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The Silence of God

Dee Casper
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Have you ever wrestled with immeasurable pain in the midst of loss, or brokenness, only to feel that God wasn't there when you needed Him most? That friends weren't there when you needed them the most? This message is for you.

Presenter

Dee Casper

Evangelism Director for UnScene Media Group

Sponsor

Recorded

  • December 10, 2016
    11:30 AM
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Well good morning and happy Sabbath Thompson Bill. Who is just. Smiling faces. This morning scripture reading is going to be found in John Chapter eleven. John Chapter eleven. And verses eleven to fifteen eleven to fifteen John Chapter eleven verses eleven to fifteen the Word of God reads these things he said being Jesus and after he said to them after that he said to them our friend Lazarus sleeps but I go that I may wake him up then his disciples said Lord if he sleeps he will get well however Jesus spoke of his death but they thought he was speaking about taking a rest and sleep then Jesus said to them plainly Lazarus is dead and I am glad for your sake that I was not there that you may believe Nevertheless let us go to him. Like to begin the word of prayer I'm going to kneel invite you to bow your heads. Sweet Jesus I think you that I can come into your presence just now and I thank you that in your name I can come into the Father's presence and I'm asking. And confessing today that I do not have what your people need. But I know that you do and so I'm asking that you would give liberally and in each and every one of us would leave you with a gift that we will not forget. Show us now your glory I pray. And I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen. This morning's message isn't titled The silence of God The silence of God. Sure we've been in those situations where it seems like the entire world has fallen apart around us nothing is going right nothing is going as we wanted we prayed for someone's healing and they did. Receive healing we prayed for someone to stay with us and they're no longer with us we prayed for comfort in the midst of difficulty and we felt like the heavens were is brass to our requests the silence of God. What I'd like to do this morning is walk through the lives of three groups of people three separate stories how many people three. And just see what the silence of God looks like in their situation and also look at Heaven's point of view regarding the seeming silence of God in that situation first person like to begin with is John the Baptist and John the Bab this is a preacher of righteousness he's a man of righteousness he's a man of principle a man who always stands for the right come what name. So John the Baptist is preaching a message of repentance that we're told in the desire of ages literally cause the devil himself to fear for the safety of his kingdom. Has that for preaching. And as he preaches this message of righteousness he also shares with an individual Herod the you being with her odious your brother's wife is not good it's not right it's an offense to God Himself and how does Herod respond to this rebuke that he gets from John the Baptist. Had he had this Herod respond to this what does he do here rests in. John becomes incarcerated for the cause of Christ for being a man of righteousness and he's sitting in a cold lonely prison still with no one to comfort him really because who he's really looking for it never really seems to walk through those doors. John the Baptist is getting reports and this is very early on in Jesus's ministry John the Baptist as he's preaching in John chapter one verse twenty nine Jesus comes walking by and he says. The whole the way I'm of God which takes away the sin of the world that is John seemed to have a good grasp of the identity and mission of Jesus at this stage yes or no I'm one hundred percent Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world triumphantly proclaiming that Jesus is the Christ that you have been looking for John chapter one verse twenty nine John later is incarcerated Jesus is awesome miracles Now granted at the bad tism of Jesus were John is. There's a voice from heaven indorsing Jesus and the Holy Spirit Oh I don't like a dove upon Jesus so it's abundantly evident to John that what he thought Jesus was is indeed true it's confirmed by an intervention by Heaven itself. But as John is in this prison still word is getting to him about the things that Jesus is doing he is getting reports about Jesus but the problem is he's getting no visits from Jesus. And he's sitting in this prison cell with no response from Jesus now this is a relative of Jesus he's his cousin he's acquainted Jesus is acquainted with John the badness and he's also acquainted with John the bad to situation and John when he's lonely when he's incarcerated unjustly Jesus is not there for him. In a way that he wants Jesus to be there for him. And it doesn't get any better really because then his disciples This is from the desire of Ages his disciples John the Baptist disciples question why if this new teacher was the Messiah he did nothing to affect John's