Saturday, May 2, 2020

When God Seems Silent: 7 Ways to Break Through

It's Saturday and you've done your diary pages all week long. As you look back over the week do you see any times that God has shown up or spoken to you? What if you don't? This post is for you my friend.

It really hurts if you don't. Believe me, I know. Before you give up and decide to become an atheist, let me reassure you that this is a pretty normal path. It's called 1). PERSEVERANCE. Hang in there, gather godly friends, even a biblical counselor, and consider these possibilities and helps:

2). Suffering calls for LAMENTING. Have you lamented enough? Don't suffer in silence. I envy the "40 days of mourning" they did in Bible times; it would be a great help to modern society if people could go home after the funeral, put on sackcloth and ashes, take off work and wail their hearts out for 40 days.

However we can open our Bibles and "lament." Pour out our hearts to God like the psalms say. Over one-third of Psalms are actual laments. Read them OUT LOUD as your prayer to God. The sound of your own voice will probably make you cry and that's a good and healthy thing. Add your own additional words and requests. Think of it--over one-third of the Psalms--did God know that we'd need that many? Yes! Read Lamentations and Job if you run out of Psalms. You're in a good crowd of people to whom God eventually proved true, and faithful and worthy. Put words to your sorrow, give it a voice. This is a necessary task of grief.

My "Casting Our Cares On God Prayers" are perfect helps for laments. Here are four of them. To choose any one of them and start today click here:  #1 , #2, #3, or #4.

3). CONFESSION. Consider if un-confessed sin is stalling God's work in your life. I'm sorry to say, but grief does not give us a free pass to think or act like a pagan. Read Psalm 51 and ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart. Confess what you realize does not please God, ask his forgiveness and receive a second chance. I John 1:9

4). SALVATION. Is the power of the gospel's new life your experience? Has there been that point of decision in your life when you responded to the tug of God and put your faith in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus? Do you know for certain that you are His? We can answer those questions with certainty if we can put our name in the blanks of John 3:16  For God so loved ______that He gave his only begotten Son, that if _____believes in Him, _____will not perish, but _______will have everlasting life. If you're uncertain, pray and ask. Email me if you'd like me to send you some examples of how you could pray.

5). SPIRITUAL WARFARE. Christians have an enemy, Satan, who is a liar and a predator. Just like predators in the animal kingdom go after the weak and wounded, so too will our enemy not hesitate to attack a Christian who is hurt, weak or deeply wounded. We are all targets, but don't be afraid. This is more normal than not, but most importantly God is connected to us in the midst of it. See pages 46-49 of the book "Suffering," by Paul David Tripp. This cannot be trivialized nor pitched far away to the lunatic fringe of Christianity. It cannot be summarized in this little nutshell of a paragraph. But it's not that complicated either. Learn Ephesians 6:10-18 and put your armor on every day.

6). BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT. This should not be relegated to a superior. Being filled with the Spirit is not just for when the pastor preaches on Sunday morning, or for people who've received "the call" to be missionaries, or for "prayer warriors," etc. A prayer for this is Ephesian 3:14-21 and the practice of it is Ephesians 4:1-5:18. But again, it's not complicated but neither can it be trivialized by a flippant WWJD? Please email me if you need more or consult your church leadership.
7). PHYSICAL ISSUES We are complex beings and need health for our body just as much as we do for our soul. Stress, insomnia, lack of exercise, not enough hydration, and poor nutrition will make matters seem much worse and they actually will become worse. Passivity is your enemy; it is not merely neutral it is exponentially negative. Part of the battle is that you just don't care anymore--- but now that's admitted and out in the open it's time to do something about it. Set a doctor appointment today or speak to someone in the healthcare field who you know and trust. Be accountable to them. Use common sense and don't get suckered by entrepreneurs selling their unique, "miracle" cures. Start with one thing, even if it's as simple as drinking an extra glass of water every day.

Are one or more of these a problem and hindrance to you? It always helps to identify the issues. That way we know what we're up against and can counteract it. These are from my personal experience and observation. They're also from time spent with various counselors, the research and the current literature out there.

Often, when you tell someone your problems they are only able to work with what you reveal but our problems are like moving targets. When you look at all seven of these challenges you can hone in on the one that you need to deal with today. Don't give up! I know that you can begin to work on these as God leads you. And I know that if you do, you will be amazed at how the Lord has helped you!

I look forward to hear your stories of breakthroughs!  ❤

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