Guest speaker Yan Hadley spoke tonight on the questions God asks us. Often, we may be puzzled by these questions, since God is all-knowing (John 2:25 reminds us that Jesus knew what was in people’s hearts, so we might think His questions were irrelevant or unnecessary.) We are all too familiar also with Satan’s devious questions (see Gen 3), but God’s questions, however initially baffling to us, are completely different in purpose.

God’s questions set us free from sin and shame. In Gen 3:9 when God asked Adam, ‘Where are you?’, He wanted Adam to realise their relationship had been broken by sin, causing him to stop and reflect on what he had done. Effectively, God’s question was intended to draw Adam out of the shadows of shame into the light of life. John 8:3-11 reminds us that no one can accuse us; Rom 8:33-34 asks us ‘Who shall condemn us?’ with the clear answer that no one can condemn those whom God has justified.

God’s questions also lead to healing from emotional pain. Jesus asked Mary ‘Why are you weeping?’ (John 20:15), showing an interest in and care for her wellbeing which led to her healing. Questions can show us that someone cares about us, which can be the first step to healing. God is close to the broken-hearted and is able to turn our weeping into dancing (see Ps 30:11).

God’s questions restore us from failure. John 21:15-17 shows us Jesus questioning Peter after his betrayal, leading Peter to understand that God had a plan and purpose for him even after his calamitous betrayal. No matter how many times we fail God, He is able to restore us; He is able to set us free from the hold failure would exercise over us so that we can be set free.

God’s questions liberate us from self-doubt and insecurities. Ex 4:2 shows us God asking Moses ‘What is that in your hand?’, but the ordinary staff could be turned into a snake at God’s command. God is able to use the ordinary to do extraordinary things; all He requires from us is our willing obedience. He is the one who blesses us with every spiritual blessing (Eph 1:3) and therefore He is able to do immeasurably more than we can ever imagine or dream! (Eph 3:20)

God’s questions can help us to conquer shyness and lack of self-confidence. Mark 5:21-34 tells us of a woman healed by touching the hem of Jesus’s cloak; when He asked ‘Who touched me?‘, she wanted to remain hidden. His question was not intended to humiliate her, but to give her opportunity to testify what God had done for her. Questions can be a powerful doorway to testimony.

God’s questions encourage overcoming faith (see 1 John 5:4). In Mark 10:51, Jesus asks the question ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ His question encouraged Bartimaeus to articulate his longings. God hears our cries and wants us to keep on believing that He is not only able to do all we ask of Him but willing to answer our deepest longings.