Several weeks ago I was asked a very good question by a older child. Wanting to encourage them in the Faith I took this opportunity to reply to their question by sending them this letter:
Happy New Year!
Your grandmother passed along a question that you had about God. As I love talking to people about the Lord and helping us all to know Him better it always excites me when people like yourself ask a really good question. Asking good questions about God is one important way of how we can come to know Him more deeply. So before I begin I just wanted to encourage you to continue to seek God out and ask good questions about who He is, what it means to know Him and be able to do what pleases Him; and most of all, how we can be saved from our sins through Jesus.
So I would like to respond to your question, “Why has God always been?”, and I hope it answers (or begins to answer) your question.
The Bible often says that God has always existed. Sometimes it uses the word “eternal” or “eternity” to show this characteristic of God. Eternal simply means God has existed forever.
Psalm 90:2 tells us that “from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Many other Bible verses say the same type of thing (ex. Genesis 1:1, 21:23; Psalm 103:17; Isaiah 57:15; Hebrews 2:10, 13:8; Revelation 4:11).
Some of God’s characteristics we can share. For example, God is love and so we can love one another, or, God is truth and so we should not lie. However, some characteristics of God we cannot share. His eternity is one of them. We began to exist the moment we started to grow in our mother’s tummy. God is eternal. He has always existed and will always exist. It is one of His amazing characteristics! We can see this in the story of the burning bush. God appeared to Moses in the form of a bush that burned but was not burnt up. He wanted Moses to go and tell the King of Egypt to let His people the Israelites go free. Moses asked God, “if they ask, who shall I tell them sent me?” God told Moses to say that I AM sent you (Exodus 3:14). God’s name shows us that He is eternal. He was, He is and He will be. He has always existed in the past and will always exist in the future!
Now since you are a smart girl, you have probably already noticed, this does not completely answer your question. The truth is that no one fully knows how God has always been. Some things God keeps as a mystery to remind us that we are only human and that He is God. One thing that we can be sure of, though, is that God has told us He is eternal. In the Bible God has told us everything He wants us to know about Him. There is a small poem that I memorized when I was very young. It says, “O God, your sea is so great, and my boat is so small!” The hard part in answering your question, after saying that God is eternal, is that you and I are so small. We are just a small part of everything that God has created. Because we are small and God is great we will never know everything about Him. But we can be thankful that He has told us about His greatness in the Bible because He loves us. Because of this I believe the best answer is that we should be happy with what He has shared with us. What God has told us in the Bible is true and when we come to believe this, then we are able to trust Him with the mysteries He has not shared.
Think of it this way. There are many things you do not know or do not know how to do yet. When you need to know something your parents lovingly tell you and help you so that you will grow up into a beautiful and intelligent young lady. They know so much more than you do because they are older and experienced. It is like that with God. He is our heavenly Father and He doesn’t tell us everything but what He does tell us is for our good so we might become the people He wants us to be.
God is eternal. From everlasting to everlasting He is our Creator, Rescuer and Friend. We can trust this because the Bible is true. We accept it in faith, which means we trust in God.
To help you praise God because of His eternity, I would encourage you to ask your parents to listen to these three songs on the internet:
Everlasting God by Chris Tomlin
Everlasting to Everlasting by Brian Doerksen
The Lord’s Sweetest Blessings, Your Friend,