Can the Bible [Really] Answer My Questions?
If you’re a living, breathing human adult, chances are you’re constantly thinking about big life questions, such as:
- What should my life look like five years from now?
- Can I really trust anyone, completely?
- How do I stay true to myself and my values?
- How can I teach my kids how to be a good person?
And depending on how old you are (and the time of day), these questions get heavier and more complicated:
- What is my purpose?
- Will my problems ever end?
- Is it possible to find true happiness?
- What happens after this life?
- Is there a God, and does He know me?
Even at the time of writing this blog post, when the whole world is at a stand-still because of the current coronavirus pandemic, many people are left wrestling with unanswered questions about their health and the uncertainty of their future.
If you’re like me, you might have relied heavily on those closest to you in your search for answers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they’re wonderful people, but when I only relied on my friends and family, I realized that none of them were qualified to answer some of my questions.
In fact, they had their own unanswered questions, and some were as confused and lost as I was.
After completing my first year at Ryerson University, I faced failure for the first time. Well, not literally, but I almost failed. I was on academic probation after majoring in Journalism for a whole year. I pursued journalism at the time because I loved writing, but there was more to writing in this field.
I was expected to think about story ideas 24/7, be able to talk to strangers about whatever topic I’m writing about, and meet tight deadlines almost every day. And then, I had to learn how to juggle all my other courses along with my journalism courses. Plus, I was navigating how to be an adult after high school.
So I was miserable and lost. I needed a change. But I was afraid to admit this to my old-school, practical Filipino parents, who already had a lot of reservations about their daughter choosing to major in Journalism in the first place.
The first person I spoke to was Vicky. She was my closest friend in my program and she saw first-hand how much I was struggling in school. She suggested I do what she planned to do—stick it out for 4 years and not become a journalist. Instead, explore other journalism-related careers: grant writer, public relations specialist, editor, copywriter, etc. I appreciated her can-do attitude, but the thought of studying journalism for another 3 years gave me anxiety.
The second person I approached was one of the most practical people I know: my brother. He listened to my complaints but reminded me that whatever I decide to pursue, I’m not going to love it 100% of the time. And that I should learn to live with that.
I was faced with two possible options to take, none of which felt like the right thing to do.
It’s natural to try to come up with your own answers to life’s big questions, based on your own experiences and mistakes. But how did those answers turn out? Did they actually bring clarity? Or, like me, did you find the answers lacking, leading to more questions and needing more substance?
Thankfully, my faith pointed me to the one source that I knew I could trust with these questions—the Bible.
In worship services of the Church Of Christ, I am always reminded that it’s God who can answer all those questions that keep me up at night: the stubborn ones that made me anxious about my future. So, it made sense to consult the book that contains His teachings for the solution to my problems.
Perhaps you’ve never thought of the Bible as a source for your answers? Maybe you grew up religious, you may have been disappointed with some unanswered questions in the past, or maybe you’ve never looked to the Bible for solutions.
You’re not alone—a recent Barna survey explains how this is the growing trend.
“…more than one-third of adults (35%) reports never using the Bible in 2019, a 10 percentage point increase since 2011 (25%).”
Finding answers in God’s words
People often ask if the Bible is still relevant today. In my experience, the answer is yes. Now, the Bible isn’t a Magic 8-ball. It doesn’t just spew out answers (like what’s the best color to wear during job interviews [don’t wear red, by the way] or how many children you and your spouse should have), but it does answer important questions.
I’ve been able to learn answers to my questions about life and my purpose. And I’ve seen people finally get the answers to their unanswered questions about their beliefs and their faith, like:
- Who is Jesus and who is God?
- What is the Word in John 1:1?
- What happens to us after death?
- Why are there so many different churches?
I have also seen topics that are currently in the spotlight answered by the Bible, including questions like:
- How can I cope with depression?
- How can I be more present for my family?
- Do interfaith relationships work?
- Is homosexuality a choice?
Bible interpretation—is that allowed? No, it’s not.
You might be nodding along, thinking, “Yeah, yeah, I agree with that. I’ve read the Bible, I follow verse Instagram accounts, I’m one of the millions of people with a Bible app on my phone.”
