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Silence of God

Jim Ayer


Jim Ayer

Vice President for Advancement, Adventist World Radio



  • May 15, 2010
    11:15 AM
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You know, it is good to be back home, and it’s good to be here with you, and I’ve got quite a few stories I’d like to share, but I also want to share a sermon, so…And, you know, I wouldn’t be in radio and television if I didn’t have a commercial, right, so I want to give you brief commercial. What can I say? Adventist World Radio, by the way, we’re now in over 80 languages around the world. It gives us an opportunity to reach almost 70 to 80 percent of the world’s population, and very shortly we’re going to be in podcasting all of those 80 languages here for North America and the rest of the world, too. It opens up another almost two billion potential listeners, so keep that in your prayers, if you would, because anytime you wake up, day or night, there’s somebody around the world who is listening to the program who is making a choice about Jesus Christ at that very moment, so appreciate your prayers.


And then I just wanted to give a little brief commercial. I’m really excited about this because it’s a new book, Second Chance: From a Life of Drugs, Crime and Misery to Worldwide Ministry. And the real reason I’m excited about it is because 3ABN and the Review and Herald co-published it, the first time they’ve ever worked together. It is very exciting to me that the two ministries got together with this and published it together. So, if you get a chance, get a Second Chance. Second Chance is all about God because God is the God of second chances, and He’s a God who loves us so much.


I could just spend hours and hours and share with you what God is like and what God has done, but this morning I want to share one quick story with you, and that’s about Max. Now, Max was in the South Pacific, the area of the South Pacific, and Max was a murderer. He was a thief; he was a cutthroat; he was everything evil. One day, they finally caught Max. They caught up to him and threw him in prison. Now, while he’s in prison, Max notices something very interesting. You see, Max saw everybody who went to church on Sunday, that they didn’t have to work. He thought, “Ah, this is a pretty good deal,” so Max started going to church on Sundays.


(I’m going to clear the deck here in case I knock things around.)


He started going to church on Sunday, and he didn’t have to work. But then he also noticed something else. The Seventh-day Adventists didn’t work on Saturdays, “Ah-ha!” So, he decided to go to church also on Saturday. So, now he didn’t work on Sunday, and he didn’t work on Saturday; although, it didn’t last long enough for him to really hear much and understand much because he and two other buddies broke out of prison. And they headed back to their old stomping ground. They went way up in the mountains in this area that was just known kind of as the “den of thieves” and evil. And there he thought, “Huh, what can I do? I’ve got to have a good alibi in case they catch me again because they will probably catch up with me sometime.”


So, here’s what he thought about doing. He thought, “If I become,” and he mentioned a particular religion, “then it won’t be any big thing because pretty much everybody here is that religion. But if I become a Seventh-day Adventist, they all hate Seventh-day Adventists; that will be a really good alibi.”


So, he built a church, a little Seventh-day Adventist Church. Now, under the church, he put a trap door down, and he dug a big ‘ole long tunnel all the way down the mountain and out to the stream in case the cops came, then he could sneak out and be gone. And he also kept his AK-47 there and his other armaments.


And then the first Sabbath they sat there, and they thought, well, we don’t look right. So, they went out, and they stole three ties and three Bibles so they could look the part, and then they came back to church. Well, they still didn’t know what to do, so one of them preached he “sermon” (quote/unquote). The other one did Sabbath School, and the third one did Adventist Youth Services. So, they had the three of them, and they had their little service.


Somehow word got down the mountain; it got down to this school, and at this particular religious school there were quite a few young Seventh-day Adventists going there. And they thought, “We’re going to go up, and we’re going to partake in the services up there.” So, they traveled up there.


Next Sabbath, they knock on the door, and Max opens the door and says, “What’s this?”


“Well, we understand you’re having Sabbath services.”


“Well, oh, yes, come on in.” But now he doesn’t know what to do, so he tells the one, “You do the church service, and you handle Sabbath School,” and then they sat back and they watched. Now, this was pretty good. They started learning a little bit. The next Sabbath, though, the fellows were all dressed up in their stolen ties and their stolen Bibles, and they’re sitting there, and nobody shows up. “What’s going on?!”


