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Living with Questions

DSC01712b_SnapseedOver the years I’ve heard of those who have left the church saying that they have not been allowed to ask their questions.

My guess is that for some of them, the issue has not been that they always expected answers, but rather that they were not allowed to honestly ask.

Admittedly,  questions can be used to avoid the truth. But they can also come from a searching heart. If asked with a desire to come to terms with the truth rather than to avoid it,  God can fulfill the promise to give wisdom (not necessarily with a direct answer but in knowing how to handle our questions.)

We in turn can learn to hear the questions of others either with loving, respectful responses— rather than in a fearful/defensive/angry way as if there is only a place for questions that can be answered. (Sometimes trying to answer the unanswerable doesn’t help :-).

The Book of Job shows how God allows events that stir up questions we cannot answer, and then, when our questions turn to accusations against him, asks questions of us to help us trust him for what he isn’t ready to reveal (i.e Job 38:4).


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58 Responses to “Living with Questions”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Go into a nursery or a children’s Sunday school class and there are plenty of questions. In fact the questions remain ask up through the teenage classes as well.

    The *danger*, if there is any, is in the answers, given by well meaning people that often only confuse or extend the questions into adulthood.

    Cult indoctrination is all about answers without questions.

    In reading Scripture along the life of Jesus He was continuously ask questions and He answered them all. His parables only came into the conversation after the Elders of Israel failed to recognize their Messiah.

    I have been at Bible studies where the entire forum is question and answers, again the problem may be the answer given and the way it is received.

    I believe God reveals to us all we need to know, and I also believe there may be things we not only don’t need to know, but by knowing them we may either be placed in danger or try and go ahead of God’s plans and make a mess.

    Two types of questions come to mind; personal and theological. God may have His reasons for withholding answers in either area, the problem comes when people try and answer for God without God’s anointing.

    I have read no where in Scripture where it is not allowed to ask questions of God.

    Steve

  2. tracey5tgbtg says:

    I appreciate this comment: (Sometimes trying to answer the unanswerable doesn’t help :-).

    I think that is the book of Job in a nutshell. I would take that comment even further and say trying to answer the unanswerable will never help. But oh how I want to try. It is a deep temptation to want to have the correct answer – to be the one to give a questioning heart peace. But that is trying to be God to someone.

    It is good to have questions and lay those questions before God. A heart with no questions is a heart that doesn’t care in the first place.

  3. Artle says:

    I imagine most people attend a church to find answers, if they are truly seeking God.

    Whether they can ask their questions or not, I suspect most people leave most churches because they do not find any answers or at least the answers they need and they do not feel any closer to God.

  4. Rocky says:

    Mart,

    Thank you for always bringing up topics that are sensitive and difficult.

    Personally, I found that as soon as I began to study the Word, I didn’t see it as a spiritual book, nor a history book, I saw it as a book filled with values and principles that I could use today, this very moment.

    As I began to apply those principles to my every day life, it became a challenge to find a new principle.

    After the attacks of September 11th, my financial world came crashing down. I did not worry initially, because I knew who my provider was.

    I remembered the teachings of my youth that said “if you are ever struggling financially, simply pay your tithes” in my ignorance, I thought, if this is true, I’ll double my giving to the Lord, so I did for a year.

    The one thing that happened, was I went deeper and deeper into debt. Finally, I cried out to God, Lord what am I doing wrong? Are my expectations wrong? Are my motives wrong? Am I expecting a material blessing when I should only be expecting a spiritual blessing?

    That’s when the Lord took me to Deuteronomy 26, now I’ve read this passage before, but never with the interpretation that the Lord was showing me, and it certainly didn’t align with any teaching that I had ever learned in church.

    My curiosity, wanted conformation, I asked and shared this experience and new found knowledge with pastors, elders, long time Christians, virtually everyone of them got angry, and some even called me a renegade.

    The Bible says “My sheep know my voice, and they follow me”, also “Obedience is better than sacrifice”. I chose to obey my Lord, it’s amazing where the Lord has taken me.

    I did not leave the church, but I was not allowed to participate in any ministry. But the Lord knew where he needed me. I’m now connected with the Salvation Army homeless shelter here in my community working side by side with the chaplain, who receives everything that God has given me with open arms.

    Lesson learned: If you’re not allowed to ask questions, perhaps it’s simply that God is trying to get your attention to relocate where He needs you, definitely not for you to leave the church.

    Sorry for being so long.

    I’ve missed you all.

    Love

    Rocky.

  5. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends –

    Mart, you wrote:
    “If asked with a desire to come to terms with the truth rather than to avoid it, God can fulfill the promise to give wisdom (not necessarily with a direct answer but in knowing how to handle our questions.)”

