Saturday, May 25, 2013


How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
Psalm 13:1 (NIV)

                We have all been there at some point in our lives. We have all felt like the Psalmist when he expressed his frustration to God. We pray and pray and yet it seems like God is silent. It seems like God is not listening at all. Our prayers seemingly bounce off the walls of an empty room. What do we do when we enter that echoing silence?

                Psalm 13 gives us some insights into dealing with those times of silence.

                How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; my enemy will say, "I have overcome him," and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me. Psalm 13:1-6 (NIV)

                 Our faith is tested during the silent times of waiting. There are numerous Psalms that express the frustration of waiting for God to answer. All of them challenge us to keep trusting. God’s silence is never indifference. It is a call for us to trust Him more fully. Like the Psalmist, during the silent times we need to remember God’s faithfulness in the past. Just because we don’t see God at work does not mean He has stopped or abandoned us. We need to hold onto Jesus’ promise that he would never leave us or forsake us.

                God is not in a hurry. We want things to happen quickly. We want to move through difficult times with as little discomfort as possible. That is not always God’s plan. God doesn’t answer our requests to appease us or to get us off his back. He knows that sometimes what we request will actually harm us if granted. He also knows when the timing is and isn’t right. Ultimately God wants what is the very best for us.
                 God delays action to refine our faith. Just as precious metal is placed in the fire to be refined, so our faith must face the fire for the same reason. If we come out of the fire too soon, we will not be sufficiently tempered for what is ahead. Paul shared with us one of those refining times in his life in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.

                To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

                The message that God gave to Paul He gives to us as well. His grace is sufficient for all of the circumstances of life. When we recognize our true weakness, when we let go of our desire to be in control, then we can experience the power of God at work in us.

                There is no doubt that the silent times are difficult for us. But, we do not have to despair in the silence. Instead we can learn to rest in that silence. We can learn to use that time to refocus and reorient our lives. Sometimes God’s silence is a call for us to turn off all the other voices that fill our minds and to wait with eager anticipation until we hear His voice again.

                God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Selah
                        There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
                        Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Psalms 46:1-11 (NIV)

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