I am convinced all Christians have times when in their lives they feel God is distant. Every saint of God in the Bible did, many of the saints who have gone to be with the Lord we hear or read about did and we won’t be an exception. There will be times in our lives when we think we need God most but feel He’s too quiet or too distant for such a time. I am writing this because like every other follower of Christ l do experience God’s silence sometimes.

“Answer me speedily, O Lord; My spirit fails! Do not hide Your face from me, lest I be like those who go down into the pit” ( Psalm 143:8).
“To You I will cry, O Lord my Rock: Do not be silent to me, lest, if You are silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit” (psalm 28:1).
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning?”
“O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; And in the night season, and am not silent. Why do You stand afar off, O Lord?” (Psalm 22:1 – 2).
“Why do You hide in times of trouble?” (Psalm10:1).

Can you at one point or another relate to the cries and desperations of the Psalmist? I can.

Here are a few things l’ve learnt. And I ‘m still learning because there is never a finality to our walk with God till we see Him face to face.

When God is silent:

He is working behind the scene

The fact that we do not see physical manifestations or outward changes in our situations does not mean God isn’t working on our case or He doesn’t care. Believe me, fellow pilgrim: He loves you, He sees you, He hears your cries, He cares and He’s working on your behalf.

Read the stories of Joseph, Hannah, Elizebeth, Paul and other saints in the Bible. There were times in their lives God seemed to be distant too.

Many times we also consider Him to be too slow concerning our situation, Isn’t it?Here is a poem someone wrote:

As children bring their broken toys with tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God, because He was my Friend.
But then, instead of leaving Him in peace to work alone.
I hung around and tried to help with ways that were my own.
At last l snatched them back and cried, “How can You be so slow?”
“My child” He said, “What could l do? “You never did let go.
(author unknown).

The Bible says We need to add patience to our faith; for God’s thoughts are not our thoughts nor His ways our ways ( 2 Peter 5 :1, Isaiah 55:8).

He is speaking

Many times when we feel God is silent He actually may be talking to us, but we are not hearing because what He may be telling us could be different from what we want to hear Him say. Even if we hear it we don’t pay attention because we think it’s irrelevant to our current situation.

For example, supposing you are praying to God about a financial problem and all you keep hearing is about the surrendered life, spiritual growth, forgiveness, giving to people in need, having more patience with your spouse or some other thing. Learn to pay attention to what the Lord might be saying and obey.

He is listening

God hears all your moanings, groanings and cries for help. Don’t even think He doesn’t.
“For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from Him; But when He cried to Him, He heard him” (Psalm 22:24).

He is near

Even though you may not feel His presence He is nearer than you feel or think. He promised that He will never leave nor forsake us. He is ever present with you. He dwells in you. He doesn’t leave nor abandon us in times of trouble. (Hebrews 13:5, Matt.28:20, Isaiah 41:10).
He is our refuge and strength, A very present help in time of trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

He is working on you

God is transforming you. Many times He will change us before He changes the situation. He is concerned about changing us more and more into the likeness of His Son (Romans 8:29, 2 Pet. 3:18, 2Cor. 3:18). He will also use this to draw you into more intimacy with Him and dependence on Him. The earlier you learn to cooperate with Him the earlier you get to the next level. Your pains hurt’s His heart too but He loves you too much to leave you as you are. The more like Jesus you become, the easier you will flow in His mind. Our spiritual growth is paramount to God.

What to do when God is silent

1. Trust Him. Continue to rely on Him, depend on Him, walking with by faith. He is ever faithful.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” (Prov.3:5 – 6).
“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living
“(Psalm 127;13)

2. Look up to Him.
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills—from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121: 1-2).
“Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens”(
Psalm 123:1).

3. Continue to walk with Him in unbroken communion and obedience. What breaks or hinders our walk with God? Sin. When we choose to walk in obediemce to God we won’t sin. l’m not referring to just sins of adultery, drunkeness, murder – those considered big sins. What about anger, not loving, honoring or submitting to your spouse, cheating your customers by using false weights and measurements at the market, self seeking, selfish ambition, being inconsiderate, the love of money, favouritism, bitter and rash words when angry, nosyness, grumbling and complaining, hoarding etc. Those sins we think are little sins or don’t matter or we believe we are entitled to or justified when we do them.
“Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol”(Psalm24:3-4).

4. Talk to your heavenly Father. Don’t ever get tired of talking with Him. Always go into His presence, sit and talk with Him heart to heart.
“I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble” (Psalm 142:2).
“Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”(
Psalm 62:8).
“Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer” (
Romans 12:12).
“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray
(James 5:13).

5. Learn to listen to God speak. Learn to wait upon Him, lingering quietly in His presence everyday. Even if you hear nothing just enjoy Him; quietly in your heart whisper words of love, appreciation, thanksgiving and adoration to Him. Watch as He begins to share His heart with you.
“My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.” (Psalm 62:5).
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope.” (Psalm 130:5).

6. Live a fully surrendered life.
Surrender and yield your life to God totally. Live a life which daily surrenders and yeilds to God. This is of utmost importance if you want to have the mind of Christ and be led by His Spirit. If you are bent on doing your thing and having your own way instead of God’s, it will be difficult to hear His voice or be led by the Holy Spirit and enter into His rest.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” ( Romans 12:1).

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).

For you to flow in and operate in the mind of Christ, you have to live a life fully surrendered and yielded to God.

Never forget

Never forget: He is ever near. He sees. He is listening. He is working. Trust Him. Rely on Him. Walk with Him. Obey Him. You will look back some day and like Jacob say, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” (Gen. 28: 16-17).

“Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved”(Psalm 62:1-2).

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