When God Is Silent

John 11:1-15

Have you ever felt that God was giving you the 'silent treatment'?  What is the Lord's purpose for not immediately answering prayer?  How should you respond when God seems distant?

EXAMPLES OF GOD'S SILENCE
Mary and Martha and their sick brother Lazarus (John 11)
Four hundred years of silence between the Testaments
Silence in Heaven (Revelation 8:1)

WHY IS GOD SOMETIMES SILENT?
To get our attention.
To convict us of unconfessed sin.
Because we aren't ready to listen.
To teach us to trust Him (Heb. 13:5 teaches us that even we can't see Him working.  He's with us.)
To help us learn to distinguish between His voice and other voices.
To motivate us to persevere until we experience a breakthrough.
To teach us to simply sit quietylyl in His presence.

HOW DO WE RESPOND TO GOD'S SILENCE?
Disappointment
Discouragement
Confusion
Doubt
Guilt (Some people fear that they have sinned.)
Anger
Fear (Some Christians feel deserted by God or worry that they may have lost their salvation.)

HOW SHOULD WE REPSND TO GOD'S SILENCE?
Ask God why.  Jesus questioned the Father (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34).
Remember that God's silence doesn't mean He's inactive.  Trust Him.  In His silence, He is working for good in your life (Psalm 46:10; 138:8).
Anticipate a more intimate relationship with Him.
Rexpect God's right to be silent.  Deliberately set aside time to be quiet before Him.
Read God's Word and tell Him you are available to listen.
Keep praying.  Eventually you will have a breakthrough.

Through times of silence, God cnovicts us of sin, develops our trust in Him and matures us.  When the Father seems distant, faithfully seek Him and watch for His provision.