Recently I have been helping teach teenagers in both Sunday school and youth group about similar topics. We have been exploring questions about faith. Questions like “Is there a Hell?” Or “Why is there pain and suffering?” I have been a part of some great discussion and lessons over the past several weeks.
In this teaching exploration I have been continually reminded that questions about our beliefs are the fuel of faith. If we allow our questions to push us toward real answers, no matter how difficult to understand or accept, then our faith grows. Questions are not the absence of faith but the soil in which it grows.
With that said, let me give you a few thoughts on finding answers to the questions of faith.
1. There are answers out there somewhere. Your questions are nothing new. Man has been asking some of the same age-old questions since the beginning. Someone has written down their answer or made a video. When you have questions allow them to push you to find the answer.
2. Don’t accept the first answer as final. Sometimes the first answer you find is right but sometimes it is not. I get real nervous when someone says that a single book shaped their thinking.
3. Read everyone, trust no one. I know this sounds cynical .. and it is. Listen to a multitude of voices. This is important because everyone sees the world through their own set of lenses. Some people hate Jesus and some love him. Some people have studied deeply and others have not. In an information age we need to take everything with a grain of salt so to speak.
4. Discuss your thoughts with other people. Talk out your questions and your thoughts with other people in various settings. Talk to old believers, new believers, former believers, and non-believers. Work through your thinking out loud and listen to what other people have to say.
5. Learn to accept unanswered questions. I do not have all of my questions answered completely. Unfortunately the Bible does not answer everything. At the end of the book of Job God shows up. Job has been questioning his pain and suffering while his friends try to console him. God shows up and asks Job question after question. Job could not answer any of his questions. The point is simple, there are lots of unexplained things in our life and most of them we have just learned to accept. Faith is saying, “I don’t have all the answers but I have enough to hold onto my beliefs.”
Through the years I have found answers to many of my questions and my faith has grown exponentially. I have also been able to answer some questions and yet my faith continues to grow. I firmly believe that those questions you have hidden in your mind will help you, if you let them.