There are times when people - even Christian people - question God.
"I thought God loved me - why did he allow me to get cancer?"
"I tried following all of God's rules, but my life is still so messed up, what's the point?"
"I'm just not sure everything in the Bible is true, some of it seems unbelievable."
Sometimes when people ask these questions out loud, Christian people react with anger, judgment or even worse - platitudes.
When people are struggling with these questions, I think the following attitudes and reactions are appropriate:
1. It's ok for people to ask questions. It's ok for people to search for answers.
God is big enough to handle your doubts.
Encourage people who are searching to search for the truth - because that search will lead them to God! Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
When I was reading an interview with Ricky Gervais, he described the moment he became an atheist. He had been a Christian as a child. One day his older brother started asking tough questions about his faith. Ricky's mother was terrified and made the older brother quit asking questions. That reaction made Ricky feel like if faith was so fragile that it could be torn apart by the questions of his adolescent brother, it was not something he wanted to believe in.
2. Pray for these people. Ephesians 6:12 - For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
My dad recently wrote an article on this same topic and he expressed my thoughts so well, I asked him if I could share some of the wisdom in his article:
We tend to think that if we live righteous and godly lives that we will be spared some of the hardships that this world has to offer. We think that God will protect us. That is not always true. 1 Peter 1 promised us that God will protect us from spiritual attack, but we are just as vulnerable to natural disasters and physical tragedies as an unbeliever.
Matthew says, "the rain falls on the just and the unjust."
Sometimes even fine Christian people experience the worst the world has to offer. Our time of blessing and reward may not begin until death.
So what do we do with our questions and doubts? I suggest that you turn them over to God. There are many things that I don't understand and cannot explain. There are many tragedies that I do not have an answer to. I hate to turn the platitudes like "God knows best" or "there is a reason, we just don't know what it is." Those answers don't satisfy and instead make us sound naive and simplistic. It is better to say "I don't know why this happened, and I don't think it is something that God likes or wanted either, it is a result of free will. And the best thing we can do is to trust God and know that He is good." No explanation will suffice. There is no 'reason' that will satisfy. Simply trust that we will be victorious through Jesus in the end. Hard times will come and go, but God is immutable, choose to abide in Him."