Why Is God Silent?

photo by Rebecca Barlow Jordan

You’ve called. You’ve prayed. You’ve asked. You’ve waited. But heaven gives no answer. Why is God silent?

Forget the formulas. God deals with each person uniquely, and we can’t always answer the why’s to our own satisfaction. Here are some reasons you won’t find why God is silent.

1. He’s Too Busy

God doesn’t need call waiting, and His line is never busy.  Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things….” Multi-tasking is no problem for God, because He’s also omnipresent. He can be everywhere, anywhere, at all times.

2. He’s Too Big

Meaning what? We’re too small and insignificant? In reality, we probably imagine a God who is too small, not too big.  But in terms of how God really feels about us, read Genesis 1:27 again. We were made in His image!

I’ve always been amazed that when God passed by and allowed Moses to view a small part of His glory, these are the words God used to describe Himself: “Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD God,  compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and  truth” (Exodus 34:6 NASB). Does that sound like a God who is too big or too busy?

3. He’s Too Tired

Doesn’t God have more important things to deal with than our petty concerns? After all, He has a world to take care of–wars, freaky storms, fighting evil–and billions of other people to take care of. We serve a God who is sovereign. He never worries, is never caught off guard, and is always in control. He has no needs. He doesn’t even need us (Acts 17:24-25). But He wants us, and He loves us (John 3:16).

We are His work–and His workmanship! Would a God who has no needs and who requires no sleep (Psalm 121:4) be too tired to care or to listen to His children? To me, that will always remain one of the biggest mysteries I know: that a Holy, righteous God would love–and send His own son to die for someone like me!

Why Is God Silent?

So if those aren’t the reasons why God is silent, what are the reasons? The only way I know to even begin to answer that is to see how God has responded in Scripture. Remember, there are some questions we will never adequately answer. This is one of them.

God May Be Silent…

1. Because He Has Already Answered in His Word.

In some cases, He may be waiting on you to believe His promise or act on His written Word. “The Word is near you–in your mouth and in your heart, that is the word of faith” (Romans 10:8 NASB). The principles regarding justice, love, morality, and other issues are clear and need no further instructions. Warning: Interpret Scripture carefully, and make sure you are not “proof-texting,” where you try to pull a Scripture truth out of context to rationalize or prove something which God never intended. We can all be guilty of that at times.

2. Because Fellowship Has Been Broken

God could be silent because we have broken fellowship with Him. Isaiah 59:2 (NLT) says, “It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.” I remember a painful time earlier in my life when I thought my way was surely better than God’s way. The result was worse than any “icy treatment” or withdrawal of affection from a human parent.

The silence grew; His Word brought no understanding. It was like God placed a temporary veil over my eyes and heart. Thankfully God’s Spirit still worked silently behind the scenes until I renewed fellowship with Him again. God will always hear a prayer of repentance. But if we insist on “cherishing sin” (Psalm 66:18, NIV,) we may experience a painful hush from heaven. Thank God for His promise of I John 1: 9, NIV: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Jesus’ own Son experienced God’s silence as He hung on a Roman cross to die. But it was our sin that caused the silence, not Jesus’. He had no sin. When Jesus cried, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34, NIV), God knew the answer. So did Jesus. But the quiet only lasted three days. Jesus’ obedience to death, followed by His resurrection, opened up Heaven’s voice forever: “He is Risen! He is risen, indeed!”

 3. Because We’re Asking for the Wrong Reason

What are we asking God for? James 4:3 says we may not receive (or hear an answer from God) if we’re asking God with wrong motives, selfishly. Examine your reasons. Is it possible to ask for your mate’s salvation with wrong motives? Possibly, if your prime reason (though it could be an unconcious one) is to make your life much easier with a Christian spouse, rather than simply wanting God’s best for your partner: eternal salvation.

4.  Because the Answer Is Still Coming

In Daniel 10, Daniel waited three weeks for God to answer. When He did, an angel revealed the reason to Daniel. God had already sent His answer the moment He heard Daniel, but the angel had been detoured by spiritual warfare in the heavens for twenty-one days. He enlisted Michael, one of the chief “princes,” to help. If you know what you are asking for is God’s will, keep on praying, believing, and waiting. God may have already spoken, but there could be a battle going on between good and evil to prevent that answer from arriving until later.

5. Because God Wants to Grow Your Faith and Depend on Him

God could be silent because He wants to grow your faith so that you will keep on praying and not give up. He wants to increase your dependency on Him. In Luke 18 Jesus told a parable about a woman who kept bothering an uncaring judge about getting justice for her from her adversary.  The woman wouldn’t quit, so the judge finally agreed to help her.

Jesus explained the parable in his summary statements: “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:7-8, NIV)

What Now?

