How Does the Bible Help Answer Questions?
Most people who get around to reading the Bible for themselves are amazed to discover how many questions it answers. They often say, ďI didnít know that was there!Ē Beyond direct answers, the Bible is full of general principles for living given by the Creator of life. Even ďmodernĒ questions and timeless question meet their match in the Bible. Finding the answers may require digging, waiting, asking, and paying attention, but God does respond to those who seek him diligently. ďIt is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek himĒ (Hebrews 11:6).
The Bible does not answer every question we put to it. Neither it nor God is required to answer all our questions. But the Bible provides truthful answers to an amazing assortment of life issues. Even more than that, it would be fair to say that the more the significant the question, the more likely it is that the Bible addresses it directly.
As we read the Bible, one of our first startling discoveries is that though the people in the story lived long ago, we recognize ourselves in them. They faced the same problems we face. They had questions like ours. The responses God provided for them remain true today. This is one of the primary ways in which the Bible answers our questions.
Further familiarity with the Bible increases the likelihood that when a question occurs to us, we almost immediately think of a passage in the Bible that relates to the question. Not only does this demonstrate the practicality of Godís Word, it also underscores the divine origin of the thoughts and commands. This book may have been written down by humans, but it came from God. This is not normally a conviction that we hold when we start reading the Bible, but the book has a powerful way of convincing us that itís much more than a simple record of human thoughts and experiences.
When we are young believers (no matter what our physical age), we will probably depend on the wisdom and answers that more experienced Christians can offer us. One of the ways we can grow is to ask them to show us where in Godís Word they are getting the answers they give us. This will accomplish two things. It will demonstrate the answers are actually coming from a reliable source and it will help us locate where answers are in Scripture.
Certain tools such as concordances and indexes can help us locate specific answers in the Bible. Usually we need to identify the key word or theme of the question and then look for a passage containing that same word. On this site you will find a topical search engine that will allow you to discover how the Bible addresses issues on your mind. We may have to look up several passages before we find one that deals with our question. But patience and persistence will be rewarded. Consider adding a good study Bible, like the Life Application Study Bible, to your personal library. The Life Application New Testament Commentary is an even wider source of add-on help for your personal Bible study.
Although the Bible offers insights, principles, and answers on almost every page, there are some places in Godís Word that prove particularly rich in what we desire. One of the best examples is the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7. In those three chapters, Jesus addresses over thirty different life topics, offering answers, challenges, and wisdom. Christians who spend time getting to know these chapters intimately begin to think like Jesus.
After all has been said and done, what God offers to us in the Bible is much more than a collection of answers to our questions. God refuses to be merely a reference tool. Heís not there just to give us answers whenever we need them. Sometimes answers donít satisfy. In fact, one of the reasons God doesnít answer every question has to do with his desire to give us something far better. Asking and knowing why someone we love died doesnít make the grief disappear. But knowing that God is with us makes the grief bearable. We can find a lot of answers in the Bible, but even more than that, in those pages we can meet the ultimate answer to life: our Savior and Friend, Jesus Christ.