Asking the Right Questions


Asking "why" may be our natural response to life’s disappointments, but it’s doubtful that knowing "why" will help.

Have you ever asked God why? It’s a natural response when our lives aren’t playing out the way we hoped they would. We somehow feel that if we knew the reason why, it might make our disappointments easier to swallow.

If you’ve ever asked God why, you’re in good company. Take a look at just a few of the heroes of faith who, when faced with adversity, asked God why:

  1. Moses: “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of  all these people on me?” (Numbers 11:11)
  2. Job: “Why have you made me your target?” (Job 7:20)
  3. David: “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” (Psalm 42:9)

While we have biblical proof of these men asking God why, there are many others in the Bible who had good cause to ask Him why, too. You too may have good reason to ask why. Jesus warned us saying, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33) and he was right. Even He wasn’t exempt from trouble or the question why. We see this in His famous cry on the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”

The truth is you and I may never know the reason why God allows us to experience disappointments. Sure, there are the standard answers that tell us we are experiencing the results of living in a fallen world or that we are experiencing the results of our own sin. While these may be true, they don’t make us feel any better about life’s disappointments.

In my recent battle with throat cancer I could have asked God why. Why did He call me to speak and teach His word and then allow the enemy to attack my throat? Why am I still struggling with pronunciation and dry mouth now that my cancer is gone?

Asking why may be our natural response to life’s disappointments, but it’s doubtful that knowing why would help. There are however other questions we could ask that would produce a better outlook on what we face.

Below are four better questions to ask:

  1. What is this experience teaching me?
  2. How can I give God glory in and through this difficulty?
  3. Where am I seeing God work as a result of what I’m going through?
  4. Who needs to be encouraged with the wisdom I am gaining through this difficult season?

We all wish we could have a problem-free life, but unfortunately none of us do. So the next time you face a situation that leaves you wondering why, I encourage you to change your questions, so they produce a positive result. Don’t waste your pain; instead, use it to strengthen yourself and others.

Written by Sheree Decouto

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