Saturday February 10, 2018 – Another Message on Patience
Once again I feel that God is sending me specific encouragement while I wait for His guidance and leadning. When I say the following title “What to Remember When You Feel God Is Not Listening (1 Peter 1:6–7)” I thought that here is another message from God to encourage my heart. The text was so good that I had to include it despite the length.
“How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?” (Habakkuk 1:2).
Have you ever felt, like Habakkuk, that your cries to God are falling on deaf ears?
Does God seem distant? Do you feel he’s abandoned you in your time of need? What should we think and how should we react when God seems distant?
Here are four things to remember when enduring God’s silence:
- You’re not alone—Giants of the faith, from Martin Luther to C. S. Lewis, have written about the spiritual crises they’ve endured after seeking God’s comfort and feeling his absence. And in the Bible we find kings, from David to Jesus, feeling similarly forsaken by the Father (see Psalm 22:1 and Matthew 27:46). We can take comfort in knowing that we’re not the only ones who have gone through such experiences, and that the silence is not necessarily a reflection on the quality of our faith or our relationship with God.
- It’s temporary—Feelings of distance from God are a temporary trial. As Peter said, “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials” (1 Peter 1:6).
- It’s for a reason—Peter also says trials come so they can prove the genuineness of our faith (see 1 Peter 1:7). God puts us through trials to test and strengthen our faith and our reliance on his mercy. As John MacArthur says: “As one of God’s children, you are promised His presence, though for now you feel alone and without help. Rest in knowing God your Father has good reasons for bringing you into your trial. He is committed to making you holy, even if it means taking away your happiness for a time.”*
- You’re being heard—Even when God seems to be a million miles away he is always closer than our breath. He hears you, so don’t be afraid to be bold and ask, like Habakkuk, why your cries are going unanswered. Keep praying and know God’s silence won’t last forever.
PRACTICAL TAKEAWAY: Our suffering under God’s silence has a purpose and can be used to help us grow in faith and obedience.
So I read the text above in my normal devotional and then the following scripture was also part of the devotional reading from Leviticus 26, 3 “‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, 4 I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit. 5 Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land.
6 “‘I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove wild beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country. 7 You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you. 8 Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you.
9 “‘I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you.
I think waiting for God to respond will be much easier in light of what He said today to me through His word.