When God seems to be silent in our time of trouble, we may wonder why He does not seem to answer our prayers. Some may even fall away because God does not seem to care or real. Psalm 10 is instructive as I reflect on it.
The psalmist begins with a note of disappointment, lamenting, “O Lord, why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide when I am in trouble?” (v 1). As he continues to pray, recounting the injustices of unscrupulous men (v 2-11), we see him move from lamenting to recalling and contemplating on who God is. In remembering, he puts his trust in God, knowing that “The Lord is king forever” (v 16); He knows; He hears; and He comforts and brings justice (v 17-18).
Thus we learn from the psalmist that he does not give up praying even when God seems to be silent. As he continues to pray, focused on God Himself as he off-loaded his burdens to the Lord, he is led to remember who God is, and knows that He will act as mentioned above. With this conviction, he leaves the matter in God’s trustworthy hands.
Our trials may not be the same as the psalmist’s, but God hears and cares, both for the psalmist then, and us today. Our unchanging God is compassionate and just. He will deal with what is wrong in His sight and in His time.
It would be in God’s time because God has a much wider perspective and time-frame than we human beings with our very limited understanding and preoccupations. Unlike us, God knows everything, past, present and future, and sovereign over all, even as He is working all the things for good of all who love Him (Rom 8:28). We can also rest assured that He knows us and our needs better than we know ourselves (Ps 139).
How our promise-keeping God answers is governed by God’s perfect purposes for our good. He also desires that we persevere in knowing Him, trust in Him and obey Him, and to grow in our relationships with Him. As we do, our desires will become more and more aligned with God’s will for us. Thus Jesus said, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7).
The Book of Psalms inspires us to pursue this relationship with God, as we spend devotional time with Him. Like the psalmist, we can bring our disappointments and burdens to Him. Whether we come to God with our human disappointments and needs, or in gratitude, the Psalms show us that we can off-load our inmost needs to our Lord who hears. As we pray, the indwelling Holy Spirit in us reminds us to remember who God is, and to trust in Him, and find rest in Him with thankfulness.
Heavenly Father, I pray for those who may feel that their prayers have not been heard. I pray that they will not be discouraged but will persevere in praying, trusting in You because You love us and hear our prayers, and will do what is good in your perfect time and ways. Thank You Lord for hearing our prayers and for working for good for those who know and love You. To You, O Lord, King of kings, Lord of lords; King forever, to You be all glory. Amen!
By sister Lee Yoke Kwang