Saturday, December 22, 2012
 
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SPECIAL FEATURE

When God is silent ...

By Pastor Larry A. Crawford, Open Arms Christian Fellowship

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[December 22, 2012]  This time of the year is one of the most joyous, celebratory times of the year ... and yet for others, it is one of the most depressing, darkest, difficult-to-get-through times.

This past week I had the joy of attending my two youngest children's (ages 7 and 4) Christmas program. It was a time of great joy, watching our kids and other children sing, smile, dance -- their faces covered with joy. Yet, as Wendy and I sat there, I thought about the Christmas programs that were probably planned in Newtown, Conn. They had songs to be sung ... but no children to sing them.

Later, I read what one brother wrote: "What could possibly be worse than not having gifts under the tree to give to our kids? Having gifts under the tree but no children to give them to."

For those in Newtown, Conn., there are not words to describe what they are feeling and facing. In the midst of pain, we cry out ... yet it is at these moments sometimes God seems to remain silent.

The Bible speaks of a man who knew this pain. His name is Job. In one day Job lost all his livestock -- God remained silent. In the same day he lost his entire livelihood -- God remained silent. And in the same day he lost those most precious to him -- all 10 of his children -- God still remained silent. Job lost the support of the one closest to him -- his wife told him to curse God and die. Finally Job lost the support of his friends, as they told him he must be in sin and in need of repentance. Through it all God remained silent.

Perhaps, this Christmas you are going through a very difficult time ... a time when God remains silent. Today, I want to share with you some insights that will empower you to make it through those times in life when you cry out and it seems as though all you hear is silence.

First we learn what to do by two things that Job did not do:

  • Job did not sin nor charge God with the wrong (Job 1:20-22).

  • Job did not sin with his lips (Job 2:10).

We are often quick to do both.

Many of us have been told it is not for us to ask why. Yet, Job asked, "Why?" six times in Job Chapter 3. It is OK to ask why yet sometimes God still remains silent.

When God is silent ...

1. Remain persistent in prayer.

Job kept speaking to God even though all he heard was a deafening silence!

  • Job 7:19-21 -- What have I done? Have I sinned?

  • Job 9:32-35 -- Job desires a mediator, showing his desire for any help in restoring his relationship with God.

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  • Job 13:18-22 -- Job really believes he will be vindicated.

  • Job 19:25-26 -- I know my Redeemer lives.

  • Job 23:10-12 -- God knows me. When I am tested, I will come forth as gold.

  • Job 27:1-6 -- Until I die, I will not put away my integrity from me.

2. Remember the promises of God.

It is so hard to remember the promises of God when life is difficult and God seems quiet. When God speaks we often remember, but we need to remember at all times.

  • Romans 8:28 -- "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God and who are called according to His purpose."

  • Phil. 1:6 -- "Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ."

Job remained persistent in prayer and remembered the promises of God. Job realized that when God is silent, He has already spoken, and He will speak again. As a result, God restored to him twice as much as he had before. God blessed the latter part of Job's life better than the first.

The first Christmas God spoke by sending His Son -- "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life." This Christmas God is still speaking -- He still so loves the world and He so loves you. His heart breaks for the families in Newtown, Conn., and His heart breaks for you.

Take a moment right now and seek Him. He is waiting for you. He loves you and so do we!

[By PASTOR LARRY A. CRAWFORD, Open Arms Christian Fellowship]

To hear more of this message, "Prayer Changes Everything: When God Is Silent," go to www.oacflincoln.com and click on "Media."

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