Sometimes it just feels like God is hiding something from you. Prayers go unanswered and questions linger; God seems to be leaving you in suspense by not providing answers or guidance. From my personal experience and my understanding of what the Bible says on this topic, I believe that God does hide things from us at times for our own benefit, and it is two such instances where God does this that I seek to outline in the ensuing few paragraphs.
1. For us to seek and find
‘More is learnt about God and about yourself through the frustration and patience of seeking an answer than is provided by a simple response from God.’
God hides some things from us so that we will seek out an answer. Why would God hide something from us and make us search for an answer instead of just giving us an answer outright? My belief is that the process of searching and seeking God for an answer holds equal importance to the answer itself. Proverbs 25:2 says, ‘It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.’
If an answer to a question was all that we needed then surely God would just give that to us without delay; but as there are times that He makes us search, seek and knock, there must be value in this process. ‘Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.’ Matthew 7:7-8. Sometimes the seeking of an answer is more important than the answer itself. More is learnt about God and about yourself through the frustration and patience of seeking an answer than is provided by a simple response from God. This is what the book of Job is all about. Job seeks answers from God and what he learns through his seeking outweighs what he learns from the answers God gives.
It is important to note here that God intends the process of seeking to be followed by finding – as it says in Matthew 7:8, ‘ For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.’ God doesn’t hide himself to tease us, there is an outcome that eventuates as a result of the seeking. He may not always give us the answers we are looking for, but we will not have sought Him in vain.
2. To reveal a greater truth
‘God often leaves lesser questions unanswered because He can only reveal a greater truth by not answering these questions.’
God will hide the answer to a lesser question for the purpose of revealing a greater truth. As I previously taught in ‘Three Principles About God’s Provision That We Learn From Manna‘, the word manna translates literally to ‘what is it?’ God fed the Israelite people on something that neither they nor their ancestors had known for forty years. Manna stayed being called manna because God never told them what it was, but He used that mystery to teach them something far more important. Deuteronomy 8:3, ‘[God] humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.’
The questions we bring before God pale in comparison to the truth that He wants to reveal to us. We bring questions like: why did this happen? Where were you when I was suffering? When will this end? God often leaves these lesser questions unanswered because He can only reveal a greater truth by not answering these questions. I know this all too well.
On the 24th of December 2012 my uncle died of cancer aged 57. Being born into a non-Christian family my godly and upright Christian uncle was an important spiritual role-model for me, someone I admired greatly and sought to emulate. His passing was the first time I had experienced loss, and it broke my heart. Although God made me at peace with what had happened immediately after the news was broken to me, something I am very thankful of, I naturally had many questions. Instead of answering these lesser questions, God gently led me through a process of healing and concluded by asking me a question of His own: do you need to know all of the answers to know that I am good?
My lack of knowledge as to why God would allow my uncle to die is trumped by the truth that I can rely on God’s goodness in the midst of uncertainty. I don’t need to know all things to know that He is good. The truth is that God is good no matter what happens to us. His goodness is inherent in His character and is not determined by circumstances. When you know this truth all of those lesser questions fall away and become unimportant. I no longer desire to know why he died, it’s not something that I need to know as the knowledge of God’s goodness supersedes this.
If you are in a place of seeking God for answers to your questions be encouraged as God hides answers from us for our own benefit. The journey of seeking out the truth is often why we are made to wait for answers, and this brings us to a place of greater knowledge than a simple answer could. And if God doesn’t give you answers to the questions you have after you have sought Him, know that a truth will be revealed to you that is better than the answers you are seeking.
 Lyrics from the song ‘Pieces’ by Amanda Cook