" I believe in the sun, even when it isn't shining.
I believe in love even when I am alone.
I believe in God even when he is silent."
There is a special song that my daughter Ashley and I have.
It is our song. It has been ever since she was about 5 years old.
If the Lord tarries his coming and I get to see her married, I will dance with her to this song. The song is called, "Like the Sun In the Night." The meaning of that song is summed up in these words,
Like the sun in the night
You’ll always be with me baby.. be in my soul
You’ll always be with me, wherever I go.
The meaning, of course is that I carry her in my heart always, whether we are together in a physical sense or not.
Even when I don't see her, she is with me.
Just like the sun in the night.
Go out and look at the night time sky, and you don't see the sun...
But it is still there!
Well, can I tell you, that's the way it is with God.
Even when we don't see him, he is there!
Even when we don't feel him, he is there!
Even when life seems dark and cold, our God is there!
Now let's be honest...
There are times in this Christian journey that it sure feels or seems that God has abandoned you, turned a deaf ear to your cries, and it seems as though the heavens over head have become brass.
It seems as our prayers are not going up and therefore nothing is coming down.
There are times when we find ourselves desperately pleading to God in prayer, but God is silent.
It is in these silent times that our emotions begin to literally make mince-meat of us and we become an emotional basket case, frustrated, discouraged, disappointed, angry, and we find it hard to even hold on to Gods unchanging hand.
Sometimes we even get to the point of just throwing up our hands and saying "I quit God if you do not say something!"
If you have never felt like that than just hold on you will.
One song writer said it like this
Nobody told me the road would be easy but I do not believe He brought me this far to leave me."
One of the things that I love about the Word of God, and something that the critics of the Bible often miss is this...
The Bible does not hide from us the trouble that is part of this Christian journey. Jesus even told us that we would be hated for His name sake. Peter tells us think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings.
Paul said our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
And in our text we find Asaph, who is a chief musician appointed by David to work in the Tabernacle. He is dealing with troubles in his life. We are not given liberty to know what was going on, but he says in the day of my trouble I sought the Lord¨
Here he is seeking God in the midst of his trouble, yet as he cries out to God he gets no answer from God. His emotions begin to run rapid within him and he become literally a perplexed and troubled individual caught up in his emotions. He says my sore ran in the night and ceased not, my soul refused to be comforted he complained and his spirit was overwhelmed.¨ He begins to question Gods love and care for him because he is seeking God and God is silent. It is possible that this day of trouble was no worse than any others that he had, but this time when he cries out to God, God is silent and because of Gods silence he begins to question God.
Have you ever cried out to God only to find that you are not to hear from God? And then you go into questioning God. Asaph begins to question God because in the past when he cried unto God, He answered his cries, but this time he did not hear from God. He began to wonder in his mind has God changed?
Has His unfailing love gone forever?
Has God forgotten to be gracious anymore?
Are Gods promises valid anymore?
He is faced with the circumstance of feeling as if Gods love is gone. Now he has a dilemma that he must deal with...
Do I trust God regardless of my circumstances (God is silent)
And did I only trust Him in the past because of His answers¨.
Asaph must either reject everything he has believed in the past to decide that God has changed or accept that God is God and He changes not and continue to trust Him even when he cannot trace Him.
When we come to the 11th and 12th verses Asaph comes to the edge of himself and his circumstances.
He investigates the rationale of answering his dilemma about God changing and he makes a decision... He says "I will remember the woks of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonder of old. I will meditate also of thy work, and talk of thy doings.¨ Asaph decided to get hold of his emotions by reflecting on God and the things He has done.
Someone might say that is good for Asaph, but I have not come to that point yet so what am I to do?
3 things you need to get here:
1) First you must understand How God speaks to us...
2) Then you must understand the reasons why God is silent...
3) Then you need to know How to act when God is silent¨.
HOW GOD SPEAKS TO US
1.) OBSERVABLE FACTS of Nature: Psalms 19 the entire chapter speaks to this... but I will focus on verses 1-3.
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. [There is] no speech nor language, [where] their voice is not heard.
Just look around and see all His hands have made.