release. How could he permit his faithful Harold to be deprived of liberty and perhaps of life these questions were not without effect that which doubts which otherwise would never have a risen were suggested to John and Satan read joist to hear the words of these disciples and the see how they bruise the soul of. The Lord's messenger. Some of us were enduring the silence of God We have friends are a lot like the friends of job their council is worth nothing. Nothing in fact of it's worth anything it's in the negatives it causes more harm than good and maybe you've been in that situation you should take solace in the fact that a man who was right just dealt with this. He wasn't dealing with this because he was a sinner he wasn't incarcerated because he did something wrong he suffered hardship because he always stood for the right. She continues and says oh how often those who think themselves the friends of a good man in or eager to show their fidelity to him proved to be his most dangerous enemies how often instead of strengthening his faith there was depress and dishearten. Here's why this really hurt John John had expectations of Jesus his work that were not in harmony with the will of God John had a view of the Messiah his mission that Jesus is disciples had of the Messiah as mission that he is going to come and liberate us politically and so he's disappointed that Jesus isn't regaining Israel and that he's not coming to release him to watch him regain Israel. And many of us go through times of disappointment because we have set expectations on Jesus that are not in the will of God. We're asking Jesus to do something for us because we feel that it's going to be better for us and then we get disappointed with Jesus because what we want to didn't happen but the question is is that what God wanted and of course we need to understand from the get go that anything that God wants is one hundred percent for your good and it's better than you would have asked for yourself and she says at the close of that chapter. Chapter twenty one. And this set him up to be disappointed in her. Hurt as a result now and this also. And causing a doubt the success of his own work because his disciples are now talking negatively about Jesus because Jesus doesn't seem to be the guy that they thought he would be he's doing nothing to help their you know the right the person that they're following and John now is doubting the success of his ministry because I think that he's the guy but my people don't believe in Jesus my mission has been a failure because I'm wrestling with even believing that Jesus is the Messiah and the very people that I discipled are wrestling with Jesus identity should there have been more results were all of my sacrifices in vain all these thoughts are going through John the Baptist's mind as he's enduring the deafening silence of God. Yet his faith in Christ did not fail she says and what ends up happening is God sins angels to this prison still to remind John of the promises of God The very thing that we're sure that God will do for us that he will sin angels to remind us of the faithfulness of God in our pasts and to remind us of the promises of God. And this kept him now she says he refused to express his doubts before his disciples fully there's a little bit but he tried to keep that to himself to not cause them to stumble so he sends two disciples to Jesus for them to see that Jesus is indeed the guy he actually since these people to vindicate in their eyes not so much for him though he needed it too but actually for their benefit to see that Jesus is the guy to ensure that his own mission was in the failure there when he's incurring the silence of God is wrestling that his disciples don't lose faith in that time this is what she says when this message comes to Jesus because here's what happens the two disciples show up to Jesus with a question on behalf of John the Baptist and they ask him So are you the chosen one or should we be looking for someone else now wait a minute what happened to Behold the Lamb of God. Who takes away the sin of the world. And in this moment they come to Jesus and this is what she says was Jesus's response it was keenly bitter and disappointing to Christ's human nature if John the faithful forerunner failed to discern Christ mission what could be expected from the self-seeking multitude. He's with us because he Jesus is mind. And so the response of Jesus tells these disciples is go back and tell him what you see. He won't even give a long explanation he doesn't give his pedigree is a whip out his degrees in his plaques he says just tell them what you saw tell John what you see what happens the blind receive their sight the deaf hear the dead are raised demons are cast out of folks says go tell my friend go tell my cousin what you saw. But he leaves one more line for them to deliver to John and it's this blessed it is he whosoever shall find none occasion of stumbling in Maine bless it is the one who is not offended or cause to stumble by me this is a veiled rebuke by Jesus to John the Baptist to remind him that he knows better. You know me better than that John you know me. Now the reason why Jesus cannot come to this dark and lonely