I have a confession to make—I have experienced seasons when I don’t hear from God. Yes, I mean complete silence for an extended period. At first, it was disconcerting, especially when other Christians seemed to have a direct hotline to God at all times. What’s wrong with me? I questioned.
Have you noticed that Christians are quick to share stories of answered prayers ladened with all the feel-goods and warm fuzzies? But we’re not nearly as vocal about the desperate times we persisted in prayer and are met with a wall of silence. However, I think these stories might be just as important. So, if your prayers seem to be echoing off the walls, don’t lose faith.
You are amongst good company. Job was well acquainted with God’s silence. We read 37 chapters of how this faithful man cried out to God but was met with deafening silence. Abraham was met with silence as he planned to sacrifice his son. There’s no mention of Joseph hearing from God while in prison either. In my own life, God’s silence has tempted me to doubt. I think most of us can relate.
What Can We do During the Periods of Silence?
Examine Your Life
Make sure nothing is blocking you from being able to hear God’s voice.We must begin with asking ourselves this question: Is there any unconfessed sin in my life?
“If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, my Lord would not have listened.” Psalm 68:18
- Is there someone I need to forgive?
- Do I have wrong motives?
- Have I put anything above my relationship with God?
As God brings things to mind, be quick to ask for forgiveness.
Remember, God, delights in restoring our fellowship with Him. There is no shame in repentance.
Please understand, God’s silence does not always mean we have unconfessed sin. We read that Job was righteous and yet he went through many trials while God remained silent. Checking our heart and motives is always a good place to begin when experiencing silence from God.
Accept God’s Sovereignty
God doesn’t have a responsibility to answer us or communicate at all, for that matter. And yet evidence of His mercy and great love are on display in creation, in His word, and through the life and death of His son.
Sovereignty means realizing He is in control and can be trusted.
“Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” Job 2:10
God’s silence doesn’t mean we should turn our backs and stop praying. Don’t give up! The Psalms are a great example of crying out to God.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.” Psalm 22:1-2
“I love you, Lord, my strength.The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.” Psalm 18:1-2;6
Recognize that Silence Creates Hunger
When God is silent, it can lead us to a richer, deeper experience and hunger for more of Him.
Let’s relate this concept to our diets. Last summer I did a dietary cleanse, eliminating refined sugar, processed foods, bread, grains, and red meat from my diet. The cleanse was very restrictive and specific in what I could and could not eat. After several days, I was allowed to slowly add certain foods like grains back into my diet. I cannot tell you how great that quinoa tasted! If we allow it, spiritual hunger can cause us to be grateful for every opportunity to hear from God.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6
Remember for 37 chapters in the book of Job, God is silent. But then in chapter 38, God speaks and questions Job.
“Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.”
In chapter 40, Job responds to God. “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer— twice, but I will say no more.”
Then finally in chapter 42: “The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part.”
Waiting means trusting. Can we trust God even during the silence? Job did, Abraham did, Joseph did, Mary did, Paul did—and so can we!
Silence does not mean absence. We must trust God’s promises to “never leave us” and that “nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from His love.” (Hebrews 13:5, Romans 8:38-39)
“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
So, if you are in the midst of a season of silence, remember that God has not left you. In fact, if you are a Christian, His Holy Spirit lives within you. He is as close as your breath. God is all about relationship. From the beginning with Adam and Eve, He walked and talked with them in the garden. Throughout the Bible, we see God’s desire to be known through relationship. We must trust if He is silent, He has a good reason because He is good!
“God you are good and you do what is good; teach me your decrees.” Psalm 119:68
Hold on beloved, the Lord is near to those who draw near to Him!
LET’S CHAT: How about you? Have you experienced times of silence in your relationship with the Lord?
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I’m still waiting and the storm waters is already above my neck and it’s only amount of time before i lose my grip Oh ‘Lord i need you now but my mind is playing tricks on me and telling me to let go because he can’t hear you Right now but I’m still Anchored to hope .
Kevin, I’m praying for you, dear brother.
Precious Heavenly Father, I’m praying for my brother-in-Christ, Kevin. I know you are good and do only good things. This means you have a reason for allowing the storm that Kevin is facing now. I ask that You would please blanket Kevin with your love in ways he can identify with personally. You are the lifter of our heads (Psalm 3:3). Help Kevin feel your hands lifting His head up to your face. Bring others who will pray, bring comfort and encouragement to his life while he waits for this season to pass. Protect him from the lies of the enemy and remind him you will never leave him and nothing is too hard for you! In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.
Thank you Beckie you are a blessing for many keep doing what you are doing
You made my day. I prayer yours has been a good one too! Keep shining your light 🙂
Kevin, I am agreeing with Beckie in prayer and asking God to hold you up and get you supernatural strength and courage in your suffering. Beckie’s post is spot on and true, so I beseech you to TRUST GOD, even when it hurts so much. Read through Beckie’s other posts for even more truth. Truth keeps us grounded in Christ, and close to God. Please also read my comment below, because I have BEEN where you are, and I wrote a short story about how I didn’t hear God during the worst trial of my life, but now I know He was there the whole time, and had to be silent. I hope reading about my experience gives you more hope. You can also visit my blog The Silver Lining at angelaslittleattic.com, and go to the homepage and click on topics related to suffering, healing, reflection, and more. You can also type in tags such as: abuse, joy, childhood; and so much more. First and foremost, make sure you have a relationship with Jesus Christ. There is also a link on my homepage that will get you there. You can also write to me via message at http://www.facebook.com/angelaslittleattic. Ask your local church if there is a pastor or Christian counselor you can talk to. Make sure to call 911 if you feel you are in danger of hurting yourself,or your depression is out of control. I You need to be in a safe place. There is always help available, because God doesn’t leave us high and dry. I promise to be praying for you, and checking in with Beckie about lifting you up to Jesus!
