Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4
Sometimes God does not change your circumstance because He is trying to change your heart. When things are tough you cry out to God. You beg Him to remove the pain, the sorrow, the difficulty. You been there? You don’t want to hurt anymore and so you cry out. And often… God seems silent. He doesn’t remove the thing that is causing you such pain. The cancer is still there. The broken relationship is still broken. The bank account is still empty. The loss of a loved one is still permanent. Others tell you to find hope in it all and you wonder what good could ever come out of such pain.
But what if God, in fact, is not being silent. What if he is speaking a different way than you would have thought? What if God is thinking much bigger than your circumstance? God knows if He were to just remove the circumstance you would most likely fall back into business as usual. You are slow to remember and would go back into living life as you choose, oblivious of His working in and around you. What if God wanted to get your attention in a much more transformative way? What if He wants to change your heart? Draw you closer to Himself by getting you to recognizing your desperate need for Him. Is the pain worth that, to be loved and cared for by our Creator? To see your need for him and to be filled up by Him? So you lose things you loved and valued, but gain more of God. Is there any greater prize than eternity with Him?
It’s not easy. Life was never meant to be. God does not promise health and wealth (1 Peter 4:13). Run from those who teach that. Those who truly follow God will most definitely find hardship and suffering on this earth but the life to come is well worth the suffering.
I cry to you for help and you do not answer me; I stand, and you only look at me. Job 30:20
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. Psalm 22:1–2
Often in our life we are not sure what God is up too. Things can get hectic and we are left wondering what God wants to say to us… if anything at all.
If we are honest about it we struggle to see God’s involvement in our daily lives. You don’t like your job but you have no idea what to do about it and you feel like God has not opened any doors. You have some major health issues and you can’t find purpose in it and God seems silent on it. People around you are dying and you are coming face to face with your own mortality and God seems distant. You are single and want God to bring the right person into your life but it seems like God has hidden all the good prospects from you. Don’t you wish He would just write it on a cloud or send you a text message?! “Hey Dax, this is your God. Here is what I am doing right now in that situation of yours…” Just doesn’t happen that way does it?
Let’s get real here. We want God to swoop in with power and win our trust by making clear the good things He is doing in our circumstances. Yet He feels more like an absentee Father more often than not.
Here is my advice to you. Are you ready for it? It won’t make a lot of sense but it is absolutely the response you should have.
Praise God even when you don’t know what He is doing.
That’s right… worship Him even when he seems to be silent. In uncertainty be certain about your affection towards God.
Chew on this idea…Absence heightens desire.
Maybe God’s silence is too move us to hunger more for His presence, to yearn even more for Him. If He were quick to answer every time we have a need, we most likely would take Him for granted and even hold him in contempt. That God feels somewhat out of reach should make us desire Him even more. Longing makes us seek. Seeking will lead to us finding.