prison cell is because it would imperil his own mission. If Jesus gets too much exposure and gets put in this situation of freeing John from prison to go through this process his own mission which is prophetically declared will be imperiled Jesus is heart your and for John the Baptist he did not leave nor for see him. But he had to stand his guard for the sake of the mission of for the glory of God there's another reason why a book of that to this she says the evidence of Jesus is divinity was seen in his adaptation to the needs of suffering humanity his glory was shown in his condescension to our lowest. And this got it for John when he heard that Jesus cares enough to Meynell amongst the lowly and that this is what his mission was not to beat back the Romans but to set the captives free to drive out demons to bring the widow her son back. This is the mission that Jesus had and John himself had a humble mission and could appreciate the mission of Jesus more than anyone else could and at that point in time he got it back she says the disciples bore the message and it was enough that was enough for John and she says never again that John doubt the identity of Jesus but he still has to endure the silence of gardens prisons. Now why is John there John is there because he rebuked a man for his on righteous life. And unrighteous wife if you will. And he's incarcerated and let me close with this to the fact that he's there when is it happening after the death of John the Baptist's. Is that more people have faith in strength when they had to go through martyrdom and through hardship because of the example of the life of John and she says that the people that Jesus knew that John would be able to stand which tells me that Jesus did not put away the pond John the shoulders that would have killed John Jesus knew John better than that he would stand and that far more glory would be brought to the Kingdom of Heaven in this man's story in as it does than if something else happened Jesus has the glory of God in view in the midst of the silence of God in the life of John the Baptist and John the bad just got it too he got it too so this cannot stand that John the Baptist still has the breath of life in his lungs and is waiting for an opportunity for this man to die and what ends up happening is Herod throws a feast a feast involves adult beverages and in this field when he's not got his full sensibilities of. Because this man feared John the Baptist and respected him. Whenever he in so boastfully saying her audience his daughter comes out and dances a dance and I assure you she's not clothed appropriately and the man since abilities are inflamed and he says any want to sound boastful in front of his boys and he says I'll give you whatever you want to have my kingdom whatever you want. She goes Nasser mother what do you want for me she says I want the head of John the Baptist on a platter and I want it now. She comes in she tells this to the king and the King certainly has one of those gold moments. But it says because of those who sat. Because of the pressure of the people around him because he said it so boastfully he can't go back in his own words he could and he was waiting to see what the people around him would do it to see if someone would stand for the life of John the Baptist in the course he would spare him. No one says a thing and John the Baptist's is laid in the tomb never receiving a visit from Jesus he endured the silence of God But this man was not for sake and he was not cast off and we need to know that today. Jesus did not interpose to deliver his servant This is from the desire of ages he knew that John would bear the test gladly with the Savior have come to John the bright in the dungeon gloom of his own presence but he was not to place himself in the hands of enemies and imperil his mission and she says but for the sake of thousands who in after years must pass from prison to death John was to drink the cup of martyrdom as the followers of Jesus should languish in a lonely cell or prison by the sword or the rock or perish by the sword the rock of the burning stake apparently for sake and by God and man what a stage of their hearts would be the thought that John the Baptist's to his faithfulness Christ himself had borne witness had passed through a similar experience and of Jesus would never leave nor for sake the most righteous prophet the ever lived certainly. He wouldn't for sake me. Jesus did not for sake John the Baptist John the Baptist was not left alone angels from heaven were sent to this man to minister to him in his time of need reminding him of the presence of God reminding him of the promises of God in the face of God in his life from here he came in to stand the true nature of Christ work the people had been looking for a Messiah who had not been promised one who would fulfill their desires based upon a mis understanding of the kingdom and if we're honest with ourselves we're guilty of the same thing. We're looking for a Messiah who has not been promised. Who's ready to do anything that we ask because we assume that we know what's needed in any given moment in our darkness and in our wounded in this but we have to cling to the faithfulness of God we