Series Code: RQRA
Program Code: RQRA000007A
00:01 I don't understand.
00:04 Why did this have to happen to me?
00:08 I feel like I just can't make sense of things.
00:12 I need answers.
00:15 Where is God?
00:19 You know, one of the most sublime
00:21 and beautiful truths of Christianity
00:23 is that God wants to be close
00:25 and intimately connected with us.
00:27 He wants to get us to know Him.
00:29 He wants to be close and experience
00:31 beautiful communion and fellowship with Him.
00:34 But oftentimes, that's where we seem to struggle the most is
00:37 in that connection with Him.
00:39 Welcome to Raw Questions Relevant Answers.
00:41 This is a program where we are seeking
00:44 Bible answers
00:45 for some of the most raw and personal questions
00:48 that go down to the depths of our hearts that we have,
00:51 especially these young people.
00:52 I'm joined by my co-host,
00:53 Michelle Doucoumes, and Dee Casper.
00:55 And we want to welcome you here today.
00:59 We basically get a bunch of questions
01:01 from young people around the world on Facebook.
01:03 And these are the questions
01:04 that we're going to be answering.
01:06 Today, we have some from California and Malaysia.
01:08 So that's kind of cool, all the way around the world.
01:12 To start off, we want to go to this first question.
01:16 And this is a really good one.
01:18 So this comes from a female, 26, from California.
01:22 "I have a business relationship with my dad,
01:24 and I transpose similar feelings to God.
01:27 How do I begin to form a loving relationship with God
01:30 that is more than a business interaction
01:32 when I am not open, raw, or vulnerable with my father?"
01:37 You know, our experience with God,
01:40 our view of God is based largely upon
01:43 our experience with our parents.
01:45 Like it or not, that's the truth.
01:47 God said, "It's not good for man to be alone."
01:49 And there are things experienced
01:51 in the covenant of marriage that you learn
01:52 about the character of God that you can't learn otherwise.
01:56 And those aspects of the image of God
01:59 are then kind of exhibited before the children
02:02 to kind of learn what He's like.
02:03 So if we have an absentee father
02:06 or difficult relationship with our father,
02:08 that would be a normal response to have.
02:10 I guess it's kind of my initial response is that
02:14 that's not uncommon for people
02:15 to have those types of feelings.
02:17 What do we do about it?
02:18 One of the best ways to understand the father
02:20 is what Jesus says in John, I believe, 16.
02:23 He says, "If you see Me, you've seen the Father."
02:27 One of the best ways to understand
02:29 what the Father is like,
02:30 how inviting He is, compassionate, and tender
02:33 is by seeing the expressed image of the Father
02:36 in His Son in Scripture.
02:38 That's a first place to start.
02:40 Yeah, it's funny, this question
02:42 because I've kind of been accused of this before.
02:45 I am a business person, I teach business.
02:48 My father is also into business,
02:50 so sometimes we come across as very business.
02:53 But it's not always like that, thankfully.
02:56 But I can relate to kind of leaning towards
02:59 the business side of things more naturally
03:01 which is not bad,
03:03 but it leaves out a huge part of who God is
03:06 if that's all there is.
03:08 But, you know, I think all of us
03:10 have certain misconceptions about God from our families,
03:14 whether we had really pretty good families,
03:17 pretty lousy families,
03:19 it's never going to be a complete picture.
03:22 And that is why, as Dee said,
03:25 it's so important to go into the Scripture
03:27 and find out more about who God is from there.
03:30 I love the gospel of John, also the epistles of John.
03:34 John is so good.
03:35 It just bringing out the love of God,
03:38 His relation to us as a Father,
03:41 what that really means.
03:43 There's verses like Zephaniah 3:17,
03:45 that talk about a God
03:46 who rejoices over us with singing.
03:49 And it's crazy because this can be
03:53 something that really rewires our view of what
03:57 the parent-child relationship or love relationship is like.
04:01 It's something that can prepare us to know
04:03 how to love other people
04:04 whereas we have deficiencies on our own.
04:07 And so I do think that
04:09 it's a process of letting the Word of God
04:11 kind of rewrite to that wiring in our minds as far as
04:13 what those relationships look like in their true form.
04:17 So then... Go ahead.
04:18 I was just going to say in Jeremiah 31,
04:20 there's this appeal from God.
04:22 And it says in verse 3. Jeremiah 31:3.
04:26 It says, "The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying,
04:27 'Yes, I have loved you..." This is the Father speaking.
04:30 "I have loved you with an everlasting love,
04:33 and therefore, with loving kindness,
04:35 I have drawn you."
04:37 Jesus then mentions in John 12, I believe, in verse 32 that,
04:40 "I, if I'd be lifted up,
04:41 will draw all people to Myself."
04:43 One of the best ways to be drawn to the Father
04:46 is to see the exhibition of His love,
04:48 you know, the perfect example of His love at Calvary,
04:51 and it draws us.
04:53 And so sometimes when we just hear about
04:55 judgment or stern expectations, it can maybe repel.