Angela, Thanks for reaching out to a brother. Beautiful!
Thank you Angela i needed your reply and direction to your site you are a blessing to me .
Hi Kevin, I’m so glad you made a connection with Angela. Feel free to email me as well. Blessings, Beckie
Wonderful post! I am beyond grateful that God led me to a personal study on the book of Job about 10 years ago and gleaned from it this exact lesson. There have been two seasons since then where I have been in His silence and currently in the middle of the second one. I always remind myself of Job and this time, He directed me to the story of Joseph prior to the silence. We serve an awesome God!
Misty, Job is an amazing book. Interestingly, yesterday I heard a sermon where some of Job’s story was used as an illustration. I had already written this post. I love when God does that!
I’m so glad this post was encouraging to you. I appreciate that you took the time to comment. I’m praying now that your faith and blessing increase as you wait for God during this silent season.
Blessings to you and yours!
Beckie — great message. I admit I begin to get nervous when God is silent. The hardest thing for me to do is wait — but I have learned that waiting and staying in the Word is the best thing to do. Thanks again for putting this into perspective. Del
Del, I’m right there with you on the waiting thing. As a matter of fact, the word God gave me for this year is…wait for it….WAIT!
I’m glad this was post was of some help as we learn to wait for and trust God even when He’s silent at times.
Thanks for commenting.
Oh, yes, Beckie, I’ve experienced the “sound of silence” when it comes to hearing from God. Those times are never about losing faith or hope, but trusting that when He does speak,our ears will be opened and prepared to hear His wisdom.
I’ve come to expect the “dry spells” to lay the foundation for another burst of spiritual growth. It took me a long time to realize that’s how God works in my life, but that’s exactly how He does. Now, if I didn’t fill those desert times with prayer and devotion to His word, than I doubt the results desired would be fulfilled.
Bottom line – We need to trust in Him, ever and always. God answers in His good and perfect timing.
Martha, Thanks for sharing how God has worked in your life during the silent times. I hope others will be encouraged by your comment. It’s a great addendum to this post.
Thanks so much!
Thank you Beckie! God’s silence doesn’t mean we should turn our backs and stop praying. Don’t give up! The Psalms are a great example of crying out to God.
I am actually going through Job now God is faithful and so very good 😊
Eve, Blessings on you as you read through Job. I can’t wait to see how God uses it in your work.
Love the suggestions you give for when God is silent. Learning to discern God’s communication can be a challenge. So grateful for the wisdom he gives in a variety of ways. Thanks for making the connection with Blueridge!
Ginger, I’m glad the suggestions are helpful. Yes, I’m still learning to discern God’s communication. But one thing I know for sure is this, He loves us all deeply and wants an intimate relationship. So, if He’s silent, I trust there is a reason.
I hope to connect with you again at BRMCWC!
Yes, many times of silence. It draws me closer and makes me depend on Him more. Honestly, I don’t like when He seems so far away. I know this is part of the process of character shaping!
Julie, I agree. I don’t like when He feels far away either. But I will say, it makes me yearn for Him even more.
Thanks for commenting.
So good and so true. Oh the times I’ve heard nothing but screaming silence! Perseverance is key, and all of the things you said. 🙂 Thanks for linking up at Literacy Musing Mondays.
This blog post is so well done!
It is full of hope and wisdom for anyone who is feeling anxious about God not answering… because God does answer…always. Because he is s good God. During the worst trial of my life, I could not hear God or feel His presence, even though I went out to the woods alone, and got on my knees in the muddy dirt, and cried a flood of tears, begging for Him to answer me.
It was not until a couple years later, that I learned He had answered me, by remaining silent… out of His great love for me! God needed me to get to a point of being so desperate, that I’d be willing to do anything to make the pain go away, so I could heal; including cutting out the most damaging person who had been in my life. God provided the wisdom and support I needed to be a able to do this, and a supernatural strength to get through it all on the worst days. I would not be in thevsnazing place of grace I am today, had God not remained silent, yet closer to me than air. I’m sure it broke Jesus’ heart when I cried and had to wait.. and God has not always been silent with me! Praise Him!
Angela, What a tremendous testimony of how God’s silence does not mean His absence. I’m so grateful that you took the time to share this here. I hope others will read and find hope in the One who never leaves us or forsakes us.
I also appreciate your kind words about this post. I too have lived through some silent seasons where all I have are His promises. And you know what? Those promises sustained me and grow me. He is so good and so amazing.
May the Lord bless you as you shine your light for him through the gifts and talents He’s given you.
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