He gets word from down the mountain that the principal of the school doesn’t like what’s going on up there, and he locked all the kids in the school. Now, Max cannot stand that. He goes down in his cellar, he grabs his AK-47, he starts marching down the mountain, and all of a sudden he looks, and he said, “I’ve got on my tie. That doesn’t look right.” He goes back, he takes off his tie, he sets it down next to his Bible, and he goes down the mountain now with his AK-47, and he’s so upset he’s blowing off bunches of bananas. Brrrb! Brrrb! Brrrb! as he’s walking down the mountain.


People are scared to death. The word travels rapidly that Max is coming, and he’s mad. He gets down to the school, chain and padlock across the school gates. Brrb! Opens the gate, goes on in, and he’s looking all over for the principal. “Where is he?!” “Where is he?!” And he finally finds the principal hiding under his desk.


He pulls out the principal, sticks the gun in his belly, and he says, “Where’s my congregation?! You better release my congregation, and if you don’t release my congregation, I take it that you have a doctrinal issue.”


Now he says, “I bet you believe in hell,” and he says, “If there is a hell, you’re going to be there first, and you’re going to meet me when I get there if you don’t release my congregation.”


Well, needless to say, the principal released the congregation, and Max start started having church services every single week. And after some time, they spawn what they call a hand church. A hand church is the main church with five branch Sabbath Schools, five branch Sabbath Schools. And soon they call up the mission director down in the valley and say, “Why don’t you come up and hold an evangelistic series?”


The mission director says, “I don’t want to come. This is too dangerous.”


“No, we promise you that Max is okay, and that Max will be the guard and head guard over the area while you preach.”


“Hah, well, okay.” He came up. They began baptizing people at the end of the series, baptized a whole bunch of people but not Max. Max waited, you see, until the very last day in case he had to shoot somebody. He didn’t want to be baptized yet. So, on the very last day, Max and his two buddies were baptized into the Adventist Church.


Now, it’s very interesting because people there in the community said, “You know, this denomination couldn’t convert Max, and this one couldn’t, but if the Seventh-day Adventist can, maybe we shouldn’t be as hard on them. We should give them some land, so they gave them land to build a church right in the town. And so, Max and all the congregation could worship there.


God is good. God loves us supremely. God will do anything to speak to our hearts. God came and died for you and me, but, you see, the devil doesn’t want you to know it. The devil doesn’t want you to believe it. The devil is the father of lies, and he’s got an innumerable amount of lies, “God doesn’t care for you,” “God doesn’t care for you,” “You are worthless,” “You are too big a sinner; you’re too big a sinner for God to ever care for you.” Oh, and I could on and on and on and on. The devil has more lies than you can ever imagine about you.


But, you see, the truth is God came to reconcile Himself to you and to me, to all of the universe because the devil stirred up trouble around the universe. But God came and hung on Calvary’s cross for you and for me to show us how much He cares and to show that the devil is only lies. But, you know, the devil’s tactics just don’t change. They just continue on and on and on.


Matter of fact, it may bother you a little bit, but the devil also can use the church. The devil can use the congregation. Janene and I years ago, we had just become Christians. We were brand new Christians, and at that time, we thought everybody in the church was sewing an ascension robe. You know what that means? You know, basically you’re sitting there, you’re getting ready for ascension. You’re so perfect, and everything is so wonderful that you’re just ready to take off with Jesus. We thought every Christian was that way.


Well, now, one day this fellow showed up at our house. We had just built a brand new, little, tiny house, 1,092 square feet, but it was great. It was wonderful. It had a little fireplace, and we had purple carpet, shows you how old it was. We had purple carpet in the bedroom. We had lime green on the walls in the bathroom, you know. We had some of these cool colors.


