Recently I heard about a friend who is in the process of questioning a particular way of understanding the Scripture. At first I felt worried for them, because getting the wrong answers about important questions can lead us down very dark paths.
But then I realised: I had been through that same issue, questioning my assumptions and exploring the options! And the whole process had strengthened my faith, not weakened it. Why should I deny my friend the opportunity to do the same?
Questioning is often more scary for those around us than it is for the questioner. Questions make us wonder about a person’s commitment and motives. Questions can be driven by doubt, or they can be driven by a thirst for God. But those who don’t question never grow.
In Hebrews 11:6, the Spirit says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
This is the key: if our questions are a way to protect ourselves from God’s intrusion into our lives, then those questions lead only to death. God is the King of Kings, his legitimate authority over every area of our lives is what sets us free from death and sin. If we question that authority, we push ourselves out of alignment with the source of life, and so hurt ourselves. When we ask questions this way, we will not hear the true answers, and the false answers our ears itch for will destroy us. (See 2 Tim. 4:3-4.)
On the other hand, if our questions are grounded in faith, they serve the purpose of seeking to know and understand and so love and serve our God more deeply and effectively. If we earnestly seek God, he will reward our efforts with new life and deeper relationship. The answers we find to questions like this will be like wholesome food. (See Heb. 5:11-6:12.)
Sometimes we can’t tell the difference between a question driven by doubt and one driven by faith, because on the surface they may be asking the same thing (for example, “Why is there so much suffering in the world?”) But God can see our hearts, and He will be found by those who seek Him.
So let’s not stop asking questions. Let us rather ask questions in faith, for the purpose of seeking God.