have to cling to the trustworthiness of God and know that he would never allow us to be in a situation where his grace would not accompany us we have to know that today. Now the second story is from Mary Martha Mary and Lazarus this is found in John Chapter eleven or scripture reading is. This is another difficult situation because. As Jesus gets news that Lazarus is sick John Chapter eleven. Says here beginning in verse one now a certain man was sick Lazarus of Bethany the town of Mary and her sister Martha Jesus there are a multitude of times in their own home and it was that Mary who had known to the Lord with fragrant oil wiped his feet with her hair whose brother Lazarus was sick therefore the sister sent him saying Lord behold he whom you love is sick now does jesus love Lazarus of course but they're reminding Jesus that they that he loves him. And they don't even ask Jesus to come to the house you know why because I know he will all we have to do is tell Jesus that Lazarus is sick and it's a done deal he'll be here. And Jesus says this sickness is not done to death but for the what for the glory of God the Son of God may be glorified through it. And then the next thing it says here in verse five is that now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Jesus loves these people with all of his heart. But what does the very next verse say. Says So when he had heard that he was sick he stayed two more days in the place where he was and this is very difficult contrast for us because it says Jesus loves them then it says when he hears that Lazarus is sick he stays. I'm sorry what was that Jesus loved them. Jesus makes them wait. We wrestle with this don't we. How is it that God can love me and at the same time God can make me wait haven't I been for saken Haven't I been left to perish to feel alone to feel the sting in the glass of God in my heart in my experience and then she has this line. He love them no S. because he tears. Jesus love these people no less because he tarried the glory of God is going to be revealed and there will be so much understanding in their experience of that this that they will regret ever being upset at all. Now whenever Jesus comes finally to the village how long his lad has been dead. For whole days now there was a tradition that it was from Greek foolishness but unfortunately made its way into Judaism that after three days the spirit cannot return of the body they were gone they were without hope now this had to happen this is when the crowning act of Jesus messiahship because the other. Actions people cast doubt upon a resurrection for goodness sakes because they hated Jesus that much well they were dead for that long they weren't really really dead but what do you do now when the people who are closely tied to this individual who know Jesus are just sure that Jesus failed them. And the guy's been dead for four days there's a mountain of evidence here that the faithfulness of God is not bound by any rule or law of physics. The faithfulness of God cannot be restrained on behalf of his people and so in this situation Martha comes up to him she is worthy Jesus is there and she says if you had been here my brother would not have died in this line has been going through her mind for days for hours because every day that lashes is getting more and more sick thirst staring at the door looking for that familiar still awaiting you what they get silence. They get nothing. Jesus never shows up. Day one no Jesus they to know Jesus Lazarus is now dead and even right after the death of Lazarus Jesus is still not here he's nowhere to be found for for a whole days in the midst of their agony in the midst of their waiting and Jesus tells her he says your brother will rise again. There is hope in your future and she says yeah I know later. Doesn't help me right now. Promises from God about the resurrection don't make those stinging wounds of loss go away right away do they we know they're true we do but to have that pain disappear it just doesn't happen. She says I know he will later there's doing a thing for me right now I can't hear his voice. Through the warmth of his embrace to get any of that. Jesus says I am the resurrection and the life do you believe me do you believe what I'm telling you this morning more of them and she says Yes Lord I believe that you are the Christ the Son of God who is to come into the world. And then word gets to Mary that Jesus is here Mary runs out of the house and she strolls up to Jesus you know she says the exact same words if you had been here my brother would not have died this is been the constant line in this home for four whole days they've got it memorized they know how to say it with effect this is all that runs through their minds right now is that Jesus has not proven himself faithful on their behalf in the midst of their hardship because they know that Jesus is here hardship is not going to come my way. Is based upon a misunderstanding. All they can think about in their suffering is that if Jesus had been here we wouldn't be going through this hardship right now who can't resonate with that. Who hasn't been there in the midst of loss and separation and difficulty hardship. So Jesus in the going up to