Standing When We Don’t Understand

God does listen. Maybe His silence is His way of telling us He is listening to every word, tear, groan and heartache we have.


Visiting the Ark, Louisville, KY
The Ark, Williamstown, KY

A baby girl is born, healthy and alert. The mother’s heart fills with joy beyond measure. Three weeks later the baby girl is hospitalized with pneumonia. Her mother begins to doubt and question God.  “Does anyone care?” She cries.  She knows there are friends  and church members praying, but she sits by her daughter’s side and watches as her tiny body lays helpless in the hospital bed. She can do nothing but sit and wait. The baby girl leaves the hospital two days later, after the doctors fail to find a trace of pneumonia in her lungs. Her mother is overjoyed and proclaims her miracle to anyone who will listen.

Our experiences may not be the same as this mother’s, but, most likely, our faith has been tested. Just like the mother, above, we can’t do anything. We find ourselves empty-handed and the only option we have is to pray and trust God. We have heard the Bible stories of how Moses, David, Joseph, Paul and Peter overcame trying times and triumphed through Christ, but we question if God is still for us. We cry out and ask if God can hear us. We want to know what good can come out of this. We ask why me? We are told to stand firm in God’s love. We sing the song, Standing on the Promises, like we mean it, until we have to do it. Then what? Where do we start? Which promises do we stand on? How do we tread forward when everything around us seems to be falling apart?

I can relate. My faith has been tested, and I have battled my own doubt. I have been awakened in the middle of the night by my own anxiety. I have sat in my recliner at 3:00 am with my Bible, pleading and asking God for His help, His insight. I know what it feels like when God is silent. The good news is: God does care! He promises to be with us and to never leave us. Below I have listed five key promises to lean on when you don’t understand your circumstances. Don’t just lean on them, pray them to God and memorize them. Speak them out loud so you can hear them for yourself. God does listen. Maybe His silence is His way of telling us He is listening to every word, tear, groan and heartache we have.

  1. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”   John 1:9    Once sin is confessed God forgives and forgets. He has the ability to forget, we don’t. So we must leave our confession with Him and trust Him in this area of our lives. Sin can separate us from God, and we all fall at times, but once we realize we have erred, we need to ask God for His forgiveness.
  2. “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.”  Philip 1:6   He will never leave us, and He will complete all He has ordained for us to do. God is not a quitter! He sticks it out with us, through the good and the bad.
  3. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11  This is a tough one because it is often taken out of context. The Israelites were in exile. They found themselves living in another place, not their home. They, just like us,  wanted out of that trial, but God had other plans. He’s not going to take them back to their land immediately.  He tells them it will happen in seventy years, but in the meantime, they are to carry on where they are and God assures them He will always have their best interest in His heart.  His best interest is not the same as our best interest. He wants to mature us through our trials and struggles, so we become more Christ like. He will ultimately take us into eternity to be with Him, but for now, we grow.
  4. “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed. Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, Therefore I hope in Him.”   Lam 3:22-24   We serve a merciful God and He is filled with compassion as He looks on us. What more could we ask for?  His compassions are new every morning. There are no left overs, no staleness, no spoiled or stagnant compassions to serve us. He meets us afresh every morning.
  5. “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. “For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered.”  Romans 8:26  This verse has always been comforting to me, just to know Jesus understands our pain and our groanings way more than we understand it ourselves. He not only understands, He intercedes for us on our behalf. His work was completed on the cross for our salvation, but He continues to care for us and pray for us.

I hope you will find these verses as encouraging as I have, especially through you trials. Jesus cares and is ready to walk you through whatever lies ahead. God Bless.