Is Asking God “Why” Ok?

I grew up with the mindset that asking God “why?” was wrong and that it made me a bad Christian for asking. I found out recently that my brother holds the same view that I used to. Somehow the conversation came up when, as a family, we were sitting around the dinner table one Sunday. My parents were saying that asking God “why?” was fine as long as you are respectful. My brother was arguing that we should not ask God that question because it shows doubt towards God. I piped up a little in favor of my brother but mostly sat in silence since I was caught up in my own thoughts.

As I thought more on this topic, I realized that my brother and I both held to this view based on what we were taught in school. Throughout our schooling we were taught, whether through it actually being said or simply implied, that asking God “why?” is wrong because it shows your distrust in God, and it shows you doubting Him.

I now believe that asking God this question is perfectly fine. I think that people can believe either view of this question, it just depends on whether a person is asking this out of doubt or out of a humble desire to understand. I do not think that asking God “why?” is wrong in all cases.

As someone who has gone through trials and is still going through trials and, like everyone else, will go through many more trials as I go through this life in a sinful world, I think we need to make this a more common question that is ok to ask. Before I came to this conclusion, I would find myself asking “why?” to God and then immediately feeling like I had sinned and that I was a horrible Christian for asking. This made me less inclined to talk to God in prayer and come to Him with my questions and concerns. As a result of this, among other things, my spiritual life became non-existent.

In one of my college classes last semester, there was actually a guy who did a presentation on why it was wrong to ask God “why?”. This made me feel even worse as I resolved never to ask God that question again. However, recently I came across a certain song that really hit home for me. The song is called “Why God” by Austin French. I listened to the official music video and in the beginning, French is explaining that he felt like a bad Christian when he asked that question when his father was dying. He felt like he was not allowed to ask that. But then, he says, he became a dad and his son started asking those “why” questions. And through this God showed him that He is not afraid of our hard questions; and that asking “why God?” did not make him a bad Christian. Instead, it made him a kid. God is our Father; we are His children.

I believe that it was God that placed this song right where it needed to be so that I found it. It was exactly what I needed to hear in a really important time in my life.

I believe it is perfectly fine to ask God “why?” It does not show that we are doubting Him. It shows that we are having trouble understanding our situation or circumstances and that we really do want to understand. It shows God that we see Him as a Father whom we can go to with our questions and concerns no matter how difficult they might be. God is our Father, and we are His children. Ask Him “why?” and listen for the answer.

 

Brittany Bylsma

How Has Jesus Changed Your Life?

“Come, hear, all ye that fear the Lord,

while I with grateful heart record

what God has done for me;

I cried to him in deep distress,

And now His wondrous grace I bless,

For he has set me free”

~ Psalter #175, verse 3

In Psalm 66, we read a fundamental expression of Christian fellowship: talking to one another about how God has worked in our hearts. It’s easy to forget this when our conversations are filled with our jobs, friends, and weekend plans. And these days, it seems like all we can talk about is the coronavirus.

But during this time of uncertainty, we’d like to spend more time thinking about what God has done for us. We’d like to start a conversation about things that are bigger than a pandemic and that hold more hope than anything we can find on earth. We’d like to help each other look up together at our incredible, sovereign God.  

So while you are reflecting on all the ways your world is changing because of COVID-19, take a minute to reflect on how Jesus has changed your life.

In the next few weeks, we’ll be posting short testimonies from various people of what God has done for them—that might be something that has happened in the last few weeks during quarantine or something much broader. We would love for you to join us.

Come, hear, all you that fear the Lord, and then record your own thoughts on how you see God in your life. Tell a friend and maybe your neighbor, and then send us your thoughts at youngcalvinists@gmail.com or message us on Facebook or Instagram.

 

The Young Calvinists Committee

Ashamed, I Hear my Mocking Voice

Once of my very favorite hymns is the song the title of this article is taken from. How Deep the Father’s Love for Us is a gut-wrenchingly beautiful admission of our incredible depravity and the even more incredible saving grace of God. The line of my title (and the following lines) hits me hardest each time I listen to it:

Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice

Call out among the scoffers!

It was my sin that held Him there

Until it was accomplished.

His dying breath has brought me Life

I know that it is finished!

Each time I hear those words I picture myself, tears in my eyes and hand over my mouth, as I realize that jeering and laughing towards Christ is coming from my own lips. What shame! What heartache! To realize that I am not only the reason for Christ’s suffering, but by nature I forget His gift and am even so ungrateful for His salvation that I mock the work He has done on my behalf!

When I use language unbecoming of a child of God in front of my coworkers because I want to look cool? When I find myself somewhere I shouldn’t be on a Friday night? When I lie to my parents about it? When I feel anger or bitterness in my heart against my spouse? When I deliberately lose my cool in front of my kids, blaming it on their disobedience? When I spread a seemingly harmless rumor about someone? When I watch that show or movie with my friends even though I know it sickeningly glorifies sin?

Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers.

In any age or stage of life, there are hundreds and thousands of ways in which we may “hear our mocking voices.”  Quite often they are so much more than just the words our physical voices produce. Our every thought, word, and action is so prone to reject and despise the very cross that delivers us from those evil tendencies.

How often in life don’t we look back with shame and regret on a decision we’ve made or an action we’ve taken? How many times have we, with tears in our eyes, covered our mouth with our hand and realized that the voice we’ve just heard mocking the Savior’s crucifixion is our own?

But the song, and the whole redemptive story, doesn’t end there. The very next lines of the song show us the amazing grace given to us repented scoffers. Yes, our sin held Him there, until it was accomplished! Our salvation is accomplished! It is finished! Praise the Lord for that amazing ending to our story! Jesus selected us, even when we by nature scoff at His suffering and death, and turned us from mocking scoffers into thankful, redeemed singers.

In this life, we will never become perfect at praising instead of scoffing at the cross. We will continue to mess up, and continually need to repent from the shameful mocking we speak. But Christ has made us holy before the judgement seat of God, and we have been given life everlasting!

So when you shamefully recognize your mocking voice among the scoffers, recognize that the story doesn’t end there. Remember that, although undeserving, you’ve been given the gift of complete salvation at the cross. Turn your face to that cross with thanksgiving and humility for the amazing gift. Work hard to avoid scoffing at the cross by any thought or word or action that denies our love for and dependency on Christ. Instead, remember that His dying breath has brought you Life! Rest peacefully in that assurance.

 

Suzie Altena