    This truth-seeking you mention called me out of searching down the roads and highways of worldly answers. There aren’t any. It seems to me the human spirit can starve seeking spiritual answers of worldly wisdom. If not permitted to expand and search, the honest questioning voice within becomes muffled and choked off.

    Sometimes I have had to simply sit with the question for long stretches of time. Hasn’t Jesus told us, “Search and you will find.”? Surely God gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask. I agree, Rocky, remarkable things come when we keep seeking God.

    Maru

  6. oneg2dblu says:

    Artle… that statement is a winner.
    I have found that those things are true for many who give up and leave the church.

    Here is another for those who are searching continuously to hear the truth…

    I leave as quickly as possible if I hear false teaching that does not line up *rightly* with the word of God, because a little voice in me says, “Move On!”

    But there are places where that voice says, “Stay, correct, rebuke, train the people of God with sharing truth, sharing my word, and do not remain silent for the sake of fearing any man’s hostility, contempt, accusations or belittling, or fear of being adversely labeled by others, those things are no mine.”

    “Fear rather the Only One who can harm your Soul and cast your Soul into the Lake of Fire, Forever!”

    When that voice says, “Stop,” I listen, I cringe, I bend, I believe, and I find another path has been set before me, and it plays within me another verse of Onward Christian Soldiers marching as to war, and it begins again, and the blessed work goes on.

    When good men say nothing, because they are silenced by listening to the P C of others and not God, hasn’t evil then won its day?

    God is not driven by any political consenters, He is driven by His Truth being Revealed, pointing us to His truth and His Way, Jesus Christ, and not having any of His truth ever withheld, twisted, or being silenced, for that is not a place where those who are searching to hear His truth would continue to stay.

    Your experience may differ, but that has been mine. For we are not to be the Lamb who was silent when led to the Cross, we are to be the voice in the wilderness to a world who does not know the truth yet, because we being believers are given a commission, the Great Commission.
    “Share the Word, the Truth, theGospel!”

    Gary

  7. poohpity says:

    There seems to be an immense difference in asking God questions and His response compared to man with insecurities and egos. God could handle Abraham’s asking from fifty to five to save a town, the town was not saved but the few people were taken out. Even John the Baptist after baptizing Jesus and seeing the heavens open up sent his disciples to ask, “Are you the One who is to come?”. Jesus did not react defensively/angrily/fearfully or even shame John for asking but sent back proof to dispel John’s doubt.

    Asking people questions at times seems to confront their very nature of wanting to have all the answers, know everything or even calling to question what they say they believe. It seems to cause a blow to the ego. It is hard for some to even say I do not know or I do not understand. Then there is questioning someones decisions who think it is their way or the highway, get out of the way on that one, lol!! Then there are those who answer without even understanding the question just to say something.

    If Jesus did not know the thoughts of His disciples they may have never asked Him to explain the parables He taught them because they seemed afraid to ask. Jesus never seemed to be upset with them but just went on to explain in a quiet, gentle way. Now if that had been a regular person oh my gosh who knows how they would have responded.

  8. belleu says:

    I do remember asking God two questions years ago and He did answer me in dreams. One was about my father who had recently died and one was about heaven. I believe God will answer all our questions either here and now or in the future.

    I have often wondered why God didn’t tell Job the reason for his suffering. I suppose we need to see the power and wisdom of God, as Job saw it, to answer our questions about suffering and why those we love had to die before they were old. Nothing seems more tragic in life than losing a young person in your family, and Job lost all of his children. I cannot imagine the pain he went through, although I have lost a grandson.

    I didn’t have to ask God why He took my grandson. We all knew why. My grandson was having trouble in his life. He believed in God, but was in great trouble. We believe God took him to save him. We miss him so very much, but we know God did what was best for him.

  9. SFDBWV says:

    I’ve been thinking about our subject and it may be that the problem of asking questions in a church setting may be that the *status Quo* is questioned not God.

    In fact since people want clear and immediate answers to their questions, instead of reading the Word, prayer and meditation, they simply ask each other questions only God *should* answer.

    How much of a difference is it to ask a question or make a statement?

    Our friend Gary is set upon by almost all because he has a different view of salvation then the most of us.

    Isn’t that what some questions are, a challenge to accepted thought.

    In thinking about it, it seems Jesus tried to simplify the entire message as “love one another” instead of sorting through all the details of the law and all of the disagreements that exist concerning them.

    He was tortured and killed, not because He ask questions, but rather because He challenged the *status quo* of the religious mentality.

