The disappointment of setting your heart on something, only to wait endlessly for it can be painful. Patience isn’t an intrinsic characteristic for most people. Proverbs 13:12 tells us that “hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Today I want to revisit proven principles from the Bible to encourage you through the moments when God is silent.
In a previous blog, Disciplines For Overcoming Disappointment, I suggested that when God is silent, He may be using that time to refine your prayers. James 4:3 says, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.”
It may not be that we are asking for the wrong thing, just not for the right reasons. Don’t be quick to dismiss this possibility. The Bible sheds some light on humanity’s intent.
“All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD.” Proverbs 16:2
“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart.” Proverbs 21:2
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Proverbs 14:12
If you’re resisting God’s refining process, stop, drop and pray.
Give God permission to refine your motives so the answer and outcome will keep you in the will of God. I can’t imagine where my life would be today if God gave me everything I asked for.
In Luke 8:43-48, we are introduced to a woman who has been suffering from hemorrhaging for twelve years!! I don’t know how long you’ve been waiting on God to answer some prayer in your life, but I’m certain we can learn from this woman!
This unnamed woman was the poster child for desperation. She did everything in her power to fix the situation with no results. In Luke 8:43 we learn that she spent every penny she had on doctors.
Have you been here before?
Desperate times call for…a faith-filled response!
Desperate people can do some very foolish things. Don’t let your desperation lead you to desperate decision making. Desperate situations are not the time to act desperately but to hold fast to your faith.
One day she hears that Jesus is passing through town, and I can imagine if she’s heard of His reputation, without hesitation, she makes a beeline towards the crowd to find Him.
- She doesn’t ask for a one-on-one meeting with Jesus, as some have requested.
- She doesn’t even seek acknowledgment of herself or her illness from Him.
This desperate woman is convinced that if she can only touch the fringe of His garment, she can be healed.
Her conditions were low, but her faith was HIGH!
Do you have a list of demands or prerequisites about how God should answer your prayers? Your list may be magnifying your hopelessness. Are you requesting God to meet your needs on your time, your schedule? Are you giving God a deadline to meet? (How’s that working out for you?)
So she sneaks up from behind him and reaches through the crowds to touch His garment. Immediately, Jesus stops and asks, “who just touched me?” This was a strange question. Everyone is touching Him. But this touch was different!
The word touch in this passage means intentional contact, touching that influences. It was not a casual, accidental bump. The faith of this desperate woman breaks cultural protocol and reaches past the crowds, stretching beyond her disappointment, discouragement, and deferred hope, to touch His garment.
The woman seeing that she could no longer hide falls at His feet and shares her story with Him. She explains how she suffered for twelve years enduring financial, social, spiritual and physical hardship. Yet, when she touched the fringe of His garment she was healed.
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12
Twelve years of waiting can feel like tribulation. So how do we patiently wait on God? Waiting on God means we don’t make our request the center of our universe.
- We keep busy with living life.
- We continue to be faithful.
- Continue to be obedient.
- Continue to pursue God with passion even while we are waiting for His answer.
If you are praying about something and God is silent, heed the instruction of Romans 12:12 and be patient, hold onto faith and continue to trust God.