Episode #13 Curiosity Rescued My Weary Heart with Biblical Hope

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From Today's Episode

Kelly shares how the courage to be curious transformed thousands of lives in Acts 2 and how that same curiosity was used by God to rescue her heart from the weariness of ongoing disappointments. She shares 5 ways questions have the power to transform our lives when we bring them to the Lord. What if our rescue from cynicism and weariness was just on the other end of a question?

Key Takeaways:

Questions have the power to hold us in the tension of an unresolved, unexplained story. They help us resist the temptation to jump to conclusions.

Questions make space in our hearts for the possibilities of a bigger God-story.

God spoke words I never would’ve expected and didn’t know I needed.

Today's Verses
  • Psalm 13:1-3
  • Psalm 23:6
  • Psalm 34:8
  • Psalm 119:81
  • Psalm 136:1
  • Isaiah 43:18-19
  • Jeremiah 33:3
  • John 10:3


Additional Resources

Curiosity Rescued my Weary Heart with Biblical Hope.

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Unshakable Hope Podcast, where real life intersects redeeming love. I’m Kelly Hall and this is where we wrestle through faith questions such as, how do I trust God’s heart when his ways and delays are breaking mine? How can I believe God is good when life doesn’t seem good? My prayer is that God would renew our hope in these conversations and that each of us would experience the very real power of his presence and love.

Hey friends. Today I’m gonna show you a surprising act of courage in the Bible that God’s used to rescue my weary heart countless times over the years. And then I’m gonna share our personal story of how this has been worked out in my own life.I pray it’ll bring you some hope and encouragement.

Also, I just wanna mention to be sure to check the show notes. I always list the verses I’ve mentioned or links to books I’ve referenced. I put key takeaways in there and sometimes [00:01:00] provide links to other related episodes. As always, if there’s a particular podcast that you’ve been encouraged by, I’d love for you to share it with others so that they can enjoy it as well.

Today I have a question for you. What comes to mind when you think of doing something courageous? My first thought is my husband who flew F-16s throughout his Air Force career, or I think of my son who spent 40 days in the wilderness, rock climbing and mountaineering.

I don’t know about you, but neither of those stories will ever be my courageous story. But I’ve got some good news. What if I told you the most courageous thing you’ll ever do can be accomplished from the comfort of your coziest chair while still in your pajamas?

I wanna show you this story in Acts two, where thousands of people’s lives were transformed in a single day, [00:02:00] and you’re gonna see something courageous that I think will surprise you.

Now, this is probably a familiar story to many of you, but I’m going to highlight a particular moment that’s usually overlooked. But I think the courage you see in this one verse is gonna transform the way you respond to God when you’re confused about your own story.

So here’s the context. When the story opens, it’s the day of Pentecost. That’s a huge annual celebration in Jerusalem. It occurs 50 days after Passover. The Passover we’re talking about here is the last supper Jesus spent with his disciples the night before he was crucified.

After Jesus was resurrected, the Bible says he spent 40 days appearing to many people, performing miracles, convincing them that he is the Messiah, proving he’s actually alive, that the grave is truly empty, and teaching them about the kingdom of [00:03:00] God. But then at the end of those 40 days, we read in Acts 1:8, that Jesus says, you’re gonna receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you’ll be my witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea, Samaria, and all the way to the ends of the earth.

Then Jesus is taken up to heaven. An angel appears and promises that Jesus will return the same way he went. So 10 days pass without Jesus, without the Holy Spirit. It’s the day of Pentecost. God-fearing Jews from every nation travel to Jerusalem for the celebration, so the city is bustling and bursting with people.

We read in Acts 2, verse 1, all the disciples, all the followers of Jesus are gathered in one place for this celebration when suddenly they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit Jesus promised. There’s this dramatic moment with the sound like the blowing of a violent [00:04:00] wind that comes from heaven, and then they saw what looked like tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each one of them. They’re filled with the Spirit and they began to preach.

They declare the wonders of God in the different languages of every person present. Everyone’s confused. Nothing like this has ever happened before.

This miraculous event prompted two polar opposite reactions from the crowd, and this is the moment I wanna focus on. In verses 12 and 13 of chapter two, we see one group of people who were amazed and perplexed. They asked each other, what does this mean?

The second group made fun of them and concluded, oh, they’ve had too much wine. Both groups were confused. No one knows what’s going on, but we’ve noticed that there’s a curious group who ask questions and a cynical group who jumped to [00:05:00] conclusions. Then Peter filled with the Holy Spirit preaches this brilliant sermon that could have only come straight from the mouth of God.

3000 people accept the message that this Jesus really is their long awaited Messiah, and they were baptized. 3000! Can you imagine what that looked like? I love to think that one day when we’re in heaven, we’re gonna be able to watch events like this as if we were actually there in person. I think it’s gonna be awesome.

