What I dread are His moments of prolonged silence...the moments in time, where I neither hear His rebuke or His gentle encouragement...To me...that is torture!
I despair the silent responses to my cries of, "Speak, Lord, Your servant is listening!"..."Say anything at all!"..."Just let me know You are still there!"..."HELLO...are You there?"
Jesus felt this anguish on the cross; He cried out, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"
Friends, we are not alone. Jesus felt isolated, abandoned, naked and alone, bearing the weight of sin. Hebrews 4:14-16 says, "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." (NIV)
So, what should we do in moments where God seems to NOT speak? How do we survive times of His unresponse? Are there ways to encourage our faith in the days, months, or years of silence? ABSOLUTELY!
- First we must learn to WAIT. Moments of silence are an opportunity for us to wait, knowing that the testing of our faith produces perseverance and character. We are being made to be more like Him.
- Ps 27:14, Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. (NIV)
- Isa 30:18, Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion.For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! (NIV)
- Isa 40:31, "but those who wait upon the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
Second, we must continue to keep WATCH. Don't give up hope. Keep looking. Guard your heart so you don't lose your hope.
Deut 4:9 reminds us, "Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them." (NIV)
Mic 7:7, But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. (NIV)
Third, we need to make sure we continually READ HIS WORD. Though we may feel alone, God has given us many promises. When God seems silent, we must determine to press in and read His Word even more to find strength.
He will never leave us forsake us. (Joshua 1:5)
He works all things together for our good. (Romans 8:28-29)
Commit your way to Him and He will direct your path. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
The Lord is faithful and loving toward us. (Psalm 145:13)
I want to encourage you to NOT be discouraged, 1 Corinthians 15:58 reminds us, "Therefore, my dear brothers (and sisters), stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." (NIV)