By Pastor Joe Balaan
If God is silent, does that mean He is not there? There are instances when I pray but I feel that God is so distant. I keep praying but He does not answer. What if you are in the middle of a very big problem but you do not feel His hand moving in your life? What will you do?
The Book of Esther is one of the 2 books in the bible where the word God is not written. There are no prophets and no miracles, but the presence of God is there.
So what do you do when you do not feel God’s presence?
1.Always have hope in the promises of God.
In Esther 4, when Mordecai was telling Esther about Haman’s plans, he told her that if she keeps quiet, nobody will save the Jews. But Esther was not relying on her title at queen but in the God that promised to bring the Jews back to Israel, as prophesied in Jeremiah 29:10.
If we don’t fee the presence of God in our lives, it is very important that we hold on to His promises. During this time when technology is so advanced that we sometimes get sidetracked and rely on it instead of relying on God, it is easy to forget what God has in store for us. We rely on what we can do and not what God can do. It has always been said, “Nasa Diyos ang awa nasa tao ang gawa,” but those words cannot be found anywhere in the Bible. Because mercy is with God and so is action in His hands. And that is precisely what Esther did. She knew God would not let them go because He is true to His promises.
So what is stopping us from obtaining the promises of God?
A. Lack of knowledge on the word of God. Psalms 119:11 says “I have hidden your word in my heart,that I might not sin against you.” Just like David, we have to know the word of God and use it to our advantage. Ignorance is our enemy.
B. Pride. Esther could have just said that I am now the queen and yet, she never used her position. She trusted that God would fulfill His promises to His people.
2.Never compromise your faith. When we don’t feel the presence of God, we turn. Esther 3:2 says , “All the king’s officials would bow down before Haman to show him respect whenever he passed by, for so the king had commanded. But Mordecai refused to bow down or show him respect.”When we are in a tight spot, we compromise our faith. We make our own way. Daniel 3:18 says, “But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.“ We know God will save us, but if not, then he is still our God.
Why do believers make their own way?
1. They take advantage of the situation- If the circumstances are not in our favor and we do not feel God, it is easier for us to commit our favorite sins.
2. They doubt the word of God-In this time when we are so lost in our emotions, we think with our hearts and not with our brains. Let us not be emotional based Christians.
3.Obey the word of God diligently. Let us not be selective in our obedience. Hayman the Agagite was a descendant of Saul. Because Saul did not obey everything God asked of Him, the generations after him still suffer. There are some things in our lives that we cannot give up and they continue to inflict pain and suffering on us until now. We have to hold on to His word so that we do not make the same mistakes over and over again.
If we rely on God’s words and not on our emotions, it shows our unwavering faith to God during times when we do not feel His presence. His silence does not mean that He is not there. If we pray and we do not feel Him, we should pray some more.
1 Kings 19:11-13 says, “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”Amidst the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, if you are still and silent and shut you ears against the chaos of this world, I am sure you will hear Him.