the tomb and this is going towards the tomb the unbelief of his people is so difficult for Jesus that it literally brings him to tears. Did you know that God cries at our unbelief. It brings Jesus to tears our own belief does. Jesus gets to the tomb with every intention to intervene in this situation and he says take the stone away and you would think this would be the perfect time for Martha and Mary to say amen Jesus take that stone away. But what if you say he stinks Jesus. He. Stinks just like this whole situation it stinks Jesus and there's nothing you can do about it not a thing and you know what Jesus says to her in response to this. He says Did I not tell you say to you verse forty that if you would believe you would see the glory of God. The glory of God lies in the stinky to this. The glory of God lies in the heart of this stinky situation. Something far greater than you can ever imagine is just before you in the midst of the situation. So we're going through sticky situations in our lives when it feels that Jesus isn't there and if someone's going to do anything it's not going to fix it he smells he stinks this whole thing stinks Jesus's hand is not limited by this at all it doesn't matter how hopeless or difficult your situation looks What did Jesus say. That's the only thing that we can base our reality upon what does the Word of God say about your situation what does the word of Jesus say about you. Jesus had comfort for them but they wanted their brother more than they wanted the comfort that Jesus had to offer them. And we've been there haven't we. Jesus has an abundance of comfort to provide for us in those times of loss and separation. And yet we are grieving we have the audacity to tell Jesus that's not enough. You're not enough for me. And that's what brings you to tears. That he's not enough for us and that we don't believe that he has everything that we need here's the thing with the death of John the Baptist and what also mentions the fact that yes they were able to quit his physical life but that life that was hidden Christ they could not touch. And she says that John the bad. Died a conqueror. The same thing could be true for those loved ones that you miss so dearly right now in your separation they have been laid to rest as conquerors never again to incur hardship never again to incur separation and difficulty they are resting in the arms of Jesus in a resting state never again have to go through this hardship the very next thing they're going to know is the almighty comfort of Jesus that's it. Remember John of the losses or the life the life that was hit with Christ the enemy could not touch the same can be said for those loved ones of ours who are safe in Jesus. He died a conqueror this is what she says she says this is in desire of ages again to all who are reaching out to feel the guiding hand of God the moment of greatest discouragement is the time when divine help is nearest This is amazing to me because what she's saying here is that the times and we feel that God is the farthest from us God is actually the closest to us he's ever been. That's what we're told this is the promise of Jesus Christ to you in the midst of your suffering and hardship in the seeming silence of God. And she says they will look back with think fullness upon the darkest hour of their way there will be things that are done to our faith in our experience that could not have come otherwise and these people are secure and we will be closer to Jesus than we've ever been at the end of this hardship friend of mine is Amish on braces a pastor in Maine wrote a blog on. This story of Lazarus I want to read the last section of it here that I thought tied it up really really well I just read this last night he says we cannot know of course in a particular moment if Jesus wants something bad to happen to us or simply allows it to happen but we do know that he loves us and that sometimes in ways that don't make sense to us at all in our new. Sightedness he always has a much longer view in mind sometimes we are content with far too little. Catch that sometimes we are content with far too little we want to experience healing God wants to give us a resurrection we want to be spared a temptation God wants to give us victory through temptation to experience that even Jesus is perfect as he was learned obedience by the things which he suffered Hebrews Chapter five and. Further God wants to give us much greater evidence of His love and a far greater belief in this power but in our in patients in haste we like Martha are tempted to say Lord if you had been here sooner and acted sooner then fill in the blank. To us as to Martha he says I love you and because I do I want you to be witness to far greater evidences of my love and of my power. Something far more amazing is available to us than we recognize in the midst of all hardship and suffering and she says that we will look back with gratitude upon this darkest chapter of our lives now then one is the most difficult to swallow is found a Matthew chapter twenty six this is Jesus himself. Matthew Chapter twenty six and it's going to summarize for time's sake and I've covered this before in what the gospel is not. But in this situation