04:58 We don't understand how to work with that.
05:00 But my encouragement would be
05:02 to spend as much time as you can
05:04 embracing and experiencing the love of God in Scripture
05:08 in the Old Testament and the New Testament,
05:10 to set your compass to true north to realize that
05:12 the Father wants you to know
05:14 that you have access to intimacy with Him,
05:17 not just a business.
05:19 "Here's what I want, do it right or else,
05:21 I love you.
05:23 And with My love, I'm trying to draw you."
05:25 It has been a big benefit to me,
05:27 a big blessing to me to see that's how God views me
05:29 and wants to have a relationship with me.
05:31 Daniel 2, I think, it says the astrologers
05:35 and stuff say that, you know, "His dwelling is not with men."
05:38 They say in Daniel 2,
05:40 kind of the pagan view of God that He's distant.
05:42 He's nowhere near us.
05:43 The Judeo-Christian view is that
05:46 there's a God who tabernacle among us,
05:48 who became one of us,
05:50 and who is inviting us to have a relationship with Him.
05:53 I think it's a big, big difference.
05:54 You know, it's interesting.
05:56 I think, almost every episode,
05:58 we get down to the same kind of thing, what is the answer?
06:03 This, the Bible, the love of God in the Scripture,
06:06 and beholding the cross of Calvary every day,
06:09 beholding the love of God every day.
06:12 As it says, I believe, in John 15:
06:13 around verse 9 or 10, "Abide in My love."
06:17 You know, God wants us to stay connected to Him
06:22 through abiding in His love
06:23 through constantly looking at His love,
06:25 through knowing that He loves us.
06:27 In that walk, it purifies those bad images that we have of God,
06:32 and it ennobles us.
06:33 It makes us more loving.
06:36 It's that irrefutable law of the universe,
06:38 by beholding, you become changed, you know.
06:40 If we're looking at the love of God on the daily basis,
06:44 well, guess how we're going to treat the people around us?
06:46 We're going to loving.
06:47 We're going to emulate the character of Christ.
06:49 So I think to answer this question
06:51 then, we can basically say
06:53 keep looking at the true picture of God.
06:56 So that's the first question.
06:57 Our second question comes to us
06:59 from a 22-year-old female in Malaysia.
07:02 And this one, I think,
07:04 is really practical in a lot of ways.
07:07 "If I don't see miracles in my life,
07:09 does that mean I didn't spend time with God?
07:12 Does that mean I don't have enough faith in God?
07:14 Does that mean I'm not asking enough, not praying enough,
07:16 not surrendered enough, or have the wrong motivation?
07:20 Thoughts? Wow.
07:22 You know, I think of something that Jesus said to the Jews
07:26 when they were looking for miracles,
07:28 and they wanted signs of Him.
07:30 In Luke 16:29, it said,
07:34 "They have Moses and the prophets,
07:36 let them hear them."
07:37 And then in verse 31, he said,
07:39 "If they do not hear Moses and the prophets,
07:41 neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead."
07:45 Like even if they saw the biggest miracle,
07:48 if we don't believe God's Word, it's not going to be enough.
07:53 Now does that mean that God doesn't do miracles?
07:56 God does miracles.
07:58 But when miracles become the test of our faith,
08:00 or "I'm not going to believe unless I see a miracle,"
08:04 then sometimes there can be a problem.
08:07 And honestly, I believe God is doing miracles every day.
08:10 We just don't see them.
08:11 The Jews saw many, many miracles.
08:13 They had God in human flesh with them,
08:17 the biggest miracle ever, and they were blind to it.
08:21 And so something that's also helped me as not feeling like,
08:23 "Wow! Well, I didn't see this huge miracle,
08:26 so maybe God's not with me."
08:28 But realizing the presence of God in daily life
08:31 that God is always at work
08:33 and if I'm not cognizant of those things,
08:36 I might not even be persuaded if a large miracle happened.
08:40 I was just thinking like in the Upper Room,
08:41 Jesus confirmed to Thomas.
08:44 Jesus didn't have to do this,
08:46 but He did it anyway just to help Thomas
08:48 with what he was struggling with, you see.
08:50 So I'm not going to believe
08:51 as I put my fingers in the side,
08:52 my fingers in His palms, even though the testimony
08:55 of everyone around Him who knew Jesus
08:57 and that he confirmed what Jesus said He would do.
09:00 Even in those moments,
09:02 when our faith struggles or wrestles,
09:03 there are times when God is willing to acquiesce
09:07 just to come and meet us
09:08 where we are and to encourage us.
09:10 But I think the amazing thing is even when we do doubt,
09:13 God still wants to use this...
09:14 There's this amazing verse just before
09:15 the Great Commission in Matthew 28.
09:18 In Matthew 28:16, we go right into 18 generally
09:21 and talk about how Jesus gave the Great Commission
09:23 to tell the gospel to the world.
09:25 But listen to this, the verse 16,
09:27 "The 11 disciples went away into Galilee to the mountains
09:30 which Jesus had appointed for them.
