Are You Listening Well?

affliction

Very often during people’s hardships or trials, I hear, or read, them say that God is silent, that He’s not saying anything to them.  However, during the hardship (the very trying ordeal) that I find myself in right this minute—and have been in for some time—I feel the exact opposite. 

In James 4:8, we are promised that when we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. What I have found during this time, and all of the time, is that God is true to His Word.

When we open our Bibles or call out to God in prayer, He may not  speak to us directly on our difficult situations, or work the miracle right away that we expect; however, He speaks, and He is near. 

Many days during this season, if I can be honest, I find myself discouraged, down, wondering when the sun will break forth and shine through the darkness.  Nevertheless, during these moments, God never leaves me to myself.  As Psalm 34:18 promises, “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” 

Each time I open up my Word, God meets me, and He speaks.  He reminds me of His Son’s selfless sacrifice for sinners like me (Matthew 26:36-46); that I’m not alone in this fight (Deuteronomy 31:6; Matthew 28:20; 1 Peter 5:9); that this is not all there is (Romans 8:18); that the blessings of Heaven will far outweigh the hardships on earth (2 Corinthians 4:17); that the just shall live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Hebrews 10:38); to look to Him and not my circumstances (Hebrews 13:5; Isaiah 26:3); etc.

Sure, in these moments I’d like to hear Him say, “Tomorrow is the end of your sorrows forever.  Just hold tight,” but it’s not quite that simple, because this is a process (our entire Christian lives is a process, actually, cf. Philippians 1:6)—a being made into Christ’s image process (Romans 8:29).  And as much as my flesh would like to refute that and embrace the false notion that the “true” Christian life is (or should be) one of ease, I know it to be truth. 

So, my question to you today is, if you feel that God is silent during this hard time in your life (or if you have felt that way during past hardships), are you listening well?  Are you reading and studying your Bible, daily?  We can’t say that we long to hear from God (or that we never hear from Him), yet never open up His words.  Second Timothy 3:16 tells us that “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” 

Sisters, God’s Word is the primary way that you will hear Him speak.  No, He may not speak on your set time of release (if that’s to be this side of Heaven), as your flesh would like, but He will speak a word of encouragement about your tribulation, a word of conviction about any unrighteousness in your life, He may show you (or clarify to you) characteristics about Himself, He may enlighten you about a path He’s ordained for you to take… 

Therefore, go into your time with God, daily, with an open heart and mind, believing that each time you get into His presence He will speak to your heart on some matter that needs addressing… even if it’s simply your fragile emotions.

Trust me.

Most of all, however, trust Him.

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