THERE are a lot of people who have questions these days. Some questions are designed to discover the answers to the unknown. They are meant to uncover mysteries and unlock secrets; to learn pertinent information or, in a legal sense, to build a case. These kinds of questions explore our knowledge with the hope of helping someone else's lack of understanding. These kinds of questions are also intended to get a better idea of someone's thoughts or feelings about an issue or problem.
SOMETIMES people ask questions of God because they are genuinely seeking an answer due to their confusion. But sometimes they are looking to defend their positions or actions. God is never upset or intimidated when we ask questions because we want His help with an issue or problem, but He isn't fond of us trying to justify our false beliefs or disobedience. In truth, these really aren't questions so much as they are arguments.
GOD likes to ask questions as well. His questions are designed to bring us out of the dark and into the light. God never asks questions in order to find out information, and none of His questions are meant for us to help Him with a problem. God's questions are to help us see Him clearer, to press us to address our sins and weaknesses and show us the right way to live.
NOW Paul's questions are a bit different from God's or man's. His questions are more rhetorical in nature. These kinds of questions are asked in order to remind us of the obvious. Their purpose is to instill confidence in us and give us the courage to not only think right but to do right. They are intended to help us leave the wrong path and propel us on the correct path.
IN Romans 8:31 Paul asks a rhetorical question when he says, "What, then, shall we say in response to this?" So I have to ask myself, "In response to what?" Well, what he said in Romans 8:28-30, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified." These verses tell us who God is and what He wants to do in us. So what do we say about this?
DO you think there is a required response to a question like this, or do you think God is the type to be put off without a response? If God is asking us this question, and I believe He is, how long will we be able to avoid it? I know many people are doing everything they can to shut the thought of God and His plans out of their minds, but can we really do this? Doesn't Paul's question reveal the need for an answer and doesn't God deserve one from us?
BUT God doesn't really need an answer, we do. Nothing settles our heart and gives us peace like coming to a conclusion about our purpose on earth. Knowing God is working all things in my life for good, makes me less confused about His love and more convinced of His goodness. When you know that you know, that you know, that you know, it's pretty tough to rattle you. But if we are still debating, vacillating and going round and round over what is true, we'll never get it.
COMING to the conclusion that God is for me and with me helps me walk with confidence. Paul wrote in II Timothy 2:12, "...I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard
What I have entrusted to Him for that day." Confidence is a powerful thing and comes from our convictions. Confidence is that no fear, no doubt, "we are going to win", attitude that actually puts us in the winners circle. But if we are unsure and insecure about what we know is true then we will be tossed about wave after wave of other people's opinions. Those who don't know what to believe will fall for anything.
CONFUSION is one of the greatest killers of our confidence. It also kills our peace. Most people are confused because they can't or won't make a decision. This is why Paul's question is so important. What do you say in response to this?