So Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said: “I am young in years, and you are old; that is why I was fearful, not daring to tell you what I know.” —Job 32:6
It is entirely appropriate that today’s text centers around a young man who, respectively, questions his elders belief systems. It is my three girls are most often used by the Lord to smooth out my rough edges.
They help Him form me into a better follower of His Son (as a result, a better mother). I include them in my writings a lot because through their questions and struggles, I gain a truer perspective of what the Lord desires for my life.
Elihu’s role in the Book of Job is no different. Warren Wiersbe, in his commentary, describes the encounter like this,
While Elihu said some of the same things as the other speakers, his purpose was different from theirs. He was not trying to prove that Job was a sinner, but that Job’s view of God was wrong. Elihu introduced a new truth into the debate: that God sends suffering, not necessarily to punish us for our sins, but to keep us from sinning and to make us better persons.
One other critical person to my journey of faith is my husband. He asked me a question when we were dating, more than 13 years ago, that is always in the background. It was his perspective that always colors questions of my faith. He said,
I know that you have faith in God, but can you tell me why?
When people come to me, whether truly seeking or in a debate, with questions about why I choose to follow Christ, it is his face I see.
Somewhere, inside everyone, is someone who wants to know the truth. Jesus says He is The Truth (John 14:6) and that He sets us free (John 8:32). Our lives should reflect that truth because it is what so many want — unworldly freedom to have joy, find peace, offer kindness and gain wisdom.
The questions of those around me encourage me to seek greater understanding of why I practice the Christian faith. They make me ask the Lord for wisdom because too often my own understanding is so limited. When people seek the truth in us, we can give it to them. We can show them, through our own struggles, the path to God.
If you encounter someone who challenges your belief in Christ, don’t run and hide; or worse, get angry and shut them out. We shouldn’t be afraid of having to answer questions. Questions and experiences about who God is shouldn’t keep us from seeking Him or being open to what they have to say.
Like iron sharpening iron, different perspectives sharpen our faith. We can say, “I don’t know, but let’s find out together.” We don’t have all the answers, but we do know where to find them. The Apostle James said,
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. —James 1:5
How gentle and great a God who responds to His children’s needs for answers!
Ask the Lord for help when you encounter questions or challenges to your beliefs.
Heavenly Father – Thank You for being faithful to me. I am not faithful to You but You stick by me, closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). I know that You have great plans for me, so when I encounter challenges to my beliefs in You, help me to turn to You for guidance. Let me rest in knowing that You know the way, even when I am confused, threatened or unsure. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Further reading: Psalms 51:6, Daniel 2:21, Matthew 7:7