Part of the reason I haven’t spent much time focusing on God’s silence is because, quite honestly, it often feels like God is silent. For most of my growing up years, I didn’t feel I could hear God very clearly. I heard God through His word and through great pastors and teachers, but not in a very personal way. So if I’m going to spend 30 days writing about something I want it to be helpful for you. I want it to encourage and equip you. I want it to inspire you and ignite your faith. By the end of this month, my hope and prayer is that you might hear God a little more clearly than you have in the past.
But I also understand that the silence is real and we should talk about it.
So let’s talk.
Sometimes, even when we take time to be still and listen, God is silent. We throw out our questions, waiting for an answer, and hear nothing.
Oswald Chambers writes, “Are you mourning before God because you have not had an audible response? When you cannot hear God, you will find that He has trusted you in the most intimate way possible— with absolute silence, not a silence of despair, but one of pleasure, because He saw that you could withstand an even bigger revelation.”
Chambers suggests that the purpose of prayer isn’t just about getting the answers and results we want, but rather glorifying God. So when we ask for something in prayer and silence is the answer, we can rejoice knowing that the Lord deems us mature enough for this new revelation. He sees that our faith is strong enough to handle the silence, mature enough to continue praising God, even as we wait.
Faith is being sure of what we hope for, right? So if we get the answer we’re looking for immediately, how can we expect our faith to grow? But if we get silence, the silence creates room for our faith to expand, to be stretched, perhaps even torn a little. Just a muscle has to first be stretched and torn before it can grow back even stronger, so our faith often grows most in the silence.
So what’s most important isn’t that we get the answer we’re looking for, or even that we get an answer at all, but what is important is that we take the time to listen, regardless of the answer. God loves us, He hears us and He knows the answer we need.