Answers in the back of the Book…
A poster I once saw read, “Teachers have all The answers – as long as they ask all the questions.”
That statement may or may not be true of teachers, but it is generally true of human nature that we like to feel we know a thing or two. But when it comes to questions spiritual in nature we must agree with Christian television host and pastor Rod Hembree who cautioned “Never try to solve problems concerning spiritual needs with human answers.” Sometimes the best answer is simply “I don’t know.”
Scripture tells us plainly what we must do: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5). The Chriatian has an added help, the Holy Spirit of God resident within. Jesus promised: “…the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26). And when God gives answers one can know truth with ultimate certainty!
What is 123 x 123? You don’t at this moment know, do you? Well… go ahead now… get out your calculator and work it out… I’ll wait…
If you did this, you will have found the answer to “What is 123 x 123?” is “15,129.” It will not matter if someone disagrees with you or after having tried to work it out in their head believes the answer to be something else. You know the true answer: It is 15,129… and always will be. As a character in one of C.S. Lewis’s books summarizes, “There are a dozen views about everything until you know the answer. Then there’s never more than one.” [C. S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength, 1945]
God speaks to us directly to our souls. Some answers are intellectually unfathomable, yet adequate and enriching to the deeper longing of the soul. Consider for example Job. God answered none of Job’s many questions yet by personal and magnificent revelation God satisfied Job’s need in abundance. “Computers are useless,” said Picasso, “They can only give you answers.”
Sometimes the answer is “Wait.” (John 16:12; Acts 1:4-7). Sometimes it is “None of your business.” (John 21:22; Acts 1:7). Sometimes the answer is simply beyond our present comprehension (Judges 13:18; 1 Cor. 13:12).
It is in our fallen nature to grow impatient. Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) likened Christians to schoolboys who want to look up the answers in the back of the book rather than figure them out. But what says the scripture?
“…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” (Phil. 2:12-13).
God has good purpose in all our unanswered questions. Richard J. Foster adds “…often the correct answers are a hindrance to listening, for we become more anxious to give the answer than to hear.” (Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth, 1988)
One day all will be clear to us. God will wipe away all tears and we will find it true that “Heaven is full of answers to prayers for which no one ever bothered to ask.” – Billy Graham
it’s true! We Win! You can read about it — it’s in the back of the Book!
Got a question? Use the Contact page and send It to me. We’ll search the Word for God’s answer.