And this fellow, one day at our house, a Christian, matter of fact, his wife was the new teacher for our school, and he said, “You know, Jim,” and he looked around. He said, “I could you build you a brand new house three times this size for the money you could sell this one for.” Well, now, Janene really liked, she liked our house a lot, but we looked at each other, we thought, “How could we refuse that?” You know, how could we refuse such a thing?


We put the house up for sale. It sold just like that. We turned all the money over to him, and he went on, and he started building. And a little time went by, and one of the workers, who was also a Christian, came to me one day and said, “Jim, we were in this truck. We were getting some tools, and we found all this pornography under his seat.” I thought, “That doesn’t seem right.” And a little while later, we got a phone call from the bank, and the bank was trying to figure out exactly where he was because they wanted to repossess his vehicle. We thought, “This just doesn’t seem right.” You know, it didn’t fit with what I thought a Christian was to be.


So, I shared with the head elder of the church who happened to be friends with the father. And soon around the church everybody was pointing fingers at us, and it was our problem. It was all caused by us. It had nothing to do with him. It was all our problem. And soon we had a big shell of a house, several stories of house, and all the money was gone. And I went back to the elder, and I said, “Here’s the situation. You know, he’s supposedly a contractor,” and I said this and this and this, and, “What’s going on here? What’s happening?”


“Oh, it’s all your fault. It’s all you. It has nothing to do with him. I know the family. They’re good people. They’re a wonderful family. It’s all you guys.”


And so, praise the Lord, we happened to know the banker at the time and went to the bank. He came out and looked at the property. He said, “How much do you think it will take, Jim?” And I hurriedly tried to figure out what I thought it would take to finish it, and, praise the Lord, he loaned us the money, and we became owner builders.


And it turns out that this fellow left as the bank was chasing him, and the end of that story was he ended up in prison for child molestation and a bunch of other things. And he wasn’t a contractor at all. But that never came out, and nobody ever in the church really knew that, and it was all our fault.


And we finally, after about a year, we got into that house, and Janene is making up some fresh orange juice the first night we’re in the home. We were going to kind of have a little celebration. She’s got it in a gallon glass jug, and I want to be a sweet husband. I say, “Here, let me shake it for you and do it, honey.” And I’m vigorously shaking it up, and all of a sudden it slips out of my hand, drops in the porcelain sink, and chips that brand new porcelain sink, a big ’ole chunk out of it, and you see the black right in the middle of that thing. And we just looked at each other. We grabbed hold of one another, and we began crying. It was just like this whole year of a nightmare we had gone through, no church family believing us, everything happening, and, like, we were almost crumbled.


And it’s interesting, you know, it seemed like God, through this whole thing, was silent. Through this entire time, God never said a word. God certainly never said a word through the church other than negative ones. It wasn’t easy, it hurt, it was rotten, and it wasn’t fair, but, you know, God’s a God who does love us.


And in the Bible, He put an exciting story, and that’s the story of the Syrophoenician woman, the Syrophoenician woman. Turn with, if you would this morning, to Mark, chapter 7, Mark, chapter 7 and verse 24. Mark, chapter 7, verse 24, “And from thence he arose,” speaking of Jesus, “He rose up, and He went to the coast of Tyre and Sidon.” Now, the coast of Tyre and Sidon is a very interesting place. Jesus went about 100 miles out of His way to get to this place, a place of the pagans, a place that all the Lysol, according to the Jews, all the Lysol in the world couldn’t sterilize this place. It was horrible, but Jesus went there. And the second half of the verse said He would have no man know it, that He could hide.


Jesus had spent an incredible time up to now. You see, He had fed the 5,000. He had appealed to the clueless disciples on numerous occasions. He had been kicked out of the synagogue. He had been shoved been out of His own home town. He had had all these things going on. His own family tried to reel Him in and pull Him back and stick Him back in the anonymity of the carpenter shop, “Just, Jesus, don’t stir up anything. Don’t make all the waves here, just come back.”


And then to top it off, His own cousin John the Baptist had just been beheaded. It was time for a Labor Day weekend. It was time to come back to focus on God. Although, you see, Jesus always was focused. Jesus never lost His focus. But it said here that He wanted to hide. He wanted to hide.


