*The Christmas Challenge: Read one chapter of Luke each day until Christmas.
It is a common misconception that people of faith never ask God questions. In this chapter, John the Baptist makes it clear that this is incorrect. Along with Job, Asaph, Habakkuk and others in Scripture, he demonstrates that those who trust in God do not hesitate to ask questions.
John addresses his question to Jesus: Are you the Messiah we expect, or should we look for someone else? John is in prison and perhaps he wondered if his life-work was purposeless. He didn’t see the miracles taking place, all he could see was the walls of his prison cell. While wonderful things were happening to others, his life wasn’t so spectacular!
So what can I do when I wonder what God is up to?
- Don’t be amazed that you have questions
If John the Baptist (Jesus said he was the greatest) had them, don’t be surprised if you do to. It is common for our sight to blind our faith. What we see can seem different from what we know. John expected miracles, but only saw prison walls.
- Don’t be ashamed that you have questions
The distinction should be made between questioning God and asking questions of God. Questioning God implies doubt that God is at work, knows what He is doing, or even exists. Asking questions of God implies faith that God exists, is at work, knows what He is doing, and has something to teach.
In fact, if God is using circumstances to teach and develop us, it might be argued that believers are sinning more by mute, ignorant endurance than by asking and seeking to discover the point of their experience.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your questions
A purposeful instructor has a specific intent for their means of instruction. Students who do not understand the lesson are missing that intent. Those who refuse to seek understanding will persist in ignorance.
Only those who seek to grasp the truth and meaning being communicated, even if it requires asking questions, are submitted to the purpose of the teacher.
Jesus responds to John with a demonstration of His grace. When we have questions, the answer is always in Grace.
Ask in reverence, ask in faith, ask expecting. But ask. And then stand ready for the answer. When doubts question, Grace answers!