    Having said all of this, I can see where some people may get the cold shoulder or glass eye from those who don’t want their beliefs questioned or their place in the church challenged, but asking questions is how one gets information and so I in retrospect I know of no one getting thrown out of church for asking questions, but do know plenty that left on their own because of the answers they got.

    Steve

  10. SFDBWV says:

    On another personal note; I want to tell of a conversation I had with a Psychiatrist some 14 years ago.

    The neurologist overseeing Matthew’s medical needs thought Matt needed the physical and mental expertise that a Psychiatrist could bring to the table, so after some discussion I agreed.

    The Dr. met every expectation of being a *shrink* in appearance, but in fact was a very nice man and just who we needed at that time in Matthew’s healing.

    Matt couldn’t sleep and so Dr. Kickzallas fixed him up with what Matt needed for a few years until he no longer needed any help to sleep soundly.

    The Dr. was a Jew, but I would say not an *orthodox* Jew; at the time in his mid 70’s.

    He ask me if I let Matt be angry with God. If I allowed Matt to question things of God.

    I said I did.

    He thought that the best course of action for me, to not force Matt to feel guilty for questioning God about the circumstances in his life. To allow Matt to be free in expressing his emotions.

    I think personally this should apply to all and any of us. I think God is a great deal bigger than one who needs His ego petted or can’t deal with being challenged.

    Love to all

    Steve

  11. foreverblessed says:

    Steve, “He ask me if I let Matt be angry with God. If I allowed Matt to question things of God. ”
    that is exactly what often is not allowed in a christian setting.
    Mostly: We are not allowed to doubt God, or what He is doing in us.
    If hard things happen we, and I do, give verses like the following:
    (They are from Joyce Meyers book, Battlefield of the mind:
    part 2 states of our spirit: chapter 9 is about a questioning spirit in us, and chapter 11 about a doubting and spirit of umbelief. Maybe is was a coincidence, but just this morning I was reading it, and then realised why we as christians with a burning desire to follow Jesus often tackle questions with these following bible verses.)
    As part of our armour of God, Eph 6:14-18: The sword of the Spirit to attack doubt
    God has given us faith Rom 12:3 , faith in our hearts, but then the devil puts thoughts of doubt in our minds,
    Abraham is a good example for us, Rom 4:18-21 God had given him a vision of the son to be born from him and Sarah, and he did grow from faith to faith Rom 1:17, not from faith to doubt to unbelief,
    Mark 11:23-24 we ask something from God, but in our hearts we think: I wonder if God will do this.
    Then God cannot act on what we ask, because of our unbelief.
    Rom 1:17,
    Matt 14:31 why did you doubt
    Marc 6:6 He was amazed by their unbelief
    1 Kings 18:21 How long do you waver between two opinions: If the Lord is God, follow Him!
    Mark 14:24-32 Peter walked on the water, but looked at the storm and sank, he did not have his eyes fixed on Jesus just in front of Him, Faith was needed.
    James 1:5-7 asking but deep inside not believing in God, than God cannot answer.
    Matthew 17:14-20 unbelief leads to disobedience
    Unbelief and doubt keeps us from reaching a full life in Christ, resting in Him Matthew 11:28-29, Hebrews 4:11 entering the rest in Christ through Faith in Him.
    Some of us can live in misery,just getting ourselves through the day and our daily chores, no real joy, no peace, and Joyce Meyer would ask God, why is this, than her eye fell on: Rom 15:13
    And suddenly she knew her problem was doubt and unbelief, she had slowly believed all the lies that the enemy puts in our thoughts. And tells us: start believing God what He states in the bible, and do away with all the negative thoughts, the doubting thoughts.
    So how to react to a person who is coming to our church houses, and starts to ask these questions?
    Giving all these verses, or giving room for these questions, and waiting for the Holy Spirit to give us words, and wisdom how to deal with this particular person.
    How do you do this now, Steve, while Matt is still asking many of these questions?

  12. Rocky says:

    Steve, your “shrink” gave you some really good advice/asked a very good question. Often times children are not even allowed to question or be angry with or at parents. While raising my children I allowed them to express all of their emotions, and then I taught them to recognize them and how to control them so that others would not be hurt by them.

    I believe like many parents, Christians including clergy don’t really understand what they have been taught as a result simply recite what they have been taught and it all becomes rhetoric, but to actually apply what the word says, then teach and demonstrate how it’s done, as oppose to simply force and expect others to perform, will be more of an inconvenience.

    This my belief as to why people may feel they aren’t able to ask questions, because people don’t really know.

    Example: I’ve always been taught that “God is my provider” but every time that I would lose my job, I would freak out as if my employer was my provider. There was no correlation between my words and my actions. Today I know who my provider is, and it certainly is not my employer.

