Dr. Jeremiah Johnston explores the concept of God’s silence and its impact on our faith. In his Bible study, book and video series, “Unanswered: Lasting Truth for Trending Questions,” he seeks to provide meaningful responses to the questions that many hold.
“Just because you become a follower of Jesus does not mean that the questions stop,” he says. “After more than 10 years of serving as one of the pastors and teachers at a vibrant, local church, I began to notice that we had sincere Christians who still did not possess the confidence to answer the tough questions about Christianity. Many believers struggle with their own big questions about their faith.”
One of the most pressing questions Johnston has observed and personally dealt with is, “How do we respond when it seems like God is on mute?” Johnston’s takeaways are 1) God’s silence is real, biblical personal, common and not always bad; 2) when the silence is real, a person should saturate himself in the Psalms; and 3) silence should always lead me to a “stone of remembrance.”
He refers to the example of Jesus in agony on the cross. Jesus quoted Psalm 22:1: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Just as Jesus did, we can turn to the Psalms as well in our pain. Johnston also points to biblical figures who endured times of waiting on God, including Joseph and David. “Remind yourself that some of the tallest figures of the Bible persevered right through God’s silence,” Johnston says.
In addition to internal trials, believers often face external challenges to their faith in the form of cultural pressure. Johnston says, “Here is culture’s message: ‘There is no God; there is nothing special about Jesus and He wasn’t raised from the dead.’” Christians must understand their faith and be able to defend it.
He welcomes Brian Daniel of Lifeway Christian Resources who expounds upon the importance of studying the Christian faith. “In terms of taking the message and making it part of who you are and facilitating transformation, we believe that group Bible study and group ministry are the best vehicles for that,” Daniel says.
Brian Daniel is a manager of Groups Publishing at Lifeway Christian Resources. He helps facilitate effective content creation for reading and study by Christians and within churches.