Every follower of Christ will endure a season where God will be silent; a season where God will seemingly have left you alone; a season where it feels like He isn’t listening and He isn’t doing anything about your circumstances. Even Jesus felt the pain of this sense of abandonment. He prayed so fervently for His Father to intervene in His agonizing situation. In His moments on the cross, we can see the very genuine humanity that Christ experienced. He felt rejected. He felt abandoned; not just by His own Father, but by His friends and His community. One of the scriptures that I treasure as most precious to my faith is this: “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” (Isaiah 53:3) When I consider this truth, I am drawn to this Jesus. I am drawn to Him because I see myself in that story. I am drawn to this God who understands.
In the middle of my sadness and loneliness and fears and unknowns, I call out for deliverance from the pain; but God withholds Himself. He hasn’t left. He hasn’t stopped listening. He has a greater purpose in mind. He has a beautiful plan that He is masterfully and lovingly unfolding. He gently asks us to stretch out our “faith muscles” and endure. Endure. And as we endure, we become stronger. We become more able and more complete. We are no longer just looking for a way out, we are seeing that we have been transforming all along into something we could never have been if not for the pain and the waiting. As it turns out, He is working all things out for our good.
In the dark days where we can’t hear or feel God, our faith in God is all we have. And that faith is tested. It is put through the most rigorous of tests. To keep believing, keep going, keep hoping, keep serving and honoring God.. these are the tests that we take. Hebrews 10:36 gives us a word that we can cling to with great hope and anticipation, “Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.”
After Jesus’ death, there came glorious resurrection. A new beginning. Jesus received His reward by His surrender and obedience. If we can persevere through the hard days, the dark days, the loneliness and the wounds from our past, the time will come when we will suddenly realize how far we’ve come, how much we’ve grown, and how great the trials were that we’ve endured.
He is our Hope and our Reward. He is the Sovereign God who is working and orchestrating the details of our lives. He has not stopped holding us in the palm of His hand.
“And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:4
ARH Staff Writer