    But if anyone ever asks me, about there struggle with finances, I will never respond simply with “don’t worry, God is your provider”.

    Have an awesome everyone!

    From Sacramento, CA, Rocky.

  13. poohpity says:

    I think one of the very hardest questions we can ask God is to search my heart and show me the things that offend you within me? What is it that I do over and over that causes anger to well up within me or that I keep losing jobs or that pushes people away? It is easy to ask God questions why He may not do things the way we would like but what is it within me that keeps me from receiving your very best, a heart full of joy and trust?

  14. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed and Rocky I want to address your comments and will; I’m not ignoring you pooh, I just have comments that I want to add to theirs.

    Foreverblessed this to me is central in my learning to be a witness for Jesus of Nazareth; when people have questions like you have dressed out I can only give them my own life experiences to show examples of believing, but my advice for them is to ask God and because I believe as I do I believe God will show them the answers they seek, the first being that He is real.

    I can not condemn them nor accuse them nor insist they accept what I believe; I have to love them for who they are and pray for them to receive God as I have or more.

    I can not nor should I lay my beliefs or as some may say my hang ups on another, I can only be me and accept them without judgment and without criticism.

    I would love to say I have always thought this way, but it is life that has taught me to see more clearly what it is Jesus shown His disciples and from His Word us, as to how we treat others especially others who ask questions about God or about Jesus or question my faith.

    Rocky I too tried to be the provider for my family and like you early on would as you say *freak out* when I would get laid off.

    Working in the coal mines means two certainties. Lay offs and strikes.

    So I had several back up plans to keep money coming in and would always fall back on them when needed. The plan always worked and then I reached a point in life where I ask God to open up a different door for me as I just seemed to be always in a circle and going nowhere.

    I found a wonderful Job not only for me, but for Matthew as well and life seemed to be right on track finally…then

    Matthew wrecked his car and ended up with traumatic brain injury and his mother my wife contracted cancer; she died in October of 2000.

    I had to quit working altogether in order to care for their needs and with almost no income forced to leave it to God for our financial survival.

    That time between June 1999 until January 2001 we had just enough money with help from the charity of the citizens of our community to carry us until insurances and social security could kick in and enable us to survive with abundance.

    I learned God will provide, not an employer nor me.

    Like you as I struggled in life to make ends meet I heard all of the prosperity preachers give me a formula to gain wealth; the problem was that my motives were wrong, I wasn’t trusting God, I was putting Him to the test and even though He said to test Him on tithing, still my motive was wrong. He always met my needs I just wanted more and for the wrong reasons.

    We agree.

    Steve

  15. remarutho says:

    Agreeing with this thread today!

    The balance between expressing and controlling comes in tiny little increments, it seems to me in my life at least. My struggle at present is to offer healing words or attitudes to those who feel so battered, buffeted, disappointed and rejected in the world.

    Unfortunately, “hurting people hurt people.”

    Lord, give me the shield of faith — but also a tender heart for those who are so world-weary they have lost their trust in You. Have mercy on us! Amen

    PS Love those cute Grand-babes, Deb! :o)

  16. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed, I know of Joyce Meyers and have seen many of her presentations; she is a gifted speaker and I would not argue with anything she has said, however…

    Please understand this is from my understanding not any universal absolutes for anyone else to accept adopt and receive.

    God will do what God will do and we can not *force* or *corner* Him into accepting our desires over His will.

    For at least two years Matthew would set on the edge of his bed and believed with all his heart that he could stand and walk to me. He would set there until his heart would break time after time after time and not be able to rise up and walk. He would place his hands on the alter at church and ask God to be healed time and time again only to be wheeled away.

    For Joyce to say that it is the fault of a believer they just don’t have enough *faith* in order to receive their *miracle* is insulting, and counter productive to evangelizing or converting or spreading the Gospel of Jesus of Nazareth.

    Such *preaching* puts all the effort and all the responsibility on the believer and not on God where it should rest.

    God will anoint us and empower us to do exactly what it is He wants from us and all of our wanting to do more will not come unless it comes by the will of God.

    Life here is very intense; Matthew suffers from brain injuries so there are a host of mental issues to deal with. The thing is that I can not add to his torment by insisting he be me.