Jesus from the disciple standpoint has always been calm cool and collected all the time. Jesus is face to face the two naked demoniacs running at him full steam at the gatherings Jesus stands like a rock rebukes the demons and then the in the story says they were seated and clothed in their right minds like housecats docile. You know. Jesus was totally unafraid in this moment you better believe the disciples were far back in that boat as they could get but Jesus was calm cool. In collected in the temple Matthew Chapter eight I believe. Not only is Matthew a video in the temple there's a demoniac that stands up and says What have we to do with you Jesus you son of God If you come here to torture us before the time just send shivers down your spine if you're in that church setting and in Jesus rebukes the demon is this Be quiet and come out of him and he does in Matthew Chapter eight when Jesus is on the sea he's sleeping in the boat while the waves are crashing all over the disciples have lost their minds in fact in Matthew Chapter eight in that verse the first words by the twelve disciples in the Gospel of Matthew literally our Lord save us we are perishing has that for an introduction. And it Jesus rebuked the disciples before he rebukes the wind in the waves. Then he says Peace be still Jesus is always composed nothing seems to shake this guy. And yet as soon as Jesus set foot in the gate of the garden because in many something changes. We're told as our babies that he falls to the ground twice because of the weight of this load that's upon his shoulders Jesus literally collapses to the ground in agony and the disciples have to help pick him up. And he says James John and Peter I need you if there's anybody I can trust it's going to be them and it takes him into the further recesses of the garden gets him an E. and Jesus falls to the ground again. And digs his fingers into the gravel just to keep from being pulled any further away from the presence of God and he cries out My God my God would not my God he says Father if it is possible let this cup pass from me his humanity shrinks from this responsibility. Jesus says Father if there is a way out of this please let this cup fast for me this is the same cup mentioned Revelation Chapter fourteen in one to a less. And the cup of God's. Wrath is being poured out upon God himself in this garden. Before a single stripe is laid upon the body of Jesus he's already to the point of death we're told. What have died in the garden were not for the fact that God sends an angel to comfort Jesus and remind him of the promises of God just like he did to John the Baptist by the way cinema angels from heaven to remind him of the promises of God. And as Jesus wrestles and suffers. She says these amazingly terrifying lines that in that moment Jesus long for human sympathy and affection. You know what Jesus got. Nothing. Absolutely nothing Jesus not only is dealing with the silence of God he's dealing with the silence of the closest friends he has on earth no one's there for him here been there. Not a single soul can be found to be with you to sympathize with you no one. Jesus is enduring the most deafening silence you could ever imagine. He's been in fellowship with God from eternity passing out in this moment it's as if God does not even exist he's nowhere to be found. All Jesus has known for thirty three and a half years is the presence and approval of his father and right now he can't find it it's not there. And Jesus continues to agonize and this beautiful scene is shown in the desire of ages and they get so many chapter where this angel cradles the head of Jesus in his lab and wipes the blood from his brow and speaks tender words of encouragement to Jesus do you remember the baptism Ray said this is my beloved Son in whom I will please you remember Jesus. Do you remember the Mount of Transfiguration. This is my son. John listen to him. He's not for say can you Jesus it's so dark and it's so difficult but he's there and in the strength that this angel provides him Jesus makes it to the cross he makes it through an excruciating beating that Isaiah fifty two tells us leave him be on the point of recognition. Can't even physically recognize as many anymore and as he's hanging upon the cross being yelled at and spit upon by the people he came to save. Words come out of Jesus's mouth that you would never think would come from God himself. My God my God why have you for saken me. Jesus enduring the silence of God. You have this in common with Jesus you also have in common with Mary and Martha and wiser us and you have been in common with John the Baptist and you with a similar thread is through all of them Jesus never left them Jesus never for soak them. In the time of their greatest need he was closer than he had ever been and I'm about to read a line to you that will absolutely blow your mind. I had read this in his R.V. ages before but I did not catch the significance of what I read until just recently in the last few months. When Jesus was crucified it looks like midnight and it's noon day it's dark at there are thick clouds around the Cross we're about to find out why. She says in that thick darkness God's presence was hidden. He makes