8 “But if I go to the east, he is not there;
if I go to the west, I do not find him.
9 When he is at work in the north, I do not see him;
when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.
10 But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
11 My feet have closely followed his steps;
I have kept to his way without turning aside.
12 I have not departed from the commands of his lips;
I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread. (NIV)
What do you do when God doesn’t speak?
Have you ever called out to God in a horrible trial without any answer? You may have looked for some move of God to bring comfort, consolation, or encouragement, but it is as if God is hiding from you. We may wonder why the God who promised to never leave us nor forsake us remains silent in those most difficult moments. There are times when we cry out to Him and immediately, we sense His presence, we hear His voice, and we see Him move to help us. But there are also times when He sits quietly.
Job recognizes God has given the enemy some room to bring hardship to test his faith. We know from Scripture that God never tempts, but He does test us (James 1:2-4). He tests our faith. It is not for His benefit because He knows our hearts better than we know them. He tests us to allow us to see how shallow or deep our faith runs.
Jesus said that all things are possible for those who believe. The deeper our faith, the greater the possibility of God doing the impossible for us and through us. And the more difficult the circumstance, there greater the potential for growth in our faith.
Job is experiencing a more difficult moment because it is more than the hardship he endures, but the seeming absence of God in the trial. Job’s faith is strengthened not by the voice of God or the move of God, but the His knowledge. It is knowledge conjoined with a feeling of loneliness. It is knowledge absent of the emotional comfort he would desire. It is knowledge of God when He isn’t answering.
Though Job cannot see God move, feel His presence, or hear His voice, Job finds strength knowing that God is trustworthy. Job knows God will keep His promise to uphold the righteous. Job feels nothing but knows God will always maintain integrity to honor those who have honored Him with obedience to His way.
Faith at its highest level needs no emotional support. It is trusting God will be true. He has promised that He will not forsake the righteous. When you cry out to God and He doesn’t answer; when you pray in a vacuum when God doesn’t speak, keep living in obedience and trust His promise to honor those who honor Him.
Lord, help me to be faithful even when I can’t see You; even when I can’t feel You; even when You don’t speak. Amen.