just like you and me, Habakkuk is full of questions! And the Lord says, wait and watch! I am at work, I am not idle, I am doing something, something so amazing, you would not believe it if I told you (Habakkuk 1:5).
Now that brings us to the basic question, is it wrong to ask questions of the Lord? Are we allowed as Christians, to question God? Or shall we say, do good Christians, dare to question God? Or is it sheer impertinence?
Absolutely not! There is no problem asking questions to the Lord. The problem, however, is, how we ask these questions. The attitude of asking makes all the difference.
When we ask questions, with anger and bitterness of heart, shaking our fists in God’s face, there is a problem. However, just as children have all the freedom to ask their father questions, so also you and I have the freedom to ask our heavenly Father questions. When asking questions, we approach Him with hearts of submission and genuine surrender, trusting God and His sovereign goodness. Trusting in Him, recognizing that His ways are not our ways nor His thoughts our thoughts, they are much higher (Isaiah 55:8-9). And yet, trusting Him in His Word that He does indeed work all things together for good for us (Romans 8:28). And so, we ask our questions, with hearts of humility and trust.
Would you be still and trust Him with your questions today?