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When You’ve Got Questions

 

When You’ve Got Questions

Maybe you have a situation in your life that has not turned out the way you anticipated or planned. Maybe you needed to get to a certain point or make a particular score or finish at a set level—and even though you did everything humanly possible, you didn’t get to that point, you didn’t make the needed scores, and the mark was not made. Oh, you were diligent. Faithful. You heard God speak. But now, you’ve got questions.

Maybe you have been waiting on something to happen or NOT happen. Instead, the time has either passed and nothing has happened, or what you dreaded has arrived.

These types of situations leave you and me with some questions, and possibly a little doubt. Likely some of us become discouraged, unsure WHAT IN THE WORLD THAT WAS ALL ABOUT ANYWAY…

Well, all that deserves more than a 5-minute read.

Unanswered questions can mess us up.

In fact, the title of one of my prayer requests in my journal is just “QUESTIONS.” What follows on my page is a series of just that: questions for the Lord about this one aspect of something in my life, or another. These might look like, “What about X?” “And how about Y?” and, “You know, this situation is not working out as I envisioned– did I hear you incorrectly? Am I on the right track? What am I supposed to do now?”

This is the stuff of life for the believer in Christ, isn’t it? Time and time again we find ourselves facing life situations in which we don’t even know how to invite other people in to allow them to pray for us and with us. But God, in His kindness, His tenderness, His perfect understanding of who you are, of who I am, and what you and I will need, meets it with His Word.

Scripture When You’ve Got Questions

The following Scripture showed up in my Bible reading about the time I was pouring over these types of questions in my own life.

“Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?” says the LORD; “shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?” says your God. Isaiah 66:9

I don’t know what you are going through. I cannot imagine the uncertainties or bewilderments and disappointments you are encountering TODAY at least in some aspects of your life. Likely, there will be an element of limited understanding of God’s Hand on your present situation and what the future may hold. For certain, we have a room full of friends who can relate – even when we cannot articulate it to each other.

What we CAN do is take our questions to the Lord. What He is saying through Isaiah is that if He has ordained it; if what we are trusting Him for and waiting on aligns with His heart and purpose for our lives, we can take it to the spiritual bank. You God WILL be faithful to see the ordeal through to completion.

Right now, that may look impossible, as if it’s never going to happen.

Encouragement When You’ve Got Questions

Here is the encouragement from the prophet Isaiah:

Don’t stop believing. Do not lose heart. Remember with Whom you are dealing.

“Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?” says the LORD; “shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?”

Yeah – that’s a “no.”

Often a word like this arrives exactly when I need it. The writer or speaker or friend has no idea what’s going on. I imagine that happens to you, as well. So if you are enveloped in questions without answers, disappointments without explanation, and roadblocks with no way forward – remember with Whom you are dealing.

Some days, in particular situations, questions arise. And when that happens it gives room for all sorts of negative emotions and doubts. We wonder what in the world God is doing. Did we hear Him correctly when we thought He told us to move in a certain direction or follow a particular path? All roads forward seem to close in on us and there is not a Plan B illuminated. We failed the test. The job was given to someone else. Our loved one died. The relationship didn’t materialize like we’d hoped. And we want to know, can we hear God? Is He speaking in these areas? What should we do now?

She Prays on Friday

Prayer for When You’ve Got Questions

When You've Got QuestionsLord,

For my friend, reading, I primarily ask that You grant her the ability to see You at work in her life. Help her recognize the difference between what SHE wants and what YOU desire. Move her to seek Your face. And when she does, enable her to believe that she can trust what You tell her. In the midst of it not working out, or the room NOT being lit up, or the test being passed, I pray she never loses sight that You are in it to the finish, even when it might not look like it’s possible today.

I ask not that you answer her questions, necessarily, but that You show her Your way forward. WHAT SHOULD SHE DO? How should she think? What is the path that demonstrates a belief and trust in You? Reveal Yourself and Your purposes to her as she goes today, Lord.

In the glorious and powerfully able Name of Jesus,

Amen

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 when to quit

 

How to Know When to Quit

when to quit

How to Know When to Quit

What if the answer you have long awaited is No? How do you know when to quit? This happened to a stranger I met on an airplane once. She and I had attended the same conference in which the final speaker had posed the question, “What is God saying to you in your ministry right now?” The options were “Yes, No, and Not Now.”

It’s the kind of question you ponder with prayer along with seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit. I even want confirmation from the Word of God for discerning how He might be directing. For me, that season was a go, but the person in the seat next to me received a distinct No. She was flying home in that revelation, unsure what to do with it all.

I loved this woman immediately because it’s not every day you encounter someone so attuned to the voice of God over their life that they pay hundreds of dollars to run in the direction of the hope-filled “yes” only to receive a “no” and truly receive it. She knew it was a No as deeply as I knew mine to be a Yes. And she accepted it–willing and ready to move on with it as God’s will for her life.

Sometimes you know the answer to your dilemma is No. The answer lines up with everything else God is showing you and He leads you in a different direction. The door is closed.