09:32 And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him,
09:35 but some doubted."
09:37 Like some actually doubted that He was actually there
09:40 that these things were really happening.
09:42 And the very next thing that happens in Scripture is,
09:44 "Even you, I want you to go
09:46 and told the story of the gospel to the world,"
09:48 because He knew that through this process,
09:50 there may be doubts, there may be discouragement,
09:52 but His plan isn't over, He still has work for them.
09:55 And many times, in the going,
09:57 Jesus told the disciples at another place that,
09:59 "You're seeing stuff that prophets longed to see,"
10:01 you're walking with Jesus.
10:03 And if you're actually walking with Jesus in your experience,
10:06 you will see things, you will receive blessings,
10:09 and you will have that confirmation.
10:11 You know, another point, this is from Isaiah 50...
10:15 By the way, do yourselves a favor,
10:18 read the Isaiah 40s and 50s.
10:20 Yes. These are powerful.
10:22 So like we talk a lot about the gospels
10:25 and how powerful those are,
10:26 Isaiah 40s especially are just as powerful.
10:30 I mean, they are the words of God Himself to humanity
10:34 expressing His love and foretelling Christ, right?
10:39 But this is Isaiah 50:10,
10:42 "Who is among you that fears the Lord,
10:44 that obeys the voice of His Servant,
10:46 and that walks in darkness, and has no light?
10:49 Let him trust in the name of the Lord
10:52 and stay or rely upon his God."
10:54 In other words, if you fear the Lord,
10:58 if you obey His voice,
11:00 and there's seeming to be darkness all around,
11:04 keep trusting, keep depending on Him,
11:07 keep relying on God to do what He has said He will do.
11:11 And you know, just one other quick point
11:13 that I want to bring in here too.
11:16 I grew up, you know, going to church,
11:18 doing what I needed to,
11:20 and paying tithe, and all those things,
11:22 but I never started seeing miracles, financial miracles,
11:27 until I started like giving not just from my abundance
11:33 but giving till it hurt.
11:34 Right? Needed them.
11:35 Exactly, exactly.
11:37 When it meant something to give,
11:38 that's when I saw the fulfillment of the promise,
11:40 give, and it shall be given back to you.
11:42 So one practical thing, if you want to see
11:44 more miracles in your life, give more.
11:47 Like step out in faith more. I've seen that too.
11:50 Miracles are not just as a little novelty,
11:53 miracles are given an urgent need.
11:55 Right. Yes.
11:57 And so we're out working for God,
11:58 and there's an urgent need, I've seen a lot of miracles.
12:01 Yes, if you give and live radically,
12:03 that's a lot of times when the miracles happen
12:05 because you're being used on behalf of God
12:07 to further a purpose as opposed to just maintaining.
12:11 God isn't necessarily going to perform a miracle
12:13 just so that you can get a slightly better benchmark
12:16 at your work, right?
12:17 But He is going to perform a miracle
12:19 so that that person down the street can see the gospel.
12:23 Okay, so one last question here before time runs out.
12:26 We don't have a lot of time for this one,
12:28 but this is again from somebody out in California, female,
12:33 "How do I stay strong when those around me
12:35 are compromising values that we all used to agree on?
12:39 How do I stay strong
12:40 when my loved ones are doubting God
12:42 and spirituality?"
12:44 My first encouragement would be
12:46 that it's difficult when we make these decisions
12:49 because when people change where they were,
12:52 maybe that you used to do things
12:53 that you choose not to do anymore,
12:55 immediately, everyone you hung out with is convicted by that,
12:58 and they feel condemned even though you may love them
13:00 and treat them no differently.
13:01 And that's par for the course, that's normal.
13:04 But that question is more of...
13:06 Can you repeat the question on that?
13:09 "How do I stay strong
13:10 when those around me are compromising?"
13:12 And I would add something to that, I do think
13:13 there is an importance to Christian community
13:16 as much as you can utilize Christian mentors,
13:20 Christian friends, we do need that in times
13:23 when we are surrounded by other influences.
13:26 We are meant to be a community and support each other.
13:28 And too, Jesus is acquainted with situations like this,
13:31 where there were people, His own family members,
13:33 His own brothers didn't believe in Him,
13:35 and we can receive Christ's spirit of strength
13:37 in the midst of those difficulties.
13:38 We can cry out to Him and say,
13:39 "Jesus, I need Your strength to be faithful right now
13:42 because I don't have it."
13:43 And I guarantee you He wants to provide that.
13:45 For sure, and one other very practical thing,
13:47 be careful in who you maintain close friendships with.
13:51 Like it or not, you will be influenced by them.
13:53 I mean, you are a combination of your three closest friends.
13:57 If you want...
13:59 And this is no joke, you want to be careful
14:01 who you form close friendships with.
14:03 Unfortunately, our time is up,
14:04 but if you have any more questions,
14:06 find us on Facebook,
14:07 Raw Questions Relevant Answers 3ABN.
14:09 God bless.
14:10 Thank you so much for joining us today.
14:12 Take care.