Every Christian, especially young Christians experience times when we find it difficult to feel God’s presence. During these times we are desperate, we pray passionately, we cry out but all we experience is frustration and confusion. It just feels like our messages aren’t being delivered, or God has decided to ‘seen’ us. This is where our faith is tested and we start asking the infamous questions “Is God really there? Is He really listening? Am I talking to myself?”
A good illustration of this is the Canaanite women in Matthew 15: 21-28. As any good mother would, she was desperate to cure her seriously ill daughter and fell down at the feet of Jesus and cried for his help. Are you at a point in your life where you are on your knees in desperation? You would think that Jesus being who…The great healer and Savior, would immediately heal the child. But he ‘did not answer a word’ (v.23). When we face difficulties or struggles, we fall at the feet of Jesus crying out loud for him to answer us in our time of need. What we need to remember in these times is that God is a faithful God, and He will not let us be tested more than we can bear. Remember that God does not tempt or create problems for us. Satan does. But God allows that, sometimes, to test our faith and to help us to grow in Him. This woman clearly knew the power Jesus held. The blind could see, the lame could walk and demons were cast out. But despite her pleading Jesus said nothing and He does this with us too. As a student I can understand the importance of teachers in my life. They give us resources, guidance and teach us valuable lessons. But when the test comes, they remain quiet to see what you have learnt. In the same way Jesus remains sometimes remains quiet during difficulties in our lives, to see how much we have learned from him through his word, through our experiences with Him and maybe even things that other people have said about Him. Jesus was silent because this was a test for the Gentile woman as to the extent of her faith. The woman was undeterred by Jesus silence. Her faith was strong and bold and she aced that test. “‘Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.’ And her daughter was healed at that moment..’” In our lives, we should already know from the Bible that God is a faithful God. And if you don’t, then engrave it in you memories now so that when the test comes you can endure it with the assurance that God does see, and that He will come through.
Like Jesus, God also seems to be distant and silent sometimes. When Jesus was on the cross he was going through his greatest test, but God was still silent. “My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?” Yet despite the silence Jesus chose to obey God, and die on the cross to complete his mission. Jesus had passed the Holy Grail of tests!
God’s purpose for us is that we become spiritually mature, every time we are hit in the face with a trial of any kind, big or small. If God is silent in your life right now, then make use of this time to strengthen yourselves in Him and grow in faith. A verse that really spoke to me was 1 Peter 1:6-9- “There is wonderful JOY ahead, even though you must endure many TRIALS for a little while. These trials will show that your FAITH is GENUINE. It is being tested as FIRE tests and PURIFIES GOLD-though you faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when you faith remains STRONG through many trials, it will bring you much PRAISE and GLORY and HONOR on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”
Here are some ways to strengthening our faith:
- Digging deep into the word. If you need inspiration, check out my “How to Read the Bible more!’ blog. Highlight, underline, draw or anything else you can think of to really chew on the words and make them personal to you and your situation.
- Take time to get on your knees and have a conversation with Him, even if you feel like you’re the only one talking. Cut out the noises and the distractions, and maybe will God will start speaking to you, when you are willing to listen. I promise you, you will experience a breakthrough!
- Talk to youth pastors, parents/family or person/people who you trust and ask them to pray for or with you! Because at the end of the teaching…..there is always a test!
I would love for you guys to get in touch with me, I would love to hear your stories about the tests that you have had to take! Feel free to leave a comment, and please follow for more encouragement and tips!
Stay Blessed X