There has been talk recently of Christian leaders renouncing the faith and in the midst of all this is a common theme: how do we respond to the tough questions of life?
Christianity is simple, but not easy. We don’t have satisfactory answers to many of life’s tough questions about sin, evil and suffering; the answers we have give us glimpses into God’s ways, but we cannot reduce God’s nature to a simplistic formula. We worship the all-mighty, all-loving God who is, nonetheless, a mystery to us in so many ways and it can feel like walking a tightrope at times as we we wrestle with the paradox of love and justice, mercy and judgment, sovereignty and free will. Paul says we know in part now (1 Cor 13:9) and accepting the limitations of our knowledge is not always easy.
Faith is not always about perfect, sunny days when everything in the garden is rosy. If we read the Bible, we find Jacob wrestling with God (Gen 32:22-32); we read Jeremiah’s laments and arguments with God (Jer 20:7-18); we find people who are fiercely honest and often confused, bewildered, hurt and angry with God, just as we are at times. None of these reactions precludes faith and an ongoing relationship with God. God can handle every question and every mood we throw at Him without them changing His love for us or altering His nature in any way.
If we are sincerely honest with God and willing to allow His Spirit to change us, the fact that we don’t have all the answers will ultimately not longer be a stumbling-block to us but simply another stone to climb over. Rock-climbing can become our favourite pastime, unbelievable though that sounds!