Do You Question God?

God is love, but He is also justice.

Take a second to read Psalm 94 (click here for a quick link to it).

I have to say... that is a super uplifting end to that psalm, huh? I want to remind you from the very outset before I share some other things, that God is about love. God is about peace. God is also the one who brings justice and judgment, and we cannot forget that.

The world around us and everybody else wants us to soften up to the idea that God is just love and peace and grace and mercy, and He's only the fluffy, nice stuff that's like cotton candy.

When we understand the true character of God, we also have to recognize that He is a God of justice and judgment, and one day His justice and judgment will be measured out.

We are not the ones who get to decide, far be it from me, because there's a lot of judgment that I would like to measure out. We have to trust in His character and who He is.

This is the cry of humanity's heart.

 I don't want you to forget that this isn't just ancient text. This is common conversation now. This isn't just something we look back at and say, "Oh, wasn't that good for them a couple thousand years ago." No, this is stuff that people are pouring through and trying to figure out. This is the cry of humanity's heart.

This is a text of scripture that continues to live on.

When you read this Psalm, you have to realize this is the life song of some hearts in all different moments. 

Do we live in this moment all the time saying, "God, please step in. I'm falling apart." No. Does it exist in all of our lives at some point, absolutely. Here we come to the word of God and we say, "God, help us to see what you need us to see and hear what you need us to hear."

Maybe you're not in that place where you're like, God, bring your justice," but maybe you're in a good place in life and you're feeling okay. I guarantee you, you're connected to somebody who needs encouragement from the word of God that says, "He's still watching. You may not believe it, but He's still there. He's still present, He's still at work."

In this place, we have people that are experiencing the highest of highs. We've also got people experience the lowest of lows. God, be with us as we hear your word because all around us, you have called us to reflect your glory, for your name to be made great, and for the good of the world around us.

All of us crave justice.

How many movies and how many things are there that people are pursuing justice that the bad guys get what's coming to them in the end? How much does it hurt our hearts when the wrong people receive the wrong reward? How much does it hurt us when we see people who don't deserve the good turn out on the good side?

We want it to be fair.
I'm just going to tell you if you don't know this yet, I tell my kids this all the time, "The world's not fair."

It's not. I don't want to burst your bubble, when you're like, "Yes, He wants us to be fair." No, it's not ever going to be fair. As long as you exist on this earth, it's not going to be fair.

Might as well get used to it and might as well cling to Him because He's gonna be your only strength your only support and your only anchor in the time of struggle.

We believe it's a moral and ethical imperative that justice wins. We see justice as  protection. If justice can win out, then I'll feel safe because when we watch injustice take place, it makes all of us feel insecure.

We need it for conflict resolution. How can this end up in a way where we both win or someone suffers? I need to know that in the end, the story's going to play out the way that I think it needs to go.

I would say too, justice is required for social order and stability. That's why we have the Justice System in place in America, which no matter what you think about America, we're still the best thing going.

 Justice is something that we crave innately. We've wanted it from the very beginning.

When you are thinking about how you feel when you see injustice, remember that's the exact same way that the Psalmist emotionally is responding to what he's seeing as well and it's similar to our reaction. Theirs just got put in a leather bound book and smashed all together in one thing so that we could learn and grow from it.

This emotional state of desiring and wanting justice is something that's reasonable.

Our questions, don't worry God.

In Psalm 94:3-7, it says, "Oh, Lord, how long will all the wicked be allowed to gloat? How long will they speak with arrogance? How long will these evil people boast? They crush your people, Lord, hurting those you claim as your own. They kill widows and foreigners and murder orphans. The Lord isn't looking, they say, and besides the God of Israel doesn't care."

You ever been in a situation where you start asking God some very serious questions? You ever been in a place where you start to question all kinds of things that you've probably never questioned before because you're at a low point? If you're sitting there like all pious and stuff, "I never have, actually," then you've probably never had a problem either.

Let me just give you this encouragement today: our questions, don't worry God.

We're all human. We feel. We experience. We see things through the lens that we see them. We smell. We taste. We touch. We experience. This lies through all the senses that God has given us. In that, it also brings up the fact that God gave us cognitive ability. That's the ability to think.

If you experience this world and you think you're going to end up with some really big questions, and some people think like, "Oh, it's not very Christian to ask God questions or to put anything on God that might seem like I'm questioning his authority." No, it's very Christian because God's not worried by your questions, He's worried when you don't come to Him with them anymore.

Think again you fools.

What do we do with that? Even when we're questioning him, he's still God. We all have moments that we ask, "Where are you God?" The Psalmist was doubting God. Will you see this? Will you allow this to take place? Psalm 94:8-11 says this, "Think again, you fools."

I love these two lines that are in there:  Is He deaf the one who made your ears? Is He blind the one who made your eyes?

The perfection of all that, is He clearly missing it? He's the one who gave you the ability to see and hear and yet we think He's missing it. He punishes the nations, won't He also punish you? He knows everything, doesn't He also know what you're doing?

The Lord knows people's thoughts and He knows that they're worthless. You ever been worried that God, actually, knows what you're thinking? I hope you're not looking right now. Man, can somebody blow something up over here so I can have some thoughts for a minute? Right.

Here's the thing. God looks at your thoughts. He sees your every thought. He knows the things you are just thinking.

You can trust God even in the midst of your pain.

When you look back at where God has been at work, what He's already done, I'm telling you, you can trust God even in the midst of your pain. Says this, "Joyful are those you discipline, Lord, those you teach with your instructions, you give them relief from troubled times until a pit is dug to capture the wicked."

The Lord will not reject His people. He will not abandon His special possession. Judgment will again be founded on justice and those with virtuous hearts will pursue it.

Let me just tell you this as pastor and someone who's reading the word and trying to give you the best that I can from this. Understanding who God is brings comfort and hope. Even in the midst of experiencing justice, even in correction, even in times when you are being put back in line, if you understand the character of God, you will find comfort and hope.

Let me tell you, more than equality and rights for everyone, our world wants comfort and hope. The problem is humanity is weak and we will buckle at the first sign of somebody who threatens us and God says, "Leave it to me. I am a just God. I will bring justice. I will care for you."

When you lean into God's character, you find comfort and hope like you've never experienced before. The world needs the true Gospel. They do not need a blanket and a good movie. We need the message of freedom in Christ.

That's what we are here to do to bring and to be about in this world, in this community. Let me just say, Jesus is Lord. Justice was one of the ways that He showed the world who He was. If you look back at Jesus in the word of God and the experience through all of the Gospels, you'll see that Jesus cared for lepers, for women, for Samaritans, for children, for people that His society looked down upon, He brought them to the forefront and that was the problem.

They hated Him because He took all the people who'd been pushed aside and didn't match up and didn't look right and didn't sound right and didn't have the education and He said, "You will be equals in my kingdom." That's where the uprising came. He called out Pharisees for their lack of commitment to those who are oppressed. He said, "You like God, but unless you like His people you're missing everything." Everyone matters in the kingdom of God.

Here's the deal: I can put my trust in Him even when I have questions, I'm not worrying God. He just looks at me and goes, "Oh sweet boy, you'll get it one day." I don't  have to be worried. I don't have to be anxious. I don't have to be weak in moments where justice must rule, where I have to stand up for something.

I don't have to be weak and say, "He just wants me to love Him. I don't want to hurt their feelings." No, He says, "Sometimes hurting their feelings is the best and most loving thing you can do."

In the end, it's not so that you can have a better day. It's so that His name can be made great, and justice can be served by His hand and not yours and mine.

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