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May 2, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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Have you ever questioned God? "Why did You do that, Lord?", "Why did You allow that to happen?", "Why did You not answer my prayer?", "Why are You silent in my life right now?" So often, when life doesn’t make sense, the why questions start creeping into our minds.
This past weekend, Pastor Doug explored Job 4–37. In this message, we explored the wrestle of faith in seasons of suffering, explained why God’s silence does not equal God’s absence, and discovered why it’s so important to build up our faith before the storms of suffering come.
Watch the video below to see a few highlights from the teaching and share it with your friends via social media. To watch the message in its entirety, click here.
Faith Is a Journey to Be Felt (Job 3:20–26): In these 33 chapters, Job is doing some serious wrestling. He is wrestling with external voices—his friends—who question his character and throw out all manner of accusations based on flawed human logic. He is also wrestling with an internal voice that brings him to a place of questioning. And the questions he asks God, from the outside, may seem impolite, inappropriate, and even downright heretical.
But here’s the thing . . . God wants you to be honest about what you’re truly feeling. You don’t have to vocalize or verbalize your frustrations, despair, anger, fear, doubts, or questioning for Him to know how you’re feeling or what you’re truly thinking.
You can try to hide your feelings and questions from God with pretty, elegant, and hyper-spiritual sounding prayers, but God sees your heart. If you have doubts, if you’re struggling, if you’re angry or in despair, be real with God! He is not easily offended, and He is not going to love you less. He knows how you feel already; it’s for your benefit to be authentic with the Lord. When you hold back and avoid the wrestle, you’re not protecting God . . . you’re simply hurting yourself from being able to walk through the struggle of faith with Him.
Just Because God Is Silent, Doesn’t Mean He’s Absent: In Job, we see 35 chapters of Job’s silence. In the Bible, between the Old and New Testaments, there is a period of 400 years of God's silence, whereby the Jewish people eventually found themselves under the often oppressive thumb of the Roman Empire. In these times where it seems God is silent, people often feel profound disappointment, despair, and doubt with God. In these seasons of silence, most people respond to God in one of three ways:
Trust Is Greater Than Our Emotions (Job 23:8–10): There’s no denying that a season of silence from God is not an easy place to find yourself. But in it, we can still trust who He is, what He’s done, and rest in all His promises. We may not always know where He is, but He always knows where we are. We may lose sight of Him from time to time, but He never loses sight of us. He is always there, and He is always in control. He always sees us, and He always has us.
Consider how everything is being witnessed from heaven and earth. In the dark, without any reason to believe, did Job still believe? Did he still trust in the Lord? Did he sin against the Lord and curse Him to His face? When you really boil it down, Job's trials teach us more about faith than suffering. It shows us how the faith of one single human being matters immensely, often in ways we will never understand.
As Christians, the watching world watches us the closest during two seasons: when we experience the highs (victory) and the lows (suffering). We are most visible during the time we spend on the mountain and in the valley. It’s the stories that come from in those spaces that will be your greatest testimony.
We Need Our Best Theology for Our Darkest Moments: Faith is stubbornly hanging on to the conviction that things are not as they appear. If you really think about it, where there is no opportunity for doubt, there is no opportunity for faith. In the darkest moments of our lives, in the deepest agonies of our souls, we have something to hold on to that Job didn’t: the risen Christ. We have the eternal and unstoppable hope of heaven through Christ and we have the Spirit of the Living God in us. When there is no other evidence of God’s love, we have the cross. And because of this, we should be able to say with certainty that it is so much better to walk in the dark with Jesus than it is to walk in the light on our own.
Quote to Remember: Where there is no opportunity for doubt, there is no opportunity for faith.—Pastor Doug Sauder
We’ve found that some of the most commonly pondered questions regarding God are, “If God is good and loving, why is there so much suffering in the world?", "Why do bad things happen to good people?", "Why does a loving God allow so many terrible things to happen?” In this week’s article, Danny Saavedra tackles these questions. Click here to read the article.
Join us this Wednesday as Pastor Doug leads a panel discussion on suffering and grief. Hear different perspectives from pastors and leaders as we discover the healthiest, most biblical ways to walk through seasons of depression and despair.
In week four of our study through Job, Pastor Doug will teach on Job 38–41. In this message, we’ll explore the moment God breaks His silence and speaks to Job out of a huge storm and get an amazing view of the character, sovereignty, and wisdom of God.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.