When I was a teenager, I knew that I had received Christ's forgiveness for my sins, but I didn't know too much about the character and attributes of God. That made for one young believer who asked for things but was often lacking in faith, as is described in James 1: 5-8.
It says clearly in James 1:5 "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him."
The next verses go on to say we must not doubt because "he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind."
verse 7 continues "For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double minded man unstable in all his ways.
I was seasick a lot back then.
I didn't understand the righteousness and justice of God. All I had to go on was what I saw all around me. People looked downtrodden all around me. I heard about the masses of people groups who supposedly had never had a chance to hear the good news. I heard about the horrors of World War II and the concentration camps. I thought about my poor uncle out on the family farm. Why wouldn't he be open to hearing about Jesus? Why do people's hearts get hardened?
I asked my older sister. I cried to her, actually, while we were both struggling college students, looking for who we really were. She tried to pat me on the back and told me, "I'm sure that God is worried more for Uncle _____ than you are."
She was right. I didn't understand that God truly loved my uncle. That He had paid the ultimate price for him. It wasn't God's fault if my uncle was disinterested, or at least appeared that way to me at the time.
My lack of faith really hindered me in thinking about all those situations. One day, all those questions hit me with a vengeance.
JUST WHAT KIND OF A GOD DO I BELIEVE IN ANYWAY, THAT HE WOULD ALLOW SOME TO GO TO HELL? IS HE STILL JUST IF HE SENDS PEOPLE THERE IF THEY WANTED TO KNOW HIM?
God is just. He had to do something about the sin problem. So He did in sending His beloved Son to bear the trillions of sins of every single person on the face of this earth. Talk about being unfair. If it was unfair, it was unfair to Him, not us.
"For He made Him who knew no sinn to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in HIM." II Corinthians 5: 21
I HAD to find out the answer. I could not "justify" in my puny human mind a God that would not give us the gift of free volition. Once again, God gave me a verse that has been a lifesaver for me. It is this promise from Jesus in John 7:17. I like how it is rendered in the KJV.
"If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak it of Myself." (John 7:17)
This verse tells me if I choose with my will to know Him, then God will do His part to get His Word to me! Hallelujah! God sees with His omniscient Presence and He looks at every man's heart. If He sees a blip of faith, He will send the gospel to that person! No matter where they live, God is faithful.
That one verse saved me from an evil anthropology professor who nearly destroyed my faith during my stay at the university. He laughed at any of us who believed in God, and made me question everything I'd ever been taught. That was in the mid eighties. How much worse is it now. Think of thd kids going to schools now, even going to some Christian, (yes, you heard me right) schools, where the faith is subtly being denied.
God rescued me that day. I know, I was a rather "odd" person to have that kind of question about God in the first place. But it forced me to think about who God was. It forced me to realize that I, sadly, did NOT know Him. I still have a long way to go. But I do know that He is a loving God.(I John 4:8) He will not refuse anyone who is searching for HIM.
I love that one of the very last verses of the Bible again tells any one who is still looking for their ultimate need to be satisfied to come to Christ.
Rev 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
In other words, as long as you are alive, there is still time! Come now, don't delay one more moment.