Now, you know, you cannot hide good news. You just can’t hide good news. I was in India one time doing a series of evangelistic meetings, and I’d become so sick. It was horrible. It was like all I could do to drag myself to the meetings, but during the meeting God would give me the strength. The second the meeting was over it was just like everything was drained out of me. And I finally, this one night, I’d determined, I said, “Lord, I’ve just got to get away,” because, you see, every night, as soon as you’re done, hundreds and hundreds and maybe thousands of people press around you. They want you to lay your hands upon them and give them a blessing. And I just thought, “I can’t take it tonight.” As soon as I say Amen after the prayer, I’m sneaking off behind the stage, and I found a little quiet cubbyhole around the corner of this building.


As soon as the meeting was over, I executed my plan; I got out to the other side of the building, and I closed my eyes, and I said, “Oh, Lord, thank You.” And when I opened my eyes, there were people standing there. “Oh, okay.” There are only a couple of people. I’ll have a quick prayer, laid my hands on them and prayed. When I opened my eyes, more people and more people and more people and more people; it grew.


You see, you see, you can’t hide good news. You just can’t hide good news. And we find here that there was a lady who showed up, a Syrophoenician woman. She heard that Jesus was there, and her daughter was grievously vexed with the devil, and she had to come to Jesus. She had to find out about Jesus.


But it is interesting, because in The Desire of Ages, we read an interesting thought. “It was for the performance of this act that He went to the borders of Tyre and Sidon. He wished to relieve the afflicted woman, and at the same time to leave an example in His work of mercy toward one of a despised people for the benefit of His disciples when He should no longer be with them. He wished to lead them from their,” Adventist, “exclusiveness to be interested…” Somebody is smiling; a few people caught that. “He wished to lead them from their Jewish exclusiveness to be interested in working for others.”


You see, Jesus came to this place exactly in order to meet this woman because He knew this woman was crying out inside and needed help, and Jesus came 100 miles to meet with this lady and to convey to His disciples the great need of the whole world to find Jesus Christ.


Well, in Matthew, chapter 15, the story is opened up a little bit more into greater detail. Matthew 15, verse 22, you see, it wasn’t proper, it wasn’t proper for a man to talk with a woman or a woman to talk with a man, and especially, especially a woman like this. Verse 22, “And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts and cried unto him, saying, ‘Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.’”


It wasn’t right for her to be talking with Jesus at all. Jesus shouldn’t be talking with her. But, you see, God had a plan, and God’s plans take precedent. He wanted to save this woman. He wanted to touch the life of this woman, and everybody around, too, to understand that God had a mission and has a mission today to everyone. This woman cries out; she needs help. She’s in desperate despair. Her daughter is grievously vexed with a devil, not just vexed but grievously vexed with a devil.


I don’t know if you’ve had the opportunity to travel in some parts of the world where demon possession is open, out right in front of you in all its ugliness. I’ve had people that have been…The devil has tried to drown them in the baptistry, drown them in the river. Over in Cameroon in 2002 we were doing an Amazing Facts series, invited all the people to come out, to come down to be prayed for; 3,000 people came out.


And while Pastor Doug is praying to the people, all of a sudden somebody start’s screaming and yelling. We got in the crowd and grabbed this lady who was just going crazy. We take her behind the scenes and pray and demand the demons to come out, and all of a sudden she’s just fine. And as soon as she’s fine, somebody else starts screaming and hollering. The demons had jumped to someone else. We go out and grab that lady and bring her back, too, and cast the demons out.


Dominican Republic, I have seen it, Africa, India, so many places of the world. It’s real. The devil hates you. The devil hates you, and the devil hated this little girl. The devil was trying to rip and tear and shred this little girl’s life from her. And this mother comes to Jesus, “Please, Lord, my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. I need your help!”


But, you see, in the first half of verse 23? God doesn’t say a word, not a single word. How well does your faith hold up when you cry out to God, when you’ve got troubles and trials and problems and tribulations, and God doesn’t answer you a single word? Not a word.


