Conflicted by the Silence of God
There are times when the Christian life can be full of blessing and amazement under the gracious hand of Jesus (Phil. 4:12; 1 Cor. 4:11). However, there are also times when the Christian life is full of conflict because the formerly gracious hand of Jesus seems absent. In those times, prayers seem to go no further than the ceiling. Indeed, the believer understands that persecution is in the mix when you stand for Jesus Christ, but when it appears God does not answer and help appropriately, we fill up with turmoil, conflict, confusion, and potential bitterness against God.
Thankfully, Psalm 22 records the reality of what a faithful follower of God might go through in the struggle with abandonment by God. David cries out from a heart recoiling from the attack of the enemy, but what hurts the most is the pain from the absence of God. Interestingly, each of the Gospels quotes portions of this Psalm during Jesus’ ministry and suffering on the cross.
Ironically, there is a relationship between God’s silence and our growth. Importantly, each believer is responsible for pursuing the mind of Christ (1 Pet. 4:1; 2 Cor. 11:30) in a way that brings to light the right approach to the problem. To ignore that pursuit through Scripture and the Holy Spirit could produce the root of bitterness controlling every aspect of your life (Heb. 12:15).
- Wrestling against abandonment – Psalm 22:1-11; Rom. 7:21-24
- Warring against the enemies – Psalm 22:12-21; 2 Tim. 4:10, 14-17
- Worshipping among the conflict – Psalm 22:22-31; 2 Cor. 13:3-4
- Jesus and abandonment – Mark 15:34
- Jesus and pain – Luke 23:35-39
- Jesus and triumph – John 19:30