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Summary: A message inviting people to go ahead and be honest in their questions to God.

Asking the Tough Questions

Psalm 13

August 3, 2003

Introduction

I’m going to go out on a limb this morning and assume that all of us have had questions for God that we have been afraid to really ask God.

We’re afraid that if we really voice our questions and even complaints, God will strike us down, or at least love us less.

Am I right?

Well, I want to encourage you that God is not upset when we ask questions, even questions that express honest wondering and maybe even doubt.

How can I say that? I think you’ll understand better as we go through the message today.

I think that God, far from being angry and scared of honest questioning, actually encourages it.

And my aim today is to give you the freedom to come to God with all your questions, no matter how simple or profound.

My example for this is King David.

Here’s a guy who had no problem at all getting in God’s face about things he didn’t like or understand.

That’s not to say he was prideful and arrogant. His questioning was based on an honest desire to know what God was doing.

One of the best passages that illustrate how David did this is in Psalm 13, which begins on page 387 of the Bibles in the seats.

1 How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?

2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?

3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; 4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him," and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

5 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.

6 I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.

I want to encourage you to ask questions – tough questions. And in doing so, I want to give you some guidelines that will help in that effort, okay? Let’s get started.

When asking questions…

1. Know it’s okay ask the tough questions!

Look again at verses 1-2:

1 How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?

2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Obviously, David was going through something here. We don’t know what it was, but David’s history was filled with not only fame and glory, but also sorrow and anguish.

He wasn’t especially close to his father and brothers. Nothing is mentioned of his mother.

King Saul tried to hunt him down to kill him. His home life as king was no doozy, either.

Three wives and multiple concubines, and an affair that included murder of the woman’s husband.

His children were at constant war with each other, and one son murdered another, after the first son raped his half-sister.

AND THEN, his own son Absalom tried to hunt him down and take his life.

Think about all that. Here’s a guy that had plenty to complain about, even though a lot of what he experienced came about as the consequences of his own earlier decisions.

Can you imagine David out in the desert running from Absalom?

“HELLO!!!!! I’m trying to live for you, God. I’m zealous for you, I believe you made me king, so what’s going on here?”

He asked some tough questions. And that’s okay.

I think that too often ministers and the church give the impression that God is not only not interested in our cries, but that He is offended when we cry out to question Him.

I don’t think that’s a Scriptural viewpoint.

Romans 8:26-28

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Have you ever had a time or situation in your life when all you could do was cry? When you didn’t even know how to pray for something or someone?

Every now and then I think about the early Christians, when it was illegal to even be a Christian, and it meant torture and even death if you were discovered. I’m guessing that many times they wondered where God was in all of that. And I’m sure they cried out to God, just like many do today in places where it is currently illegal to be a Christian.

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