    Steve

  17. foreverblessed says:

    O no, Steve, sorry for the misunderstanding. I do not believe she means these verses to be used as you say: we ask God in prayer and Matt will walk, if we have enough faith. The thing I was thinking about, how do you do it, when Matt says that God has forgotten him, that he starts doubting if God exists anyhow.
    I got the impression that the trial of Job lasted for about 25 years. Out of some old writing called the Job epistle.
    Although we can believe that ultimately God will heal us, body mind and spirit, in the end. So in that case, we can for sure have faith in healing, only the timing we leave up to God.
    Last month I got another illness, just as the migraine was leaving, and is almost gone, there appeared another hard trial, I was suffocating, could hardly get air. It turned out that I am allergic, hayfever, and in this time of the year.
    I started to ask God questions: what is this? Am I doing something wrong? Do I lack zeal for You, is not all my desire put in Jesus, do I lack faith in You?
    And then I got this scripture: Joel 2:25,26
    many locusts, not just one, only the migraine, no many more! BUT… God will repay me for all the years,
    and I will praise the name of the Lord who has worked wonders for me.
    And the illness is still here! So, there it is, still faith in God! And I am praising Him for the work He is doing right now!

  18. foreverblessed says:

    Rocky, thanks for sharing your story. It is true, many things we ask fellow christians, they do not understand what we ask, because they have not gone through it. When I talk about the answer I was given, about the Joel 2:25, then from fellow christians I get a lot of explanations, but not the one that was laid down in my heart. Maybe I cannot clearly say what God laid in my heart, it suddenly became clear to me what He is saying. The time of restoration will come, and I can sing now because of that! I believe God is teaching me, and disciplining me to praise Him despite adverse situations. Stay in the rest of Jesus, amidst the storm. Stay focussed on Him, and be at rest. And that is quite something, but if another christian has not gone through that same experience, he gives other advice, which is of no use for me now.
    It also teaches me to have communion with God more then with other christians. I cannot share everything with everybody, but with God I can.

  19. poohpity says:

    Maru, what cute grand-babes?

  20. poohpity says:

    Like Mart said people try and answer the unanswerable that is why they seem to say things like “if your faith were greater” those are just people who do not know the lord very well is my hunch. Why did not God take away all the suffering for those who’s faith was great or even the suffering Jesus went through. Isn’t it God who helps us through our trials, suffering and sorrows if He does not heal right away, one day we will be healed until then we can trust that He knows what is best and we can trust His heart if we do not see His hand but that even may be because we are blinded or deaf to Him. After all God is not Santa Claus!! What if being the way we are has stopped something worse from happening or what if our continual job loses has something to do with poor job performance that we fail to admit to.

  21. belleu says:

    Steve, You have gone through a great testing and suffering time and are still going through it. I will pray for you and your dear son. I’m not sure why some people believe God will cure every illness – perhaps because Jesus did when he was here on earth. I think he did that to show what God is like. But when Paul asked for healing, God said no. And of course, if God healed all our illness here on earth every time, none of us would ever die.

    When I was forty-five, a terrible thing happened to me and I was angry at God and wouldn’t speak to him for 5 years. Then I started reading books on why God allowed suffering. Books by Yancey and C.S. Lewis. Gradually, I came to understand and I returned to God.

    My sister is very angry at God right now and questions everything He does. She has lost her health, her money (since she can’t work), her home, her self-esteem – well, she says she has lost everything. I’m glad she keeps praying and reading the Bible every day, but she is still very angry. I honestly think it is better than being indifferent to God!

    Anyway, May God bless you and Matthew. May his mighty hands be upon you both. May he help you in your lives, lift up your heads and give you both hope and peace. I know God is glorified by your faith in the midst of this suffering.

  22. remarutho says:

    So sorry Pooh1

    A new picture post came up on my fb page from you. Thought that was you and grands. Must be great nephew and niece. My mistake. Should have read the post! Great pic.

    Blessings,
    Maru

  23. poohpity says:

    Maru, hey find me on facebook. My boys are young enough to be my grand-babes that is what I thought you were talking about with our picture on my page, lol. No grandchildren yet none are married just finishing college and getting jobs. Hopefully they will not repeat the same thing I did, single parenting is one hard road to hoe. Deborah Johnson

    Do we worship and praise God for what He does or does not do for us or for who He is? How can we rejoice in God always if it dependent on circumstances?

  24. BruceC says:

    Today’s “Daily Bread” was great and dealt with the topic of questions. Something to think over.

    BruceC
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  25. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Steve, so we pray for Matt:
    May the Lord keep Matt, May He bless him and keep him, The Lord makes His face shine on Matt, and be gracious to him.
    The Lord turn His face towards him and give you peace.
    Numb 6:24-26
    Bruce I also pray for you, and for your health, for your wife, for your house, for your neighbours, may God give all of you peace.

  26. SFDBWV says:

    Quite sometime back Mart referred to present day Israel as an atheist nation, I defended their position as understanding it was only some seventy years ago that seven million of them were murdered for just being Jewish.

    Small wonder that many of them abandoned God as they felt abandoned by God.

    Belleu, I am sure you handle the matter with your sister well as these are seasons nearly all of us go through at some time in our lives.

