Reading Time: 4 minutesThis week, I wanted to make the message short, and simple. The points to be made are crucial to our walking in confidence, with Jesus. I have had quite a few people over the past week or so asking me about things such as “why doesnt God hear my prayers?” “Why is there seemingly nothing but silence to my petitions?” “Does God even hear my prayers anymore.”
The first text that comes to mind for me is from the book of Hosea.
“I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness. And I will give her her vineyards from thence” (Hosea 2:14-15).
What a strange place to find vineyards: in the wilderness! But it makes sense, because this idea of The Holy Spirit, intentionally leading us into the wilderness, is reflected upon as well, in the New Testament. The Spirit also led Jesus into the wilderness: Mat 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Luke 4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness!
Is it possible that the riches which a soul needs can be obtained in the wilderness, which essentially stands for a lonely place, out of which you can seldom find your way? And where no human sympathies or consolations, or comforts exist? It would seem so, and not only that, but the “Valley of Achor,” which means bitterness, is actually called a door of hope in Scripture! “And she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth!”
“I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.” (Hosea 2:15)
Yes, God knows our need of the wilderness experience. The Holy Spirit Himself, kindly leads us there. He knows where and how to bring out that which is enduring. The soul has been idolatrous, rebellious; has forgotten God, and with a perfect self-will has said, “I will follow after my lovers.” (Hosea 2:7). But she did not overtake them. And, when she was hopeless and forsaken, God said, “I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.” (Isa 40:2, Hosea 2:14).
What a wonderful, loving God is ours! We never know where God hides His pools. We see a rock, and we cannot guess that it is the very home of the springs of living water! We see a flinty place, and we cannot tell that it is the hiding place of a Fountain. Ponce de Leon searched the world for “The Fountain of Youth,” but our God leads any willing soul to The Fountain of Life, and often, in the wilderness experience
Yes, its true. God may lead me into the hard places, and then I find that I have simply gone into the dwelling place of eternal springs of “living water.” If Jesus just gives me one person I can listen to, and pray for, then I have found The Fountain Of Life. (Isa 41:18, John 4:10, 7:38,
“I called upon him, but he gave me no answer” (Song 5:6). This kind of experience is so well-known to most of us. But the Lord, when He has given great faith, has been known to try it by such long delays.
He has suffered His servants’’ voices to echo in their ears as from a brazen sky. They have knocked at the golden gate, but it has remained unmovable, as though it were rusted upon its hinges. Like Jeremiah, they have cried, “Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through.” (Lam 3:44). Thus have His true saints continued long in patient waiting without reply, not because their prayers were not vehement, nor because they were unaccepted, but because it so pleased Him who is a Sovereign, and who gives according to His own pleasure. If it pleases Him to bid our patience exercise itself, shall He not do as He will with His own!
And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. (Zech 14:8)
Here is an Old Testament verse which speaks of the very Living Waters that Jesus, in the New Testament had referred to!
No prayer is lost. Praying breath was never spent in vain. There is no such thing as prayer unanswered or unnoticed by God, and some things that we count refusals or denials are simply delays. — H. Bonar Such delays are not always God saying yes, or no. I have grown to believe that it is God saying “Wait.” And wonderful things happen when we “wait on the Lord.” (Isa 40:31)
Christ sometimes delays His help that He may try our faith and quicken our prayers. The boat may be covered with the waves, and He sleeps on; but He will wake up before it sinks. He sleeps, but He never oversleeps; and there are no “too lates” with Him. — Alexander Maclaren
Be still, my soul! lift thou no passionate cry,But spread the desert of thy being bareTo the full searching of the All-seeing eye;Wait! and through dark misgiving, black despair,God will come down in pity, and fill the dryDead place with light, and life, and vernal air.– J. C. Shairp
We all desire immediate and direct answers to our prayers, and are tempted to become discouraged when the answer is delayed or comes in an unlooked-for form. But God is too wise and good to answer our prayers always at just the time and in just the manner we desire. He will do more and better for us than to accomplish all our wishes. And because we can trust His wisdom and love, we should not ask Him to concede to our will, but should seek to enter into and accomplish His purpose. Our desires and interests should be lost in His will.
These experiences that test faith are for our benefit. By them it is made manifest whether our faith is true and sincere, resting on the word of God alone, or whether depending on circumstances, it is uncertain and changeable. Faith is strengthened by exercise. We must let patience have its perfect work, remembering that there are precious promises in the Scriptures for those who wait upon the Lord.