Summary: Biblical perspectives on dealing with life’s unanswered questions .
How to Avoid Second Guessing God
1 Then Job replied to the Lord: 2 “I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you. 3 You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me. 4 You said, ‘Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.’ 5 I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. 6 I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.” Job 42:1-6 (New Living Translation)
Here are three biblical perspectives taken from the story of Job on dealing with life’s unfathomable questions.
1. It is enough to trust that God understands what we cannot.
God knows some things that we just wouldn’t understand even if He tried to explain them to us. (Verse 4 – “things far too wonderful for me.”) So those are the things we don’t need to worry about. We need to trust Him for them.
After enduring the challenging ordeals of the death of his family members; the loss of his crops, flocks and herds; his loss of good health; and even the ridicule of his wife and friends; Job realized that God was fully aware of the deep waters through which he had been passing.
In fact, there are a lot of things God knows that we do not need to know.
Years ago as a lifeguard at a week of youth camp for elementary aged kids I was assigned to be the lifeguard for the boys swimming time at the lake.
I can’t count how many times in one week that I was asked, "is that water on the other side of the raft over my head?" The boys were worried that if they went past the raft that their ability to swim would somehow be hampered by deeper water.
My standard answer to them was: "If you can swim in the shallow then you can swim in the deep."
It doesn’t matter if they were in water 5 feet deep or 105 feet deep. It was all over their heads!
We often think we must have a greater set of life skills to swim through tough experiences in life when in fact all we need is the same trust in God we exhibit every day.
Even when the boys needed confidence after I answered their question about the depth of the water - they would often still need my reassurance that I was watching over them from the raft above - even when they were swimming in deep waters.
Our Heavenly Father never takes His eyes off of us - even when life is unfathomable. That knowledge is greater than understanding the depths.
2. The most important knowledge is knowing God.
In verse 5 Job is basically saying, “I get it now. I’ve been trying to figure out ‘why’ and I should have been concerned more about ‘who.’”
There’s nothing wrong with trying to understand the causes of life’s problems. But what we cannot afford to leave undone is seeking to know God better.
We often rob ourselves of peace trying to figure out every minute detail of our difficulties when we could be enjoying wonderful friendship with God instead.
Job’s decalaring in verse 5, "I have seen you with my own eyes," not only insinuates a personal relationship with God, but it indicates how we should focus more on God and less on ourselves and our pain.
What good will it do to understand our problems if we don’t have a personal knowledge of God?
As Jesus said, "What will you gain if you own the whole world but destroy yourself? What could you give to get back your soul?" Mark 8:36-37 (CEV)
Each one of us has immortal essence. We were created to know God and to live with Him forever. This world and this existence are less than a mere fraction of the total implication of our existence!
What good would it do us to solve and thoroughly undersand all of our problems if we don’t know God and are not therefore prepared for our real existence in eternity?
3. The better we know God – the better we know ourselves. (Verse 6)
As I get to know God better and better I see myself as my biggest problem. It isn’t the adverse circumstances that create my greatest perils in life - it is my attitude about myself.
We place great emphasis on self-image, and the Bible also places some emphasis there too - but not as much as we do.
We need a greater image of God than we do of ourselves.