Here we are a quarter into the fresh new year and I wanted to offer some encouragement to you my friend from a place that is all too familiar to us all.
In my experience, this is around the time all our hopes and dreams for the year ahead can tend to fade as we realize the only thing that’s changed is the last digit in the date.
New year. Same issues.
The good news is that God’s character, faithfulness, love, and position legitimately never change.
So today I want to talk about seasons where that doesn’t feel true. What do we do when God seems silent or far away?
Here are three tips for navigating through those challenging seasons.
1. Hold On To Truth
For me, these seasons tend to sneak up on me when one day I look up from my life and distraction and problems and realize…wait? Where is God? Uh? When was the last time I heard from Him or felt His presence?
The first thing one must do in that place is to find the Truth and hold on to it. Scripture says the truth sets us free. (John 8:32) Here is some Truth to cling to:
He never leaves you.
Don’t be obsessed with money but live content with what you have, for you always have God’s presence. For hasn’t he promised you, “I will never leave you alone, never! And I will not loosen my grip on your life!” Hebrews 13:5 TPT (Emphasis added)
He is always listening and speaking.
My own sheep will hear my voice, and I know each one, and they will follow me. John 10:27 TPT
But when the truth-giving Spirit comes, he will unveil the reality of every truth within you. He won’t speak his own message, but only what he hears from the Father, and he will reveal prophetically to you what is to come. John 16:13 TPT
His position and love never change.
So now I live with the confidence that there is nothing in the universe with the power to separate us from God’s love. I’m convinced that his love will triumph over death, life’s troubles, fallen angels, or dark rulers in the heavens. There is nothing in our present or future circumstances that can weaken his love. There is no power above us or beneath us—no power that could ever be found in the universe that can distance us from God’s passionate love, which is lavished upon us through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One! Romans 8:38-39 TPT
2. Feed Your Spirit
As you cling to truth and refuse to believe that you are alone, you also must resist the urges to pull away from God, isolate yourself from others, or change your priorities. These are critical mistakes that we usually make when we feel discouraged or hopeless.
We assume He must be disengaged, angry or apathetic towards us because we dropped the ball and we got distracted or put something ahead of our relationship with him again. This is my greatest pitfall when I find myself in this place which is why I am telling you to resist it. When God seems silent, continue to feed your Spirit. You are not disqualified.
Keep reading your Bible. It is your most significant weapon, and it will affirm and encourage you as you hold on to Truth. Keep going to church & wherever else you go to fellowship. There is safety in numbers. Keep praying. It is not true that no one is listening or that those prayers don’t matter. So pray even if it feels awkward. Keep worshipping. It’s the greatest source of refreshing I know of.
Keep hoping and keep believing that He has good in store for you!
When it comes to fighting make sure you spend your energy on the right fight. Fight to stay at rest. A person at rest has a confidence that they are okay and things will be okay. Rest in the Truth that God is holding on to you. He’s got you.
Bill Johnson says, “A fight you can sleep through is a fight you already have victory over.” and that comes from Mark 4:35-41 where Jesus is sleeping in the bottom of a boat while a storm rages and His disciples are freaking out.
In verse 39, “they shook him awake, saying, “Teacher, don’t you even care that we are all about to die!”
That what we want to know right? God, do you even care? Do You even care that I feel like I am drowning? Do you even care that everything is falling apart?
The verse goes on to say, “Fully awake, he rebuked the storm and shouted to the sea, “Hush! Calm down!” All at once the wind stopped howling, and the water became perfectly calm. Then he turned to his disciples and said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Haven’t you learned to trust yet?”
His response is kind. We shout, “Do you even care?!” Notice He rebukes the storm, but He doesn’t rebuke them. He responds, “Why are you so afraid? Haven’t you learned to trust me yet? Haven’t I proven myself trustworthy?”
Be reminded of His faithfulness over the history of our lives where time after time He made ways where they had seemed to be no ways, and He’s turned hopeless situations into life-giving moments filled with awe-inspiring miracles.
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All verses shared are from The Passion Translation which Mike and I love and recommend. That affiliate link will take you to Amazon where you can get your copy!