Why You Should Not Despair When God is Silent

Crosswalk.com invited me to write an article on God’s silence.

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“Why You Should Not Despair When God is Silent”

God’s Silence Is Biblical, Personal, Common, and Not Always a Bad Thing

An errant understanding of God produces an inconsistent spiritual life. Bad theology inculcates incorrect thinking. There is an erroneous understanding within the church that God’s silence equals His chastisement in our life. Of course, chastisement is a word we rarely hear in modern “Churchianity” today, but it is found in the Bible. Chastisement is the experience of God’s discipline in our lives. God’s silence and God’s chastisement are very different things, and certainly not synonymous. If God is silent to us, it does not automatically mean that He is disciplining us. Recall the episode in John’s gospel in which Jesus saw a blind man and His own disciples queried, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2). Jesus’ answer corrected the errant theology of first- century Judaism (and some modern Christianity), “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him” (verse 3). Jewish families in the first century who suffered with handicaps, birth defects, or special needs were considered outcasts. I am sure they felt God was distant. However, as we learn in John 9, God had a greater plan for this particular family to experience the power of God with healing and deliverance. God’s silence is not always linked to sin. 

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