darkness his pavilion and conceals his glory from human eyes God and His holy angels were beside the cross. Are you hearing me this morning. God the Father was literally on planet. Earth at the death of Jesus upon the cross of Calvary when Jesus feels that the father is the farthest from him that he's ever been for thirty three and a half years he's literally the closest to him he's ever been for thirty three a few years. He never left him. But Satan had cast this impenetrable cloud of darkness between Jesus and the father to make him feel that he was for saken but he was not. I repeat he was not. And neither are you. Maybe you're incurring the silence of God right now he's closer to you than he has ever been Scripture tells us this. The father was with his son yet his presence was not to be revealed was not revealed. And had his glory flash forth from the cloud every human being holder would have been destroyed it was the mercy of God These people deserve to be destroyed most of them. But in the mercy of God even to them so that they could be saved God shrouds himself in clouds this is how desperately God wants people say that even the people that crucified his son are given a chance this is what the cross of Jesus teaches us about the love of God the Father and in that dreadful hour Christ was not to be comforted with the Father's presence he trod the wine press alone and of the people there was none with him and you want to know why. Because there's a moment in your experience when you draw the wind. And there's no one knew. He had to be tempted in all points as we are yet without sin you know why. So that we could come boldly to the throne of grace and obtain mercy and find grace to help in time and that's why. He went through that so that you could receive the strength in the healing that only he can provide when you go through the same thing. Jesus had to suffer like you his life was not easy on this earth and when you. Feel that God is nowhere to be found it doesn't care about you. God knows what that's like. He really knows. I want to close of this thought before we start to dovetail in towards the end come up in. Silence and rejection are not the same thing. Silence and rejection are not the same thing we mistake that when we have to endure the silence of God that must mean that I'm rejected by God but that is not true Scripture cannot validate that thought process it doesn't validate that thought process it's not true. Now I want to close with the story here and I'm going to do something I never thought I'd ever do in my life and this may be the only time so yourselves privileged and maybe I'll be glad it's the only time I don't know. But there's a singer songwriter whose name is Andrew Peterson and he has a song that's in titled The silence of God Andrew from the recording that I've heard I think to hear the whole story but basically the story behind the song was that someone was invited to go sing in a monastery in Kentucky and they were going to be able to go and they asked Andrew to say that he was this person and you really needed to just get away and have some quiet time with God He says yeah I'll do it so when he shows up to the monastery he literally says My name is fill in the blank here with the singer songwriter his and he's he's needing some time to just get away from things and he fast for three days and three nights and he's wanting to show God that he is worthy of receiving the answer the he so desperately wants from God You have been there. You really really really want to certain answer from God and you'll do whatever it takes fasting you've got it given more to the poor double tides got you Jesus that's far and just give me what I ask give me what I think I need in this moment so Andrew does this fasting for three days. And as he's walking at the last day he's there he's exhausted and kind of famished he's walking through these trails they have on the property and these signs say to the statues T.-O. the statues and those arrows is know what it means as he's walking he eventually gets up to one statutes of Peter James and John and they're all asleep and says Oh I get it this is this is the seventy and he says you know the Hill there's probably Jesus somewhere. And so he walks a little bit further and he does see the statue of Jesus but it's not a Jesus the he envision. He figures that Jesus is going to be standing in piety with his hands folded or pointed and looking straight up to heaven but the picture he sees of Jesus is a Jesus that's a mess right now he's kneeling on the ground his back is ours in his eyes his hands are on his eyes and this is his elbows are out like he's got wings and he can see that this Jesus is in agony. And in that very moment this lightning bolt struck in Andrew's heart and mind and he says Jesus was in agony and in a moment it dawned on me that he looked the way that my heart felt. This guy the way he looks right now that's what I feel like right now I'm getting the silence of God and he says My God my God why have you left me alone why won't you give me the answer that I want that's how I feel right now and that seems to be the way that he feels right now. And he says in the walk back I realise that I had