But here’s my question. Which of those two groups do you think were among those whose lives were transformed? The curious or the cynical. I wanna propose that each of those who encountered the living God that day were the ones who had the courage to be curious. I’ve found that the most courageous thing we can do in our confusion or our heartache is to [00:06:00] come to the Lord with our questions.

When we take the time to be curious, to ask questions, it changes everything. And I discovered that questions have immense power. When I honestly ask God questions, it’s become one of the most powerful things that God’s used to rescue my weary heart with hope.

Let me show you what questions do. First of all, questions have the power to hold us in the tension of an unresolved, unexplained story when we’re weary or confused. They help us resist the temptation to jump to conclusions. It’s uncomfortable to stay in the tension of what’s unresolved, but that’s what questions help us do.

Second, questions place a pregnant pause, right smack dab in the middle of our problems. I love this definition I found of a pregnant pause. It’s silence that builds [00:07:00] anticipation. So after we ask a question, we’re silent and there is a mounting anticipation, wondering what God is gonna do or say.

So questions posture our hearts to wait on the Lord and listen for his voice. That’s the third thing. The fourth thing questions do, is they make space in our hearts for the possibilities of a bigger God story In Acts, the curious people asked, what could this mean? They’re willing to make space in their hearts for a God who works in ways they don’t understand.

These people have traveled long distances to worship their Creator God, who they know works miracles. They know He’s the one who made a way through the Red Sea when he delivered their ancestors from Egypt. He gave them manna in the wilderness and poured rivers of water out of a rock.

He did things that had [00:08:00] never before been done. So maybe they were thinking, Hmm, could God be up to something new? What could this mean? Fifth, the fifth thing questions do is they help us resist the temptation of cynicism. Like what we saw in the story, the cynical guys tried to explain away this miracle of God as the actions of drunk people who suddenly became language experts.

Crazy. That’s absolutely crazy. Rather than exercising the courage to be curious, rather than humbling themselves and asking questions, they come up with the most ridiculous explanation ever. Oh, it’s just drunk people who suddenly became fluent in every language under the sun. Look away. There’s nothing to see here. Absolutely unbelievable!

What we see in this story is: A courageous, curious group who experienced God, [00:09:00] but we also see a cowardly, cynical group who missed him entirely. We noticed the courageous curious group had their lives changed forever. The Cowardly Cynical Group remained exactly the same. This story calls me out and it stirs my heart.

I want to experience God. I don’t want to miss him. I want my life to be changed forever. I certainly do not wanna settle for the status quo. So I have a question for you. What if our rescue from weariness or cynicism was just on the other end of a question? What if all we need to do to see this beautiful outcome in our own lives is simply to have the courage to be curious?

Let me show you what this might look like from a story in my own life. My husband and I were weary. The [00:10:00] things that we had been praying for so earnestly for many years for our kids, but specifically for our girls, were not happening, and the disappointments were piling.

I fought hard for hope in God’s Word every day, but when I looked at the reality of our story, everything looked impossible, and I was so tired of seeing impossible everywhere I looked . Each time it seemed a breakthrough might be near, we’d get our hopes up only to have them dashed time and again.

Years of unanswered prayers for our girls made God feel distant and uninvolved. Was God ever gonna make a way for them? Was he ever going to show up in a tangible way that actually made a difference in their lives? One morning, Lee said, well, if [00:11:00] God’s not going to answer the prayers, we’ve been praying for our girls, what can we believe him for?

I know he’d been honestly wrestling with these questions with the Lord for some time, but they landed on me with a sense of defeated weariness. I went to the Lord that day, desperate for some fresh encouragement, and I said, God, you haven’t spoken to me in a long time about our girls. I need to hear from you. I’m so weary. I then asked one simple question. What do you wanna say about all of this?

In my mind, I heard the gentle voice of the Good Shepherd: Stop letting your past disappointments define your future, and stop letting your past disappointments limit my goodness.

What? I [00:12:00] was grateful God was speaking, but I wasn’t sure I understood the message. He repeated the words again. I sensed his presence and love. There wasn’t even a hint of condemnation.

I shared the message with Lee. Stop letting your past disappointments define your future. Stop letting your past appointments limit My goodness. Lee said, That’s exactly what he’s been telling me over and over and over. “Stop doubting my goodness.”

Now it’s important to mention that during this same time period, Lee and I were reading through the Bible with our church. We would often talk to each other about how God was speaking to us. Over a period of several weeks, we both noticed, and this was really pretty weird, that God was highlighting the same verses for us both, all of them focused on the goodness of God.

[00:13:00] Verses like, give thanks to the Lord for he is good and his love endures forever. Or Psalm 34 :8, taste and see that the Lord is good. Or Psalm 23: 6. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.

It was starting to make more sense. Our disappointments were the issue.

