Brilliant Words Aren't Enough
"I so deeply feel my need for godly people," a friend said in a numbing crisis. We often shy away, however, during deep hurts, wondering what we could say that would help. Yet, it's not so much our brilliant words they need as our faith.
After her dad left home, a teenager cried, "But, Mother, we've prayed and prayed and Daddy still hasn't changed!" Her mother's faith was already shaky. If only someone had said to that mother, "Do not throw away your confidence; it has a great reward. God is not only in control--He is far above all other authority and power" (Heb. 10:35 and Eph. 1:21).
We can't fake this kind of faith, but faith will come as we pray until we know we are trusting God. After all, "vain is the help of man." Jesus said, "The Spirit of the Lord...hath anointed me to ...heal the brokenhearted" (Luke 4:18). If the Son of God needed the anointing of the Holy Spirit to heal those broken by calamity, how much more do we need to trust the Spirit for His words and timing.
We communicate faith not only by speaking encouraging words but also by obeying the Spirit. Several years ago a woman began coming to me for advice, and we frequently had prayer and talked about her problems. I knew the only way I could help was to say what the Spirit indicated. I developed the habit of trusting God for the right words, and He never failed to help me know what to say.
Then one day she came to a crisis, and God shut my mouth. I doubt that the lions felt any more keenly God shutting their mouths while Daniel was in the lions' den. Because God did not want me to speak, to do so would have indicated my lack of confidence in Him.
My friend needed me to continue to trust God more than she needed to hear what I was thinking. I did manage to tell her that I knew God did not want her directions to come from me.
Finally, after a week of my not speaking to her, she began to hear God. She called to tell me of God leading her to a point of complete consecration. Suddenly, the silence was gloriously and completely lifted. How futile my human attempts would have been if I had told her she needed to make a fuller consecration.
It is easy to try to comfort our hurting friends by offering human solutions to their problems. Instead, we must be content to know God is in charge and to acknowledge that He is at work.
Our friend in a crisis needs more than someone with all the right answers. She needs a listener--not someone who listens only to her--but someone who listens also to God. The God of all comfort will be faithful to give encouragement to those in a crisis as we listen and obey.
"We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28).
Dear God, Thank You for your strength, Your guidance, and Your constancy. I trust that You will order the events in the lives of my hurting friends. Use this difficult time to deepen their personal relationship with You. In Jesus' name, Amen.