Well, there are others in the Bible who experienced the same scenario. David, you remember, the prophet came to David and said, “You’re going to be the next king,” and he anointed him king over Israel. And you’d think, “Well, praise the Lord, that’s it.” But for 13 years, David is pursued like a dog by Saul to kill him – 13 years!


And read what David had to say in Psalm 22, verse 2, “O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but I find no rest.” God never said a word to David. It’s like, “David, you’re on your own.” That was a lie of the devil, by the way.


And then Job, all of you or most of you know the story of Job. The devil comes before God one day, and Satan says, “Look at Job. You put a hedge around him. That’s the only reason he worships You. That’s the only reason he cares about You. You’ve got this whole hedge.” God says, “Go ahead, the hedge is removed, just don’t take his life.” And the devil goes down, and he wipes out the whole household. He wipes out the children. He wipes out all the animals. He wipes out everything except the wife and some friends.


And you read the story a little more; maybe the wife should have been the first one to go because the wife says, “Why don’t you just curse God and die?” That isn’t a big help in the situation. For 37 chapters in the book of Job, Job is crying out to God saying, “What happened?! What happened?!” And it is not until chapter 38 that God says a single word, not one word. He is silent for 37 chapters of Job’s terrible, terrible, excruciating, horrible situation.


And then there’s Martha and Mary and Lazarus. You remember, Jesus’ best friends here on planet Earth. Martha and Mary send the message, “Jesus! Jesus! Come quickly. Your friend Lazarus is sick.” Jesus looks at the note and hangs around for a few more days doing nothing. He doesn’t say a word. He doesn’t say a word. And finally, after four days, they come back to the house.


Martha and Mary, “Lord, if you’d been here, our brother wouldn’t have died. It just would have taken a word from You, but You said nothing. You didn’t send a messenger. You didn’t let us know a thing. You were silent!” But then God was no longer silent. “Lazarus, come forth!” And Lazarus came out of that tomb, and what an incredible blessing.


Jesus’ silence could have been interpreted as neglect, that Jesus didn’t care or didn’t want to help. But, in Jesus’ silence, we, along with Mary and Martha, are drawn into a new closeness with God and a new understanding of His power.


Can you imagine? Can you just imagine what it must have been like to be there to see Lazarus resurrected? Can you imagine what it must have been like to be Lazarus? “Wow, just a minute ago I was sick. I can remember being in bed sick, and then I kind of don’t remember anything. And now, here I am, and all these people are staring at me, and they’re unwrapping all the grave cloths from me.” What an incredible time.


And then Jesus, with the disciples, in the boat, out on the Sea of Galilee, the storm is raging everywhere. We were told that the boat is about to sink. These are hardened fishermen; they understand what’s going on. They have been bailing. They’ve been rowing. They’ve been doing everything they can to stay alive, and the boat is about to sink. And what do we find?


We find Peter, as the lightening breaks across the back of the boat, they see Jesus, and He’s asleep! God has been silent through this whole thing. “Lord, don’t You care? We’re going to die!” Now, that was really, it was a stupid question, but it was a legitimate question if you’d been in that situation. I can kind of get behind that, couldn’t you? “Lord, the boat is sinking, and You’re asleep?!” But not a word. And then finally He says, “Oh, ye of little faith. Peace be still.”


Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost for His Highest says this, “When you cannot hear God, you will find that He has trusted you in the most intimate way possible—with absolute silence, not a silence of despair, but one of pleasure, because He saw that you could withstand an even bigger revelation.” Wow, “That you could withstand an even bigger revelation.”


But it gets worse for this woman. Verse 23, it says, you know, “And he answered her not a word.” And then it says, “And the disciples came and besought him, saying, ‘Send her away; for she cries out after us.’”


Think about this, the 12 General Conference vice presidents say, “Get rid of her; she’s bothering us. We don’t want her around here. Send her away. Woman, go away! We don’t want you in our church. Leave!” How would you feel? How would you feel?