But you might also be wondering, “Can I find my answers in the Bible on my own? And if I can’t, then who can?” These are really good questions.
As a teacher for the Children’s Worship Service in the Church Of Christ, I take weekly classes to prepare for the upcoming lessons. I’ve taken Bible history courses as part of my training. And while I can teach a lesson outlined for me, based on verses from the Bible, I am not a minister with the authority to preach God’s words from the Bible. The Bible isn’t just for anyone to teach and there’s no room for interpretation.
So if you’re curious about what the Bible says about different topics, take the time to reflect on how you’re receiving answers from the Bible. Are you trusting the right person to explain and help you understand God’s teachings?
GET YOUR BIBLE QUESTIONS ANSWERED
I’ve gained so much from looking to the Bible for answers and would recommend others do the same. In college, I jumped from one program to another. And while I was adamant about devoting my time (and finances) to studying something that I cared about, I heard a lot of criticism and opinions from close friends and family. And of course, it hurt finding out that I wasn’t great at something I set out to do. But instead of dwelling on my failures and worrying about my future, I turned to God and His teachings. I joined youth group meetings at my Church, and when a minister of the gospel gave us Bible advice about our future, I listened.
I eventually graduated with a degree in English, and later on, in Education. After spending a few years teaching high school students, I eventually made my way back to media. Christian media to be exact.
So give the Bible a try. If you don’t have anyone to talk to about your Bible questions you can submit your questions here and set up a time to speak with a minister of the gospel.
Don’t give up on your search. Remember what started this in the first place—you have questions that only God can answer. You just need someone to guide you in finding those answers.
REAL-LIFE EXAMPLES OF PEOPLE WHO FOUND ANSWERS
But don’t just take my word for it. Get to know these individuals who, at one point, were struggling with their own unanswered Bible questions; questions that led them to a deeper understanding of God’s teachings.
1) Shannon Santamaria, a 22-year old college graduate from Honolulu, Hawaii, struggled with family problems early on in her adult life. Eventually, she grew resentful and angry at everyone and everything in her life. One day, she decided to walk into a Church Of Christ worship building and asked a minister how she can stop feeling empty. Eventually, she found the comfort that she was looking for.
2) Teresa Rios, a former Catholic and mom from San Francisco, California, went through a traumatic experience as a child. Because of this, she felt lost and let down, and she even blamed God. This, along with many questions about her Catholic faith, put a strain on her spiritual life. But as she became a young adult, and eventually, a mother, she realized how much she, and her son, needed God’s guidance. She decided to accept an invitation to a Bible study in the Church Of Christ, and received answers to the faith questions that she was struggling with.
3) Darivoj Jaksic, an educator from Toronto, Canada, who experienced what many middle-aged adults are going through—caring for his aging parents. Darivoj took the time to talk with a minister of the gospel in the Church Of Christ about the challenges of taking care of his elderly parents, and found the encouragement and comfort that he needs.
4) Lyle Jones, a former Mormon from Park City, Utah, who wrestled with questions and doubts about the Mormon church when he learned more about the multiple books needed to form the basis of their faith. It was then that he received and accepted an invitation to a worship service in the Church Of Christ. And after many Bible study sessions where he brought all of his questions, he eventually found answers that agreed with what the Bible teaches.
Let’s face it—we’re all struggling with unanswered questions—questions that may make us feel alone, and cause us to become even more worried and anxious about our future. You don’t have to go at it alone—we’re here to help. Set up a free, one-on-one session with a minister and give yourself an opportunity to find the answers you’re looking for.
This blog was written by Michelle Barreda with biblical support by Donald Pinnock, a minister of the gospel of the Church Of Christ.
Michelle Barreda is the fresh cup of coffee that you need in the morning, but can’t handle in the afternoon. Aside from kickboxing, she geeks out about writing, books, and music.
Donald has been an ordained minister in the Church Of Christ (Iglesia Ni Cristo) for over 27 years. He hosts the show The Solution, where he helps individuals find solutions to their life’s problems using only the Bible.