    Matthew is stuck in between; he is almost ok and yet not, both physically as well as mentally. In fact he is so well mentally that sometimes I forget he isn’t.

    Sadly he has nothing to talk about so he constantly asks me the same questions and makes the same statements insisting on an answer and a response each time.

    This begins in the dark before we get up 4:30 in the morning and ends at bed time at 9 pm.

    It always reminds me of the continuous and constant barrage of questions and complaining God hears each and every moment without end.

    I always end with whatever I say to Matt “I love you” sometimes it’s all I say.

    I think sometimes it is the same with God.

    The questions we might ask God always deals with the situation we are in at the moment; it is no different than the questions I get from my son.
    We are looking for encouragement, hope and a way up or out of whatever it is that has us seeking answers, so is Matthew.

    One of the tricky situations we encounter is in believing God in control of every matter and then when matters end up bad we see God at fault for allowing it.

    It is actually very simple. I understand why Matt or Belleu’s sister could get angry and I believe God understands it as well.

    In truth I believe we all get angry with God sometimes and question His judgment. Job did and God didn’t punish Job rather He answered Job and blessed him.

    Did Job ever know why he was tested? Well someone wrote the Book of Job.

    Steve

  27. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed, thank you for your love, concern and prayers for Matthew.

    Please don’t feel bad for what seemed like a little miscommunication yesterday as I know you to be a warm, loving compassionate person and I hold you in the highest regard.

    When I observe the brokenness in Matthew, I often see it as how I would imagine God sees the brokenness in us all.

    As by the stripes Jesus received we are all healed of the results of sin in our world; sickness, disease, disability, mentally and physically we are all crippled because we live in a fallen world.

    Matt asks “why am I here?”, “why am I hated?”, what good is my living?”, why doesn’t anyone love me?”, “what purpose do I have in living?”. He often says “I doubt there even is a God.”, I would rather be burning in the bowels of the earth.”, “I don’t want to be here any more.”, “Get me a gun and let me kill myself.”, “If you loved me you would let me go.”

    The list goes on, but I am sure everyone gets the message.

    Every night at bed time Matthew and I pray for all the people on his list, he remembers them by name. Sometimes when ask to he will ask me to help him pray for someone as soon as he is ask to. Every night he hears me ask God for a good day tomorrow.

    When the day turns sour, he believes it to be God’s decision, or that there may not even be a God and I am just talking to the air.

    He is just saying the same things people every where ask, when life is cold and brutal and cruel and *unforgiving*.

    The warfare, the battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual and so in the physical as well as in the spiritual *love* is always the victorious weapon of choice.

    Steve

  28. Artle says:

    Sometimes I wonder if our children teach us more about life and God than we manage to teach them.

  29. SFDBWV says:

    Today has been an exceptionally aggressive battlefront here in my home and our lives.

    Everyday I ask God to place us in His sphere of love and protection, as the day begins.

    What I have learned is that sometimes healing only comes through the fire and tribulation of adversity, but in the end love always prevails…always.

    We live with the questions we would ask God, but sometimes when I come before God to ask, instead, I just say to God “I love you” because I have nothing left to say.

    Tell someone today that you love them and let that be enough.

    Steve

  30. poohpity says:

    It seems like it is very hard to come to terms with truth. When I get defensive or angry when I am asked a question most times it is a truth that I am confronted with and do not want to acknowledge. If I never acknowledge the truth I will prevent it from freeing me from the things that bind us to old patterns of thinking or behaviors. Truth was what caused me to seek a Savior, truth is what cuases me to cling to Him. Questions can help us to really look at those things that we refuse to see or hear.

    There are folks that others do not feel free to ask questions because it seems to say to them that their authority is being challenged. Artle, that happens a lot when children ask their parents questions when what they say and do are so diametrically opposed. Yes children can be the most eye opening one’s to call us on things. Most parents tell them just to be quite they are to be seen and not heard but then they go on to emulate the same behaviors they see their parents do.

    After they are gone who can we trust to call us to accountability? Sometimes even our spouses or good friends get a taste of defensiveness and anger when we ask those hard questions.

  31. poohpity says:

    quiet not quite, lol!!

  32. belleu says:

    I like what you said, Steve, about love being the answer. I was just reading a book that had this sentence, “Jesus lived in such a way that men saw that love was the only thing worth living for; that life had meaning only as it had love.”

  33. SFDBWV says:

    When I think of unanswered questions I think of the 400 year drought the descendants of Jacob suffered.

    There in Egypt they went from affluence to slavery, generation after generation without a recorded Word from God.

    400 years seems like a tremendous length of time to a person who may or may not live 70 years. However it is said a thousand years is as one day to God.

