Summary: There are times of uncertainty in our lives when we search for answers but feel that God doesn't hear our prayer or doesn't answer. What are we to do when God is silent and doesn't give us all the answers to all our questions?
What do you do when God doesn't answer?
There are times of uncertainty in our lives when we search for answers but feel that God doesn't hear our prayer or doesn't answer. It is easy to come to such conclusions when God doesn't respond when or how we want, above all, when He answers with silence. What are we to do when God doesn't give us all the answers to all our questions?
I. We all have questions
A. We all have questions. "What is the point of life"; “Why does life have to be so unfair?”, "Why did I have to get sick?", "Why was I born this way?", "Why did he or she have to die?", Why do I have to go through this pain?, “How can I face the future? Why does God allow such terrible things to happen?
B. Even the wisest human being that ever lived, Solomon had questions about life and God. In Ecclesiastes 1:3 he asked, " What does a man gain for all his efforts that he labors at under the sun?" In other words, "What's the purpose of life?"
C. David questioned in Psalm 10:1 "Why do You stand afar off, O Lord? Why do You hide in times of trouble?"
D. Elizabeth Elliot speaking on this matter said, " "Now is it a sin to ask God why? It's always best to go first for our answers to Jesus Himself. He cried out on the cross, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?' It was a human cry; a cry of desperation springing from His heart's agony at the prospect of being put into the hands of wicked men and actually becoming sin for you and me. We can never suffer anything like that, yet we do at times feel forsaken, don't we? It's quite natural for us to cry, 'Why, Lord?'" - Gateway to Joy, Asking God Why, Back to the Bible
E. Asking why or what is not wrong?
F. James 1:5 " Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him."
G. Matthew 7:7 " Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."
H. But understand there are times when it seems as though God has not heard us or has refused to answer our questions. There are times when God just doesn't not give us the answer.
II. God doesn't give us all the answers to all our questions
A. Deuteronomy 29:29a "The secret things belong to the LORD our God..."
B. The Hebrew words for" secret things" might be translated "clothed things, hidden things, things which are, but before which a covering is, so that we cannot see them, or touch them, or handle them, or weigh them."
C. Remember He is God, infinite in wisdom and power. He is infinite and we are not. Therefore, He doesn't give us answers to all the “whys” of His ways. Some things just belong to the Lord we have nothing to do with them.
D. He is infinite and we are not.
E. Thomas Edison pointed out our finiteness when he said, “We do not know one-millionth part of one percent about anything.”
F. Isaiah 55:8-9 "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
G. Therefore, He doesn't give us answers to all the “whys” of His ways. Even if He did we couldn't comprehend them.
H. Isaiah also speaks of God's infinite greatness and wisdom in Isaiah 40:26-28 "Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: “ My way is hidden from the LORD, and my just claim is passed over by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable."
I. Often a book has a blank page, we come to one of two conclusions: 1) there was a printing error or 2) the author meant to leave the page blank. Because seeing a blank page where you would otherwise expect to see information can lead to confusion, publishers often print the words “this page intentionally left blank.” The information God hasn't given us is analogous to a blank page in His revelation. Yes, it’s important to understand that Christians don’t have all the answers, but it’s just as important to clarify that our incomplete knowledge is not an error on God’s part. God is perfect. He knows exactly what information we do and don’t have. When we are faced with uncertain or missing answers, we can be confident that those pages were intentionally left blank. - adapted from Natsha Crain, Inspiration for Intentional Christian Parenting, July 2013