In a sermon titled “Questioning God,” David Platt expounds the small, prophetic book of Habakkuk. The prophet is in a season of intense struggle, and the difficulties prompt him to start asking questions. Many of us can probably relate. In fact, Habakkuk’s struggles and uncertainties are surprisingly relevant. Except for some distinct cultural references, his words sound like they could’ve been penned yesterday.
During his exposition of Habakkuk, Platt makes a helpful connection between what he calls “the suffering of faith” and “the song of faith.” The relationship between the two is captured when he says, “Deep, honest questions lead to deep, honest praise.”
It’s been over a year since I listened to this sermon for the first time, but I haven’t forgotten those words. Sometimes (but certainly not always) Christian culture can insinuate that asking questions is a bad thing. Occasional, temporary doubts can be portrayed as wrong or as a mark of spiritual deficiency.
Platt’s perspective, however, is entirely different. As long as we live in a broken world, there will be hurt. We will continue to have questions. At times, we will doubt. To say otherwise would be dishonest. Instead of demonizing doubt, Platt demonstrates its important role in the process of spiritual growth.
Questions, when directed to God, don’t inhibit praise; they fuel it. It is only when I have wrestled with God to the core of my being that I am able to praise Him out of those same depths.
Sometimes for the sake of appearance or due to a misguided attempt to glorify God by “having it all together,” we actually perpetuate a superficial Christianity. Superficial Christianity, which suppresses questions and creates no space for lovingly speaking truth in the face of doubt, hinders both our worship and our witness.
Authenticity is birthed by acknowledging questions, not by disregarding them. And our world longs for authenticity. If we’re honest, so does the Church. Let’s do ourselves and the world a favor by helping one another struggle well. Let’s create space for questions, and most importantly, let’s encourage one another to direct those questions to a good, trustworthy God – the One to whom the secret things belong (Deuteronomy 29:29).