Persevering Through Silence

Job 23 Then Job answered, “Even today my complaining is bitter. His hand is heavy even when I cry inside myself. If only I knew where to find Him, that I might go where He is! I would tell Him how things are with me, and my mouth would be ready to argue. I would know His answer, and could think about what He would say to me. Would He go against me using His great power? No, He would listen to me. There a man who is right could reason with Him. And I would be set free by my Judge.

“See, I go east, but He is not there. I go west, but I cannot see Him. When He works to the left, I cannot see Him. When He turns to the right, I cannot see Him. 10 But He knows the way that I take. When He has tried me, I will come out as gold. 11 My foot has kept close to His steps. I have kept His way and have not turned aside. 12 I have not turned away from the words of His lips. I have stored up the words of His mouth. They are worth more to me than the food I need. 13 But He cannot be changed. Who can go against Him? He does whatever He wants. 14 For He does what He has planned for me, and many such things are in His mind. 15 So I am afraid to be with Him. When I think about it, I am very afraid of Him. 16 God has made my heart weak. The All-powerful has filled me with fear. 17 But I am not made quiet by the darkness or the deep shadow which covers my face.

 

There are times in life when we can identify with Job’s frustration at God’s silence—when we long to hear from the Lord but our petitions go unanswered. Then, feeling unsure of what to do, we think, Should I just give up on prayer? Am I to assume that if the Lord doesn’t come to my aid, I should take matters into my own hands? We might even feel tempted to become consumed with anger toward God.

Though these are normal responses, we should reject all three possibilities. Scripture teaches us to persevere in prayer (Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not become discouraged, Luke 18:1) and depend fully on the Lord for our needs instead of looking to ourselves ( And my God will give you everything you need because of His great riches in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:19). This means we can safely submit to God and trust Him in our trials (My Christian brothers, you should be happy when you have all kinds of tests. You know these prove your faith. It helps you not to give up. Learn well how to wait so you will be strong and complete and in need of nothing. James 1:2-4).

The story of Job also offers encouragement—it reminds us that even if the Lord is silent, He knows the way we take, and after He has tried us, we shall come forth as gold (But He knows the way that I take. When He has tried me, I will come out as gold. Job 23:10). In the meantime, we’re to hold fast to God’s path and wisdom. The more we treasure His Word, the more closely we’ll follow Him in obedience (11 My foot has kept close to His steps. I have kept His way and have not turned aside. 12 I have not turned away from the words of His lips. I have stored up the words of His mouth. They are worth more to me than the food I need. Job 23:11-12).

Like Job, we don’t know all that the Lord is doing in heaven, but He is always working on our behalf. Be encouraged by these truths today, and keep persevering in prayer.

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  1. […] Persevering Through Silence […]

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