been comforted. My pain had not been taken away but I was comforted in the fact that the God that I love in worship is familiar with my sorrow. That pain can still remain loss is meant to be foreign separation is meant to be foreign It was never supposed to be part of our experience. But. We can find comfort from Jesus in those moments we're guaranteed of that. That's what he wants to do for us. Now what I'm going to do in closing here this and all have a closing prayer after we've seen here. So I'm going to do is actually seeing this song is called The Silence of God as well you and your Peterson and could someone from my team do me a favor in advance the slide on this because I won't be able to do that holding this somebody anybody doesn't matter who it is so I'm one thank you here's just a remote and just it's just the lyrics of the song but I want you guys to be able to read it as it's being sung. And titled The silence of God by Andrew Peterson. To drive them crazy. Break a man's face. It's enough to make you wonder. If you use it. For. The heavens only Manson is this you and see. Any. Harm. When he has to remember. Is you. With this bird and is that. When the crying. Through is in. So I. Just got to listen to them. In the throat. When they do. Their troubles. Too that. You know when one of the time when even. Worse and. There's a statue of Jesus. On the stairway. In the. Can to. Me and the garden is silent as a stone. His friends are sleeping he's we being. Man over. For. Was killed. By the hard steady. So when the querist or his desire. Into this. Business. Of. You know up in for sake and have not been forgotten. And in those moments when it seems like everybody else is getting answers to their prayers and they have good news to share this crippling to you in the midst of your hardship Jesus knows. It friends have failed you your family has failed you and it feels like God Himself has fielded you seen a different side of the story today. They're closer now than they've ever been. And that's just as true today as it was the life of Jesus one that was in the life of Mary more than Lazarus as it was in John the Baptist so when you're wrestling with the silence of God in your experience cling to the silence of God in there. You'll find that he has everything that you need. Comfort beyond measure. His presence his peace and the faith that will last through the ages. People here this morning have been wrestling with the silence of God. You've been wrestling with the view of God as a result of the silence of God that has hurt you. Maybe it's hurt the people around you. And you want to accept today. They've knowledge of the fact that the silence of God. Is not the rejection of God in that you're choosing to cling to the fact that you are accepted in the beloved today maybe you have wrestled with feeling that you could be accepted because you felt rejected because of the silence. If that's you today you find yourself in that situation as a congregation had to do with a lot of loss in the last year. Hurts. So if you find yourself in that position and you would like to give some serious time to God in prayer or in gratitude and I just tell them what's on your heart I want to invite you to. Come forward. That's you this morning that you've been wrestling with the silence of God and it's crippled you in your spirit you want to lay that here today and I want to fight you to come forward. You know. This is for him enough for me. For those who are still seated on my to join us in the illing feel so inclined to whatever you're most able to do I want to start with some time of silence to give you a chance to give your heart to God right now to give him the burdens that lay upon. Close So I invite you to kneel. In that time of silence will begin. Or Jesus as we come before you this morning there are people in this room. Who have been leveled by the silence of God in the Christian experience. In New York god of love in the God of Kerry compassion and sympathy. Could heal the broken hearted it could set the captives free. And unannounced the silence of God came into their experience. And. Have not known what to do. Some of us have just continued in the Christian disciplines hoping something will change some of us have wrestled with feelings towards you that are not healthy. As a result of the silence of. Separation difficult. Today we want to go. That you. Want to take hold of the silence of God the experience of John the Baptist Mary Martha Lazarus. The Jesus. You want to claim by face today and choose to believe in those moments when I feel that you're the farthest you've ever been you're actually the closest you have ever. Or we pray for the faith of Jesus to Piers if. You would do for us what no man can do. No words of comfort can do. No human embryos can do what even having those people back could not. Be enough for us to do. Everything. And heal us completely. We believe that by faith. And by the faith Jesus. You know. This media was brought to you by audio a website dedicated to spreading God's word through sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about. It you would like to listen to more sermon. W.W.W.. Or.

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