If His eyes are on the sparrow then know He is watch over you as well.
2.) THE SCRIPTURES:
John 5:39 says Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Hebrews 1:1-2 says God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds¨.
Psalms 40:7 & Hebrews 10:7 says Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God¡¨.
God speaks to us through the Word of God.
3.) THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD:
The providence of God is a Theological terms that simply means God is ultimately in control.
Genesis 50:20 says But as for you, ye thought evil against me; [but] God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as [it is] this day, to save much people alive¨.
Romans 8:28 says And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose¡¨.
We must understand that even in times of silence God is in control.
7 REASONS GOD MAY BE SILENT
One thing I have trouble with on a personal level is when my wife is silent with me.
I can handle her getting mad... and even yelling (not that she ever does that ) but I can't stand when she does not say anything, because I do not know what to expect when she is silent.
WATCH THIS:- Some people become silent when they get angry or upset.
Sometimes people are silent when they disagree with something.
Some people are silent taking time to think before they speak, they understand the scriptures that says slow to speak and let your words be seasoned with salt.
Some people are silent because they have tuned you out.
Sometimes people are silent because they do not want to laugh in your face.
BUT WHEN GOD IS SILENT IT MAY BE THAT:
1.) HE IS NOT READY TO SPEAK.
Just maybe, He is waiting for the Fullness of Time when it is concerning you and your situation.
2.) HE MAY HAVE ALREADY SPOKE TO YOU, but it was not the answer you were looking for so you did not listen and He is waiting to see if you are going to obey what He has already said.
3.) HE MAY BE TESTING YOU TO SEE WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO. In Genesis 22:1-2 God said to Abraham And it came to pass after these things, that God did test Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, [here] I [am].
And he said, Take now thy son, thine only [son] Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
WATCH THIS:- Abraham got up the next morning and left with his son Isaac, the on the 3rd day he looked and saw the place afar off
God had not said anything else to Abraham yet he continued to do what God had spoke to him.
When we get to the 11th verse the Bible says And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here [am] I.
And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only [son] from me.¨
God did not speak to Abraham for it appears 3 days yet Abraham was going to do what God said and when God saw that he feared God...
THEN... God spoke to him,
God just wanted to see what he was going to do, He was testing him.
4.) HE NEEDS ME TO LEARN HOW TO TRUST HIM AND MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION.
5.) HE KNOWS I WILL NOT LISTEN. Isaiah 42:20 says Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not¨
6.) YOU FORGOT WHAT HE SAID BEFORE. Mark 6:52 says For they considered not [the miracle] of the loaves: for their heart was hardened¡¨ You failed to remember what He did and said before.
7.) SOMETHING IS HINDERING YOUR ABILITY TO HEAR GOD.
Daniel 10:12-13 says Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia¨.
Galatians 5:7 says Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?"
HOW TO ACT WHEN GOD IS SILENT
When God is silent we must remember His last words.
When you can't hear Him you still have to trust Him.
When darkness veils His face... hold onto His unchanging GRACE.
The emotional struggle of feeling God has abandoned us and that God is silent when we sometimes cry out to Him will come...
But we just have to hold on!
I promise the answer will come... just wait for it.
Like Habakkuk 2:3 says wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry¨.
Understand that God's ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.
He often takes us through the sea of difficulty or the fiery furnace to refine us and develops trust within us and for that reason we can't understand how and why God does what He does,
Or the way He does it, nor the things he causes to work out in order to bring us to the expected end He has planned for us.
We must remember that God cannot lie!
Titus 1:2 says In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began¨.
Therefore since He cannot lie... When He said I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee... then we can trust Him even when we can't seem to touch Him or hear Him ...because He is right there with me in the midst of everything that I am going through.
His Word tells me so!
Like a marriage your relationship with God will have its ups and downs, there will be high points and there will even be times of low, but God is always there despite how you may be feeling and it is that which you can depend upon.
The emotional rollercoaster will come; however, we do not have to be led by our emotions.
Whenever we experience these ups and downs in this Christian journey we need to think back upon the faithfulness of God and realize that even when I do not feel His presence or hear His voice and it seems as if His love is far from me that He is right there.