My mom and my dad, this was told to me because I was so young, but they apparently used to go to church, and not every week because my dad liked fishing and hunting better than he liked going to church. So, that did take some precedence. There’s somebody in the audience, there, Steve is laughing a little bit about fishing and things. But I won’t use last names, Steve, so we won’t identify you worldwide here.


But my mom would go to church, and my dad from time to time, and, you know, the preacher would meet them at the door and greet them. But this one week, this one Sunday, shaking hands, greets my mom and says, “Well, where is Jim today? I suppose he’s fishing and hunting again,” apparently just about in those terms. That was the last time for decades that my parents ever darkened the door of a church. What we say can have an effect on the lives of everyone around us in the church. Or what we don’t say. Or how we say it. Or how we say it.


But this woman was not to be deterred. You see, she, well, I’ve got to back up for a second on that. Maybe you’re the one who has had the finger pointed at you. Maybe you’re the one who’s got those troubles that the pastor…I won’t whitewash anybody in the church, including myself, because the devil from time to time can get in there, and we just say something stupid. We say something inappropriate. We say something that just shouldn’t be said.


And you storm out of church, and you feel like that person is such a hypocrite. “Look at that person. I’m never coming back to the church again.” That can be the result, and that’s the result the devil wants us to have. That’s the experience the devil wants us to have, but that is not God’s experience. God is continually calling out to us, even in silence, wrapping His arms around us, saying, “Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”


Ah, but these bigoted disciples, you see, Jesus was only parroting what the disciples were thinking. You know, “Woman, you’re a dog.” The Lord Himself said, “Woman, you’re a dog.” But this woman withstood the onslaught of the vice presidents of the General Conference, of the world president of the church calling her a dog. She hung in there because she saw, this woman saw something that the disciples missed. She saw that He was really God. She saw who He was. She understood His power. She understood His love. She understood that He really did care for her and that He could heal her daughter, and that He could do it long distance.


And she wanted to believe in Him and knew she could believe in Him. She saw that, and she cries out, “Lord, have mercy on me.” What a prayer. It’s humble, it’s short, it’s concise, it’s modest, it’s respectful, but it’s a prayer that grabbled ahold of heaven. It’s a prayer that grabbed ahold of Jesus and said, “Oh, wow.”


The church leaders said, “Don’t call us. We’ll call you,” and they expect her to hang up after a while of holding on, but this woman wasn’t going to be deterred. You, me, we shouldn’t be deterred either. Whatever happens in the church, whatever happens amongst the family of God, no matter what anybody says to you, no matter what anybody does to you, you come here because God has called you. You come here because God is yearning to have a friendship and a fellowship with you. And everybody in the church is going to let you down at some time or other. It’s just going to happen, but we can’t look at one another. We’ve got to look to Jesus and as we’re looking, put our arms around one another, and God will draw us all closer to Him.


This Syrophoenician woman was an incredible woman. She put up with so much, but she knew who she was dealing with. She knew who her God was. And sometimes, this morning, I think about, have you got problems? Have you got troubles and trials in your life, and it seems like God is not even answering you?


I had that wonderful opportunity to go to the Garden of Gethsemane and see those trees that they say are 2,000 years old. Maybe, maybe some of those trees are old enough that Jesus sat near those trees. But we know on that one fateful night that Jesus got there, put the disciples a little ways away, and He went there, and His heart was just wrenching. He lay down on the ground prostrate, crying out, crying out, “Please, Lord! If there’s any way, let this cup pass from Me.”


He said it once, twice, the third time, “Lord, please let this cup pass from Me.” And brothers and sisters, I can’t find in Scripture that God said a word, that God answered Him. He took the whole cup, the whole cup of iniquity talked about in Revelation, poured out without mixture. God’s indignation. He took that cup. God never said a word.


And there on Calvary’s cross, when He hung on Calvary’s Cross, “My God! My God! Why have You forsaken Me?!” Not a word. Not word. Absolute silence. Not a word. You see, He experienced the real silence that you and I don’t have to experience. And just when we think we’ve got God figured out, you know, when you think. “Oh, hey, I’ve got it figured out. Okay, if this and this, and it’s a blessing because God is silent, and I’ve got that.”