    The thing is we are not God, so we live in an awareness of time and for many of us time seems to be running out on getting the peace we seek from some of the questions that we harbor in our hearts.

    What is it about blind trust that is so important to God? Why can’t it be as simple as we seek, we find, we ask, we are answered? Why must it take a life or a lifetime before we can hopefully find peace?

    Funny it seems that for as many generations people have ask the same questions as on many a tombstone I see written “Rest In Peace”.

    I for one am apparently blessed more than some, because God has spoken to me many times, answering many questions and strengthening me to weather the unanswered ones. I have a lifetime of God interacting with me and I thank Him for it every day many times a day.

    I believe it is as Jesus said, ask and receive.

    Steve

  34. cbrown says:

    Good Morning All! After my morning devotional I had some time so I read over the posts on this blog. I saw many things I had missed the first time and was greatly blessed. Now I am going to go read Deut 26.

  35. Rocky says:

    Maru, Foreverblessed, & Steve thanks for your response & kind words.

    Foreverblessed, yes the same thing happens with me I get a hundred different responses with that passage.

    Steve, where do the seeds to our wrong motives come from? Only God knows. The Bible tells us that teachers will be judge harder. I believe that a lot of our bad motives start from what we are taught, from our peers,siblings, parents, teachers, & yes the clergy & elders in our lives.

    But blaming others does not correct the problem, once we recognize that only with God’s strength & help can we be redeemed.

    His provision will be different for all of us, as my provision is different for my children. They have different needs, strengths, weaknesses.

    Cbrown, I’m to hear what the Lord shows you when you read Deut. 26.

  36. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All –

    Much good spiritual practice reflected here in this conversation! Mart, you wrote:

    “(Sometimes trying to answer the unanswerable doesn’t help :-).”

    It seems to me, and a praise chorus comes to mind, that we are called to:

    “dwell in His promises, walk in His light. Darkness shall flee at His command. All through the day and night, we’re in His hand.”

    I draw peace and tools for living from going to the Scriptures. Jesus has come toward us — and we are invited accordingly to seek Jesus’ presence in all circumstances.

    The Apostle Paul did not give his spiritual son Timothy answers. Rather, he led him to “proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince; rebuke and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching.” (2 Timothy 4:2)

    Even as we wait, dwelling in God’s promises, are we not to be about the Gospel project? (2 Timothy 2:15)

    Yours,
    Maru

  37. remarutho says:

    The only answer possible is God’s love in Jesus Christ, in my humble opinion, and knowing him more and more as time passes…Maru

  38. bubbles says:

    Where do seeds to wrong motives originate? They come from our pride. Jer. 17:9 says the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Who can know it?

  39. quietgrace says:

    I really like this blog. I am one who has been through the “valley” more times than I can count, but the most important lesson I have learned, as the author said, is, that so with Job, so with us all. That God doesn’t always give us the answer when we would like it, but when we are ready for it. Or, maybe not until we are home.
    I ended up leaving church, as I found my prayer and meditative life had increased to the point where my personal relationship with Jesus was more powerful and loving and kind than most churches I had been in. Jesus doesn’t remind me what scripture says, (as we all interpret scripture differently), but what He stands for. He expects our undivided loyalty and affection, as the scriptures say; obedience being the bottom line for our lives, no matter if we are on the mountain top or down in the valley.

  40. Artle says:

    Question for anyone or everyone:

    Does it make sense that even if you and I have (or had) the same question, the answer may not be the same?

  41. Rocky says:

    Artle, Absolutely! The question may be as simple as “help me”. But every person desires/requires help in different ways. Perhaps, in relationships, employment, finances, raising children, etc etc.

  42. Rocky says:

    Bubbles, You’re absolutely correct, if I have pride within me, that’s what I’ll most likely teach to my children, students, subordinates.

  43. cbrown says:

    Rocky, I read Deut 26 this morning and this evening and I think Jesus gave the answer In Mark 12:30″‘and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” The punctuation was tricky. I hope I got it right.

  44. poohpity says:

    Call me a weirdo but I have expereinced a life devoid of church and then one of going to church. When I started my relationship with the Lord I loved going to church to sing worship and praise songs while listening to solid Bible based teaching. Nothing can take the place of my personal time with the Lord every day of reading His Word and talking to Him but there is nothing like going to the same place that other imperfect sinners go to receive the grace of a Savior who turns us into saints by our belief in Him. I know that even the most spirit filled people according to them still need the community of believers if anything to support each other on this journey but most importantly to help us realize not to look to each other but to our perfect God.

