Can We Argue with God’s Promises?

God encourages us to approach His throne and “argue” with Him — not to arouse discord or hate, but rather to allow for understanding and express our faith that He will fulfill what He has spoken — in His perfect timing.

Madeline Kalu
Man praying concernedly

The Bible is filled with over 3000 promises that God makes to us, His children. These promises include rest from adversity (Matthew 11:28), protection (Isaiah 43:2), comfort (Psalm 23:4), healing, (Psalm 147:3), and provision (Hebrew 13:5).

Every one of God’s promises is derived from His grace, mercy, and eternal love, and are designed to prosper us, to give us hope and a future, and never to harm us (Jeremiah 29:11).

Though God knew of His intentions for us before we were even in our mother’s wombs (Jeremiah 1:5), we are not privy to all of the specific promises that God has planned during the course of our lives.

Additionally, we may not be in agreement regarding the few plans God does divulge to us.

Hence, we may at times be tempted to question God’s intentions or doubt whether His promises are for others, but not us. This can lead us to feel overlooked by God and even rejected.

We start to feel disgruntled and complain to God; we even commit ourselves to fulfill our own plans, convinced we can do it without Him.

However, God desires an intimate relationship with us, with no misunderstandings or communication issues.

According to Matthew 28:19, God actually encourages us to partner with Him in fulfilling His promises over our lives, and ultimately His plans for mankind.

Therefore, through supplication and prayer, God encourages us to approach His throne and “argue” with Him — not to arouse discord or hate, but rather to allow for understanding and express our faith that He will fulfill what He has spoken — in His perfect timing.

Why Even Attempt to Argue with God?

To even consider arguing with the Creator of Heaven and Earth seems counter-intuitive and frankly, pointless.

Who are we — mere humans — to have the audacity to believe that not only can we question God’s promises, but even have the gall to express our misgivings to Him?

And yet, the Bible is full of men and women, who presented their arguments to God. Here are just a few examples:

Moses begged God to spare the Israelites after they made a golden calf idol in the wilderness (Exodus 32:9-14).

Abraham pleaded with God to spare the city of Sodom from His wrath if he could find 10 righteous men in the city (Genesis 18:16-32).

After having been mercilessly subjected to Satan’s attacks, Job contemplated how he would argue his case before God (Job 23:4).

Hannah, in her barren state, pleaded with God for a son and vowed to give her offspring back to Him as His servant (1 Samuel 1:10-11).

Mary pleaded with Jesus at the wedding in Cana to turn water into wine (John 2:1-11).

It is human nature to argue our case when the matter is of extreme importance to us.

What we must consider, however, is that, like our biblical forefathers, our arguments with our Maker need to conclude as faith-filled and respectful.

Regardless of the direction, our lives may be taking at the time, we need to stay firm in the belief that God is always good, as are His promises to us.

Don’t Cut Yourself Off God’s Vine

An important thing to keep in mind before entering into an “argument” with God is to remember that He is the One who makes it possible for you to be able to argue in the first place.

C.S. Lewis stated likewise in his book, Mere Christianity:

When you argue against Him, you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: It is like cutting off the tree you are sitting on.

God is the vine — you are the branch, who cannot live apart from Him (John 15:5). God is not your enemy: He is Your life source and the Author of your Salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Arguing against God is expressing ingratitude for everything He has done for you and will do in the future.

Approaching God with the intent to prove Him wrong or accuse Him won’t work. Rather, having an open discussion with God where you both engage as friends, who, despite having differing viewpoints, still mutually respect and love each other, will.

How Do I Argue with God’s Promises?

Now, that we have established how to approach an argument with God, how do we actually argue with Him regarding His promises?

The best way to do this is through prayer. In Hebrews 4:16, we are encouraged to enter God’s presence with confidence,

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

God encourages us to pray sincere prayers to Him: He appreciates our honesty, especially about the promises and plans He has for us.

Nevertheless, we should remember that a confident approach to God’s throne is an approach filled with humility, not self-entitlement or demand.

To help us form a strong line of reasoning with God in our prayers, it may be helpful to consider the following.

God Is love

The quintessential definition of love derives from the Bible. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 describes how love is kind, how it protects, trusts, and never fails, just to mention a few attributes.

In Greek, this love is defined as agape — unconditional love.

This description of love is defined in 1 John 4:8 as being who God is at His core: “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

When reasoning with God regarding His promises, we need to remember that God loves us unconditionally.

Such love dictates that every promise He speaks over us is done so with our utmost happiness and well-being in mind.

If we doubt God’s promises enough to confront Him regarding them, then by extension, we doubt the intensity of His love for us.

God’s Character Is Beyond Reproach

As humans, we are not perfect — but God is. He does not have any of the failings or flaws that we have, He is not prone to be fickle, or unreliable; rather, His character is beyond reproach and never changes.

Numbers 23:19 confirms God’s character to us:

God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

Therefore, when God speaks a promise over your life, you can trust Him that it is a good thing, for His character prevents Him from being anything but good.

Remember Past Promises

When we feel the need to argue with God’s promises, it can be because we have misgivings about them, or don’t have faith that God will fulfill them.

At such times, it is worth remembering the past times that God fulfilled His promises over your life. If He was faithful to you then, He will be faithful to you now. You can trust Him.

The LORD has done what he planned; he has fulfilled his word, which he decreed long ago. He has overthrown you without pity, he has let the enemy gloat over you, he has exalted the horn of your foes (Lamentations 2:17).

God’s Timing Is Always Perfect

We all have plans and goals that we want to achieve within a certain time, such as buying a house, paying off debt, or having a child.

When these goals aren’t realized in our expected time projection, we get frustrated, especially if they are promises that God has spoken over us.

Proverbs 19:21 states that we have many plans in our hearts, however, it is God’s counsel that prevails.

God wants to partner with you in your life and it is His absolute joy to see your plans come to fruition.

However, as an omnipresent being, God sees every perspective of our situation that we cannot be aware of. He is also not constrained by our expectations of time.

Therefore, if you want to argue with God about why His promises haven’t yet come to pass, or you doubt if they ever will be realized, consider that God’s timing is always perfect.

His promises over your life will be fulfilled when He sees it best for you.

For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay (Habakkuk 2:3).

What Does This Mean?

Arguing with God’s promises need not be an act of rebellion or discontentment. God’s is always good, and His promises are always “Yes” and “Amen” (2 Corinthians 1:20).

Why would we want to be in discord with our Father, who is always for us, and never against us?

However, as His Children, we are always invited to approach Him with confidence, firm in the knowledge that God will never rebuke our misgivings, will listen to our reasonings, and always have our best intentions at heart.

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/imtmphoto


Madeline Kalu is a Christian writer and the co-founder of Jacob’s Ladder Blog. She was born in England but currently lives in Germany with her husband, Solomon. As a response to the fear, anxiety, and despair generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Jacob’s Ladder Blog has written a free EBook titled “More than Conquerors through Christ” to encourage, strengthen, and give hope in the midst of this pandemic. You can download the EBook or read it online at www.jacobsladderblog.com.


Originally published October 26, 2020.