New Hope Notes
When Life Leaves More Questions Than Answers
When Life Leaves Questions
Pastor Wayne Cordeiro
“When Life Leaves More Questions Than Answers”
When Life Leaves Questions
Pastor Wayne Cordeiro
November 2 & 3, 2019
Welcome, Everybody! Welcome, all you first timers to New Hope and to all of you online! We are glad that you are joining us for our study, “When Life Leaves More Questions than Answers.” Today, we’re going to talk about unanswered questions. We all have them, it’s normal, and you’re in good company! Think of David who was called “a man after God’s own heart,” who had a ton of unanswered questions says:
Psalm 13:1-4 (NLT) says:
“1 O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever?
3 Turn and answer me, O Lord my God!
David had many unanswered questions—just as we do. He saw many miracles, had great successes, and saw the hand of God on His life, yet he said, “Lord. I don’t know what to do. I have no idea where to turn.” Sometimes, when I ask God questions, like David, I get silence!
1. God Sometimes Answers With Silence
When the Lord is silent to your questions, start reviewing what He has said to you in the past; maybe, you will come to the realization that He had given you the answer before, but you were not ready to accept it at that time. Be accountable and faithful to what He already told you.
Sometimes, God will ask you counter-questions to get you to think and figure out the answers for yourself! We would rather that God just give us the answers, but His goal for you and me is to self-correct—not to always have someone else tell us what to do, and we become hostage to what they are saying. God wants us to lean on the Holy Spirit and utilize our brain and search for the answer to gain wisdom. God’s so good about that—He won’t give us the answer but will prod us with more questions, and we must search for the answer!
Remember, there’s a big difference between agreeing with God and obeying God: Agreeing with God is doing something we already like to do; but obeying God is doing something that we don’t want to do, but doing it, anyway! We could settle for shallow answers and never become obedient men or women!
2. God Sometimes Answers With A Promise
God doesn’t always give us an answer; He may give us a promise. Sometimes we cry: “Lord, I don’t know what is happening—everything is falling apart!”
Jesus replies, “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope,” Jeremiah 29:11 (NASB).
If you keep pressing, He says: “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you,” Deuteronomy 31:6 (NASB).
One of God’s promises is far more valuable than a thousand shallow answers. When God gives you a promise, sometimes, He says things that just don’t make sense! Sometimes, God gives you promises in scripture—there are 7,000 promises in the Bible. He will never go back on any of His promises! Memorize a few of those so that when you are “up against a wall,” God may bring one of them to mind.
Sometimes, your answer may not come until you see Jesus in heaven—so trust Him, the Author and Finisher of your faith!
When you have an unanswered question and you want to say, “I’m not following Jesus anymore because of what happened!” Remember, that one day you will find the answer, so instead of hindering your walk and progress, keep the questions in a “basket” and keep on walking!
One day, in the fullness of time, God will set up a context (maybe in church or in a small group setting) and He will grab a question from the “basket” and show it to you, and you will say, “That’s it! Now I understand! I am so glad I didn’t stop way back when I couldn’t understand it.”
Whenever God gives you a promise, such as, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” “My love for you is never for your calamity; it’s always for your good,” can you trust Him?
Will you let the unanswered question be your God or will you let Jesus be your God? Say, “Jesus, I will follow you even if there are unanswered questions because God has unfailing love for me!” Then you can walk with unanswered questions.
3. God Sometimes Answers With an Invitation
The invitation is: “Will you still follow me even though you don’t have all the answers?” If you follow Jesus based only on your current comprehension, you won’t have a very big God because your comprehension is very small.
Also, if you follow God only if you comprehend Him, He is brought down to your level, and He becomes a self-selected God.
If He agrees with you and fits into your small cubicle—everything is cool—but God is much bigger than your cubicle in understanding and comprehension! God is asking, “May I invite you to follow me even if you don’t have it all figured out?”
Here’s the last part of the Psalm 13 (after all the questions of why God is leaving and forgetting him) David says:
“5 But I trust in your unfailing love.
See how this all goes back to a promise? I have a lot of unanswered questions, but I’m going to stick with God because He is good and has unfailing love for me!
Job 13:15 (NASB) says: “Though He slay me yet will I trust Him.” It’s pretty amazing!
When you have unanswered questions, sometimes, He will give you an invitation: “Will you follow me even with unanswered questions?” “Yes, Lord, I will” “Good, then when we get to the Potter’s house, and you have the maturity, comprehension, and state of mind, I will pull out that question from the “basket” and will explain it to you, and you will understand that I have unfailing love for you!” It’s in the Potter’s house where God answers questions.
I was on the Big Island and met with a potter and I asked him, “How do you know when the pottery is ready to come out of a 2000 degree kiln—if it’s too soon there will be a content of water in it and the pottery will crack and fall apart. And if you leave it in there too long, it gets too brittle and will crack very easily—so how do you know when to take the pottery out?”
He said something interesting: “What I do is to put the pottery in the kiln—I’ve been doing this so long that I kinda know when it’s time to take it out—I pull it out and thump it on the rim and listen to the sound—if there’s a thud, then I know there’s a content of water and I put it back in the kiln. He said something I’ll never forget: “When I thump it like that and it sings, then I know its ready.” Isn’t that interesting?
Sometimes, you have unanswered questions and God treats you like clay pottery. He puts you in the oven, pulls you out, and sets you aside, and if you’re not ready, he puts you back in the oven. After awhile, He pulls you out again and thumps you on the head, and if you’re not ready, he puts you back in the oven. Later, He pulls you out again, and thumps you, and you sing--you’re ready to come out of the hot oven!
Sometimes, He will give you a promise and an invitation: “Will you keep following me even if you don’t understand?” “Yes, Lord I will. Even though I mess up, yet I will trust you.”
Will we always have unanswered questions? Yes, but you must trust Jesus because in our lives, we don’t know what the ending will be. Each of us, as we’re walking with Jesus, will hit roadblocks in unanswered questions.
Would you let the unanswered question be your God? Or would you let Jesus be your God? Until you have faith and trust His promises, why should He give you a miracle?
You must be able to say: “Jesus, I’m going to follow you even with unanswered questions.” It’s an invitation with promises and miracles!
Let’s be a people who will trust Jesus and walk with Him!