Then all of a sudden, He throws in another story in the Bible, an interesting story. And this story, you might remember, is about a woman who had an issue of blood for 12 years, 12 years. She had gone to doctor after doctor after doctor, and they couldn’t do anything. But she began hearing about Jesus, and something welled up in her heart. “This is God. This is truly God.” And she said, “If I can get near Him,” you see, the crowds were so big, Jesus was healing everybody, and the crowds were monstrous.


Janene has been in those situations in Bangladesh where the people are pressing in around so you feel like you’re going to die. They’re almost claustrophobic, they’re pressing in so close. And that’s the way the people were about Jesus. This woman said, “If I can just get near the hem of His garment, I’ll be healed.” I can picture her crawling on her hands and her knees, and she gets up, and she finally gets close enough. Just touch the edge of His garment. Wow! It’s real. She could experience it. She knew she was healed at that moment, and in silence she tries to sneak off.


Now, just when you want God to be silent, He speaks up, “Who touched Me?” And the disciples said, “Lord, what are you talking about, Lord. Look at everybody around you. Who touched You?” He said, “Someone touched me. Virtue went out of Me.” And He turns, and He looks at the woman who was crouching, trying to be…”Lord, why can’t You just be quiet right now?” And He says, “Daughter.” He never called anybody in the Scriptures daughter. “Daughter, you’re whole. Your faith has made you whole.”


Listen to What David Smith says about this encounter, “Had she been suffered to steal away, she would have lost the chief blessing in her life. She would have gained the healing of her body but lost the healing of her soul.”


Let me read you a couple things in The Faith I Live By. “God never leads His children otherwise than they would choose to be led, if they could see the end from the beginning and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as co-workers with Him.” Just imagine that. If we could see as God does, stepping in and out of time, we’d choose to be led a no different pathway.


“All that has perplexed us in the providences of God will in the world to come be made plain. The things hard to be understood will then find explanation. The mysteries of grace will unfold before us. Where our finite minds discovered only confusion and broken promises, we shall see the most perfect and beautiful harmony. We shall know that infinite love ordered the experiences that seemed most trying.” Wow. We shall know that God ordered the experiences that now seem most trying in our lives because He loves us so much. He loves us so completely. Every act of God has your best interest in mind. Every act.


So, this morning I ask every one of you, will you covenant to trust God, even if, when your family, your business fails, maybe you’re wiped out, you’re completely wiped out, and for 37 chapters you don’t hear a single thing from God. Will you covenant to trust Him even if your boat is sinking, the waves are crashing over it, and you know this is it? Will you covenant to trust Him even if, like David, God has said, “You’re going to be a leader. Here’s a beautiful pathway, but for 13 years you’re pursued like a dog.” Will you covenant to trust God even if you have a brother or a sister, like Martha and Mary, who dies. You’ve prayed and prayed and prayed your heart out, and they still die.


This morning I ask you, and I’d like you stand if you want to respond this morning. For those of you at home, respond right where you’re watching this. If you want to covenant to follow Jesus Christ today no matter what, no matter even if there appears to be silence, if you want to respond, respond right now. Please, stand with me, if you would, saying, “Lord, I want to. I choose to experience the power of God in my life like never before.” Amen. Amen.


God is not willing that any perish, but that everyone come to repentance. Don’t ever let the devil tell you the lies that God doesn’t care about you. God cares for you supremely. He showed it on Calvary’s cross, and He’s looking forward soon to take you all home with Him.


Shall we pray? Father, thank You, thank You for who You are. Thank You for the power of God in each one of our lives. And, Father, thank You for these stories of others who experienced tremendous silence, but yet hung on, hung in there, because they knew that You loved them. Father, look upon our audience today, those at home, those here, and put Your arm around us. Hold us closely. Whisper it in our ears, “I love you.” Thank You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


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