Join me as I consider how that God’s silence is part of His answer. We will discuss quotes from chapter 19 “Do You Believe This? Martha and Death” of Jon Bloom’s Not By Sight: Quotes are used for the purpose of commentary/discussion, teaching, and spiritual encouragement. I recommend that you purchase a copy of Jon’s book available at the link below:
As we walk with God on our journeys of faith, we will experience times in which God is silent. This is a “hard thing” especially when you’re in the midst of a trial or personal difficulty, but God has a purpose for the silence! God also has purpose/meaning for our disappointments and suffering.
Truth 1: God silence reveals His Trust in you and a greater purpose!
Do you cry out to God seeking answers and guidance for your life? Why doesn’t God just answer us? Maybe it’s because He loves us enough to reveal something far greater than a simple answer. In John chapter 11, Jesus is aware that his friend is ill, yet waits to send word or heal him. Why did Jesus delay when He could have healed Lazarus from a distance as He had healed others?
Jesus has a greater revelation to reveal to Martha, Mary, Lazarus, and His disciples! Jesus wants them to know that He is the Life and the Resurrection (John 11:25). He is our Source of Life and Life Eternal. What if God is moving in your life–directing you through a period of silence and no immediate relief or answer? God’s silence is an indication that He trusts you!
Remember that God is All Powerful (Omnipotent) and All Knowing. Sovereign means that God is the Almighty King and Ruler of All. He does as He decrees. We can rest knowing that God will accomplish His plans, purpose(s), and intention even when we are experiencing His silence. God’s purposes/plan flow forth from Him as water flows through a river. The best for us is to be aligned and riding the river of God’s ways.
God’s timing is absolutely perfect. He will accomplish His plans! Nor does God expect us to completely understand His timing. This is part of trusting and walking in faith. Abraham faced long periods of waiting for Isaac–nearly 25 years! Yet, Abraham proved faithful because even with his failures (lies, Hagar’s son Ishmael, etc.), He trusted and believed God. David waited years to become king, but all this happened according to God’s Good and Perfect timing! Jesus, our Savior, came into human history (Incarnation) at just the right moment too!
Truth 2: God’s silence means that He has heard your prayers!
This doesn’t seem to make sense, but I want you to carefully consider this truth. When we pray for ourselves and others, we are depending on God to act. Proper prayer is asking God to do what we or others can’t do for ourselves! This requires honesty, humility, and courage to depend on Him instead of ourselves.
Truth 3: Jesus delays because He perfectly loves us and glorifies God
Please take a moment to consider the situation of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Jesus deeply loved them, yet He delays. Why? Consider these words from Jon Bloom pg 123
“We know how the story ends. But in the horrible days of Lazarus’s agonizing illness and in the dark misery of the days following his death, Martha did not know God was doing. He seemed silent and unresponsive. Jesus didn’t come. It’s likely she knew word had reached him. She was confused, disappointed, and overwhelmed with grief.”
Have you ever longed for God to speak or move in your life, but nothing happens? Ever struggled and no answer seemed to come from on high? Why does God not speak? Do you know what God is doing? Does He explain His purposes for things that happen?
Jon explains why:
“And yet, Jesus delayed precisely because he loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus. He knew that Lazarus’s death and resurrection would give maximum glory to God, and that his friends would all experience maximum joy in that glory. It would make all their suffering seem light and momentary.”
God, Jesus, Holy Spirit don’t immediately act because something else is coming! It’s His love that keeps Him from immediately making our problems go away. While this seems harsh, it’s not when our problems are what draws us closer to Him! God’s love is perfect and does what is the best for us! The best for us is to draw closer to Him daily and seek Him even in our times of great disappointment and sorrow!
Truth 4: God has a purpose for our disappointments and suffering
Jon explains God’s profound love for us:
“God only ordains our deep disappointments and profound suffering for the sake of far greater joy in the glory he will reveal to us (Romans 8:18). It is crucial to remind one another of this. Before we know what Jesus is doing, circumstances can look all wrong. And we are tempted to interpret God’s apparent inaction as unloving, when in fact God is loving us in the most profound way he possibly can.”
This last quote should cause us to look upward and praise God that He Perfectly loves us! He loves us not as we desire, but in a manner far better than our frail human minds and weak souls can comprehend! Now is a good time to read and meditate on Romans 8.
May God encourage you on your journey of faith! I write these words for His glory and honor,