when questions loom

Questions are part of life. In fact, some questions may never be answered. So what do you do when you have lots of questions about life, direction, God or anything? Oswald Chambers said:

We never enter into the Kingdom of God by having our head questions answered, but only by commitment. The Highest Good—Thy Great Redemption, 565 R

Here are a few suggestions for when questions loom and you don’t know what else to do.

1) Pray.

It may sound trite or cliche’ but it’s really not. Prayer is the Christian leader’s first line to getting answers; and if not answers, at least some guidance. What is important for each leader to remember is that although we may feel we need a direct answer from God or others about certain things, through prayer and the Holy Spirit’s discernment, we can come to some decisive conclusions. If God is withholding a specific answer, then move within the discernment and direction you sense.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. John 16:13

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5

2) Read The Scripture.

Again, not to sound overtly obvious, but the scripture contains many life examples and character studies of people in similar situations that we can read about and learn from to help us know what the right or at least “good” answer is for many of our own situations. Taking some time to read and study the lives of those who’ve lived before us can help us find answers to very important questions.

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Romans 15:4

3) Talk With Other Wise People.

It’s really wise to seek godly wisdom when you have questions about leadership or direction. Don’t make hasty decisions without speaking to others who know the ins and outs of your situation and may be able to offer you insight that you have overlooked. Other people may not have “the answer” but they can provide useful insight and wisdom from their own experiences that may help you to arrive at the answer that would benefit you most.

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Proverbs 13:20

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22

4) Wait.

Sometimes in our haste, we want answers right away. And there comes a time when decisions must be made. However, waiting on the Lord is a great thing if the decisions and questions do not demand otherwise. Taking time to research, to pray, to seek out godly counsel, along with self-reflection and study are very beneficial at helping us arrive at the right answers for our most difficult questions. When possible, set aside a definite amount of time to seek out answers to your questions. Be open and willing to listen carefully to others and your own soul. Then wait before the Lord for the answer.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Psalm 37:7

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12

5) Be Resolved To Accept The Answers.

Oftentimes it’s not that we don’t get an answer; it’s we didn’t get the answer we wanted. Be resolved to take whatever answer God gives, or that you conclude and embrace it in order to effectively move on. Some questions may never be answered and that’s fine but many are and we need to willfully move within those answers we know we have been given. The reality is that if we move within the answers we KNOW, more will become clear for all the things we don’t know or have an answer for.

6) Trust.

God allows us to have questions and doubts at times so that we will turn to him, trust in Him and seek Him out. Don’t look at questions and doubts as a bad thing but a mysterious thing that God has created in your heart and mind to drive you into prayer and study and perhaps a new direction.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

14 I know that all God does will last forever; there is no adding to it or taking from it. God works so that people will be in awe of Him. 15 Whatever is, has already been,and whatever will be, already is. God repeats what has passed. Ecclesiastes 3:14-15

7) Thank.

Questions remind us that there is still more to learn and uncover. They force us to look beyond what we know or think we know and discover something potentially new or something old that we had forgotten. When times of questioning arise, when doubts surface about whatever you face, or life just hands you a basket of curved exclamation points, it’s then that you can take some time and simply praise and thank God that even though you don’t know the answers, He does and He is still in control. Questions can bring us to a place of thanksgiving and perhaps that’s the only answer we may need at this time.

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