Other times you and I can receive a Yes as strongly as my airplane buddy received her no, and experience doors slamming shut in every direction. Even the windows close off the daylight. And it feels as if you got it all wrong. All you want to do is quit.

But should you?

I have been on this particular roller coaster ride more than once. My work in ministry is often a lonely and discouraging pursuit without a paycheck. (You read that correctly. All the money received goes directly into the ministry account, from speaking events to book sales, to digital downloads. You name it. It does not belong to me.) And the last couple of years brought closed doors, boarded up windows, and arrived at the end of a lonely, desolate road. I received no’s when I hoped for yes’s. And I began to ask myself if it’s time to quit.

How do you know when to quit?

I have learned my decision about when to quit cannot be based on my feelings.

Neither can it be determined by my success thus far.

Pray

Instead, I take my rejected self to the Lord. The first thing I do is pray. I lay the whole situation out and remind Him of the instruction I believed He gave. Not in an accusatory manner, but like Jacob, who reminds God of the promise to bring him back to the promised land and be with him now that 400 men are coming against him and the situation looks dire (Genesis 32:9-12). Then I ask Him to speak–to reveal Himself and what He wants for my life because my reality is fighting to take over my faith in what I cannot see.

Did I mishear Him? Have I been mistaken this whole time — running after something that was always a No, too blind and unwilling to receive it. Did I go too slowly having missed my opportunity? Maybe I didn’t pray right or take the correct steps in the process? It’s ugly–but for the battle to be won, I lay it out bare.

Wait

Secondly, I wait. 

Seek

And in the waiting, I seek. More often than not, it is through this seeking that the answer comes. Not through a person or strikes of lightning, but the unchanging, timeless Word of God.

I was so afraid I had missed my Yes. That I blew it — that somehow I didn’t work fast enough, pray hard enough, seek out the right people–enough, have enough good ideas, or that I just waiting too long to move out so that He gave my work to someone else.

So I did what I am encouraging you to do. I waiting. I continued to seek His face to know if the no’s, the closed doors, the barred windows, and all the discouragement was the culmination of helping me see that it is time to quit — or not.

Shortly into the waiting, I read 1 Samuel 15:29. It was just where I was in my Bible. I didn’t go looking for it. But it arrived, perfectly preserved for my need when I needed it.

He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.

There is was. The underlying fear God was not afraid to address. Just because it hasn’t worked out as I planned and the end results are not all gumdrops and candy canes doesn’t mean His Yes was really a No, or that my best efforts were not good enough. He’ll pass and pick another.

All of the no’s and try again’s–setbacks and derailments mean nothing as long as His Yes still stands.

Friend, if God has given you a Yes about something in your life that looks and feels as if the smartest thing to do is quit–

DON’T DO IT!

At least, not until you work through the process.

Pray

Wait

Seek

when to quit

Your God is not in the business of keeping you in confusion, doubt, and failure. If the answer is No — embrace what lies ahead like my airplane buddy who went on toward fruitful ministry in the years that followed. But if the answer is Yes — in the midst of No’s and roadblocks, let Him confirm His faithfulness to you through His Word. Ether way, Believe His Word to you today. And keep making spiritual progress.

For His Glory,

 

 

Have you discovered Cheri on YouVersion where she has TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from, such as:

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to check out the Stirring Faith Podcast, where you will find encouraging episodes like this one:

Truths Jesus Taught How to Pray

 

 

 

 

 

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

Becoming a Stronger You

You’ve Got Questions

You’ve Got Questions

Podcast #502

You've Got Questions

 

Welcome the She Prays Podcast

Yes, you read that correctly. It has always been the SHE YEARNS PODCAST. But no more! We have made changes – improvements – and additions. We now broadcast TWO different podcasts per week on TWO SEPARATE RSS FEEDS. So, welcome aboard! Today we are looking at the questions we have and how to pray about it in, You’ve Got Questions.

In this podcast we read the Scripture, then I will talk about it for two or three minutes and then pray it over you, as the listener. Today we focus on the times when things don’t go as smoothly as we would like. What we thought we heard from the Lord is not exactly our reality. This imbalance can cause doubt, discouragement, and most definitely a desire for answers. Fortunately, God is faithful to meet us in our need. That’s exactly what we find in this example.

Thanks for listening on this new feed. I cannot wait to see how God uses it in the lives of those it reaches.

Remember to check out the Facebook Group exclusively for Prayer- She Prays. It is a closed group so you can feel free to share and connect, pray and benefit from the group in this business of prayer. I post regularly and share resources there for you! The women in this group are just fabulous.

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Just fill out the form and today’s note will go straight to your inbox. Every episode after you sign up should show up on the device of your choosing. What could be better?

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Although this is a new RSS, you can still find previous episodes on the Stirring Faith Podcast. Your God is For Me is one of my favorite recent episodes. You can find it here if you are interested.

It takes a few days to get listed in all the directories. At the publication of this episode, you can listen or download from Spotify, but not yet at iTunes. Just search She Prays or my name, Cheri Strange. Additionally, you can scroll down and listen right here

 

Thank you for listening. I can’t wait to meet you again!

she prays

 

you've got questions

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