    When I begin to compare myself to other believers the funny thing is the worse I see in them is usually a problem I share and God asks me the question, “Who do you think you are?” The ones I complain about the most are the ones that make see God’s grace. At least I know we are all in a very good place to have the One who changes us to do His work and sometimes it is through those that give me the biggest pain that helps me identify my attitude is what needs changing.

    Rocky, I do not think the statement should be “if I have pride within” the statement would be more truthful to say “I do have pride within” that I teach to those around me. Can anything change if we do not accept responsiblity for it?

  45. Artle says:

    What about if we just believe, which would likely include praying??

    Psalm 19:12-13 (NASB)

    12 Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults. 13 Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me; Then I will be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.

  46. Artle says:

    I do not mean that as a critique; only a shorter path, if you care to take it.

  47. Rocky says:

    CBrown, that’s very interesting, yes the greastest comanments are very important. But Deut. 26, is talking about tithes & offerings. God is telling the children of Israel just befor they enter the promise land, that once they enter into the land that has been left as an inheritance, and after they take possesion of it, and after they are settled, then bring your tithes and offerings, & when you do, they are to be for the Widows & orphans in distress, the ailiens, & the the priest.

    So I asked the the Lord, you mean they were not bringing tithes & offerings while in Egypt or while in the desert?

    And the small still voice responded, “No, they first had to get out of bondage”

    The apostle Paul tells us if we owe anybody anything, we are a slave to them. Get out of bondage.

    When Joseph became govenor of Egypt, the first law that he imposed on the entire nation of Egypt was to save 20% of everything they made for the next 7 years, when have we been taught to save 1% for 1 year?

  48. Rocky says:

    poohpity, you are absolutely correct, I’m not an English major, my grammar is flawed, thanks for pointing that out to me, I wish I could say that it would never happen again, but that would not be true.

  49. cbrown says:

    Rocky, I will read Deut 26 more carefully.

  50. poohpity says:

    That had nothing to do with grammer Rocky. There is a difference in saying “if” and “I do” one implies a possibility the other a certainty. Wasn’t the first tithe given by Abram of 10%? I also thought Joseph “took” the 20% from the people of Egypt like a tax for 7 years during the times of feast? Did not the Israelites bring gifts while they were in the desert that is how they were able to gather the things together they needed for the Tabernacle?

  51. poohpity says:

    Please pray for wisdom for my son Sean in finding a car. He went to San Diego last weekend and was rear ended and the cost of repairs is more than his car is worth. He does not know whether to get it fixed or find another one. Also I dropped a 37lb box of liter on my left foot which is my semi good leg now my walking is more problematic than it was, ouchie praising God it was not broken. Thank you!

  52. poohpity says:

    I often wonder just how many ask questions to come to terms with truth or those who are satisfied with avoiding it but are so unaware that is what they do?

  53. poohpity says:

    I think in today’s times so many do not question enough. Just believing what we are fed without ever questioning especially those in power over us. We seem to trust news media and government but yet question the things of God when we have available to us the same Book for all. Giving trust to the untrustworthy that includes the authors of so many books written about the Bible and fail to even read the Bible for ourselves. How will we be able to recognize the truth if we do not know it? What if the voices we hear have just enough truth to mislead? Trust is earned not just given without proof. God did not seem to ask us to trust without proof of His goodness, love and trustworthiness.

  54. Rocky says:

    Poohpity, you are right, you are correct, I should have used “I do” as opposed to “if” the error whether grammatical or otherwise, was my error, I used the wrong word, thank you for pointing that out,I’m not nearly as smart as I appear.

    As far as tithing beginning with Abraham, I believe you are correct, but Deut. 26 leads me to believe that they were not required to do so while they were in bondage, whether God was demonstrating Grace & Mercy is not really clear, but what is clear that He was providing future instructions, after they enter, after, they took possession, and after they settled.

  55. cbrown says:

    It is also possible that the reason they were in bondage was that they did not honor God.

  56. Rocky says:

    Cbrown, they were definitely in the desert for 40 years for not honoring God. As for the reason why they were slaves in Egypt, they were becoming like the baby boomers, and the Egyptians thought if they got to big they would overpower the Egyptians, so they made all the Hebrew people slaves.

    Now if this was a result of a punishment that God allowed for not honoring Him, this I am not aware of.

    Someone with more knowledge may be able to elaborate.

  57. cbrown says:

    Joshua 24:14
    [ “We Will Serve the Lord” ] “Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.
    Joshua 24:13-15 It was all God’s perfect will to bring salvation to the world.

  58. Rocky says:

    Yes it was Cbrown. One quick thing didn’t point out, the what the tithe was to be used for was very specific. I find it interesting, that often it’s used for so much more but what it was originally created for.

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