I was imagining a future through the lens of our long history of ongoing disappointments, and I was viewing God through the same lens. No wonder our hearts needed to be resuscitated with a fresh understanding of God’s goodness. God spoke words I never would’ve expected and didn’t know I needed.

I went downstairs to read the Bible and somehow I ended up in Isaiah 43, [00:14:00] God highlighted verses 18 and 19, and in those verses he repeated the same message again:

Forget the former things, don’t dwell on the past. See, I’m doing a new thing. Now it springs up. Do you not perceive it? I’m making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

Tears spilled down my face as I ran upstairs and I said, You are not gonna believe what God said. We wrote those verses down, carried them with us and prayed them daily.

I love how God so graciously and mercifully just kept repeating the messages we most needed to hear over and over and over in so many ways to both our hearts. We got the message. God is good. He’s not withholding [00:15:00] his goodness. God sees us. He’s not forgotten us. He’s working. He’s not neglecting us. He’s with us. He never leaves us. He loves us. His love is never diminished.

Our disappointments don’t define God. In fact, God wanted to reframe our disappointments with the truth of his goodness.

There’s so much more to this story, but it involved a long process of learning to pray differently. Learning to pray with a deep awareness of God’s goodness front and center in my heart.

Daily, I would sense God inviting me to believe him for the best he could do rather than settling for the least he could do. I didn’t know how. How do you believe God [00:16:00] for his best rather than settling? And not just start making things up and cultivating some un-Biblical form of “name it and claim it theology” where I tell God what to do rather than listening to him.

So I asked the Lord, how do you want me to pray? What do you want me to know? How can I look to you and believe you for all the miraculous, glorious, and the new things you’re promising to do and not let my prayers be watered down by our past disappointments. We had been settling for the least God could do and not believing God for his best.

This was the beginning of many years of God actually purifying my hopes. That’s what I would call it. I would sit with him in his Word. I would say, what have you promised? What [00:17:00] can I believe you for? And I would search the scriptures. God led me to many promises, which I would just pile up in my heart and I would pray.

But I particularly loved the beauty of God’s promise in Isaiah 61:3. You provide for those who grieve, you give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes. The oil of gladness instead of mourning and the garment of praise instead of despair. Yes, Lord, bring beauty from the ashes of loss and disappointments.

The beauty of God’s goodness began to color and enrich my prayers for our family. I continued to pray all of my heart’s desires for our kids, but now it was with hands that were a little more open and a heart that was a little more surrendered. [00:18:00] There was more trust and less fear, more hope and less weariness. The certainty and assurance of God’s goodness began to heal the wounds of ongoing disappointments.

God rescued and transformed our hearts from a place of weary disappointment to a place full of hope and expectancy in the goodness of God. And it all started with one simple question from a broken heart: God, what do you wanna say?

There’s a profound quote from Warren Wiersby:  “When you and I hurt deeply, what we really need is not an explanation from God, we need a revelation of God.”

We don’t need God to tell us why he allowed something to happen, right? We need God to reveal himself. Lee and I didn’t need God to tell us why we had so many [00:19:00] disappointments. We needed God to speak into our pain and to reveal the extravagance of his love and goodness to us. And that’s what he did for us, and that’s what he did for those 3000 souls on the day of Pentecost.

The most courageous thing we can ever do when we’re confused or heartbroken by our stories is to come to the Lord with our questions.

Psalm 13 has a plethora of examples of questions. It’s full of lament. How long, oh, Lord, will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle my thoughts and every day have sorrow? It’s a great set of questions. My question to the Lord often comes from Psalm 119 verse 81, God, I’m worn out waiting for your rescue. [00:20:00] What do you wanna say about all this?

Jamie Winship in his book, Living Fearless, has two questions that he always asks the Lord in every situation: God, what do you want me to know and what do you want me to do?

Questions, posture our heart to wait on the Lord and to listen for his voice. We’re able to take a breath. We’re able to take time to acknowledge the fact that there is more to know here than meets the eye. And our God who is immensely powerful and intensely personal is the only One who’s able to reveal all the glory and goodness that is exploding around us.

It takes humility, faith, and courage to admit we don’t have all the answers. I am deeply grateful that we can go to the one who [00:21:00] does and when we ask, we can always expect God to answer. I love Jeremiah 33:3: Call to me and I’ll answer you and I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things you could never figure out on your own.

And then John 10:3, Jesus describes himself as the Good Shepherd, and we read “the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and he leads them out.”

What if our rescue from weariness really is just on the other end of a question? So the next time our stories stir confusion in our hearts, let’s have the courage to be curious. Let’s curl up in our coziest chair and pour out our questions to the One who delights in opening our eyes to the wonders of his bigger story.

Thanks for listening to the Unshakeable Hope [00:22:00] podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please subscribe and leave a review. To continue the conversation and for free resources, be sure to visit me@kellyhall.org. Thanks so much.

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