God will always do His part. He doesn’t play hide and seek. Jesus is always pursuing us, whispering to our hearts, giving us wisdom, leading us on the right path. He wants us to experience His best, so sometimes He may delay His answer because He knows perfect timing is critical.

Sometimes His silence may not be silence at all. One way or another God has spoken, but for some reason we may seem unable to discern His answer at the time. May I encourage you to keep seeking; keep knocking; keep asking, but most of all, keep believing?

What about our faith? Will we do our part? I truly believe that we may not experience God’s complete answers regarding some issues this side of heaven. But in the end, God will right all wrongs. Then, His voice will ring loud and clear, to the just and to the unjust. Every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess His Lordship at that time. And maybe then, all our “why’s” will be answered.

Or maybe not. Perhaps by then, it will be enough to join in with other believers, praising the One we will hear clearly. When the Lord comes back again, we will see; we will know; we will hear; and we will celebrate the One who has been so faithful to us from the very beginning.

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John,saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:1-4, NIV).

It’s Your Turn to Share Your Comments Below

What about you? Are there times when God has been silent in your life? Would you share your comments below? Your words might encourage someone today! You will not be hounded, prodded, or automatically added to my mailing list if you do so. Feel free to email this blog to someone or to re-post on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media, using the buttons below, or to “like” it on my Facebook networked blog. If you’re reading this via newsletter you can always “share” my blogs from the large buttons at the end of each blog on my website here: If you want to re-post any of my blogs on your own blog or website, please contact me for permission first. And if you’d like to, you can sign up for my blog/newsletter and updates at the top of this website page/sidebar. Your e-mail address will never be sold or given to anyone!

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    Comments

    5 Responses to “Why Is God Silent?”

    1. Coralie - Queensland, Australia on March 19th, 2012 4:22 pm

      That was terrific Rebecca and it will be such a comfort I am sure to a lot of people asking “why God why!” I agree with you about formulae. What is suitable for one (accordingly to their nature) will not “work” for another. As we were created by God before the foundation of the world, surely He alone knows how to communicate with us should we need encouragement. It has been enough for me in times of extreme trial to know that God has not left me or forsaken me. He has taught me to “be still and know that He is God” – He has “led me beside still waters” and He has “restored my soul” – He has given me “streams in the desert” without a booming voice. My strengh from Him has been “in quietness and confidence” without condemnation because I have not “got it” when he has “messaged” me. Sometimes, it is enough to hear a Christian CD and a one-liner will be as the voice of God spoken to my heart. I haven’t always heard from God, but then I haven’t always put Him in the highest place either. Right now, I choose to “dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness” and that is enough for me today. Living one day at a time is all we can do. It is written that tomorrow has its own cares. When broken places are repaired and restored, so then is fellowship and then we can give God the glory due His name.

    2. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on March 23rd, 2012 5:24 pm

      Coralie, thanks so much for your timely comments and sweet testimony!

    3. traysee on May 20th, 2013 4:46 pm

      Wow!! this topic an this testimony hit me hard!!! very well put. i feel as though God is using talks like these to speak to me! i feel stript of the doubts fears guilt shame an condemnations i’ve been saddled with. now whenever i read the comments there is liberity. commentator your testimony has been water in my parch land. one day i pray i will be able to help someone stand on my testimony

    4. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on May 20th, 2013 6:32 pm

      Traysee, may the Lord bless you and keep ministering to you daily. Thanks for your comments.

    5. Brian O'Brit on August 29th, 2013 1:51 am

      I had a similar experience Larry. I wept, I cried, I moaned, I begged. Silence.

      I still don’t know the answer why God speaks to some and not to others. One story I read of a lass who did get God to speak to her for half and hour before He threw her out of the window and she said she surivied with just one bruise. In my opinion, it’s risky reading the stories of people who claim God spoke with them and then got thrown out of a window for daring to…ahem, pray! Especially when scripture says clearly that He takes us under His wings like a hen does its chicks.

      All the same I find it discouraging and that’s a bone I have decided to pick with Him when we do get to meet face-to-face; if I make it of course. If you believe in NDEs as I do, then you will discover from all the accounts that in the space of one instance you will know all the answers to all your questions, so I guess it won’t take too long to find out.

      My son, in his teenage years, at a critical moment of deciding whether to believe or not challenged God to speak to Him or reveal Himself to Him if He were real. Silence. Today my son doesn’t want to KNOW.

      Am I bitter? No, because although I am fed up with God over this issue I know he will explain why in that instance I was talking about and I will have to shake my head in shame.

      Job had lost of questions. Did God answer them? Not a chance. But He did treat Job to an amazing revelation of His creative powers that had Job blushing and cringing and admitting to being a sinner after having spent so long with his three friends telling him that he was a sinner. And all those guys got for their “comforting” help was a rucking from the Lord who told them that they had not spoken the truth about Him and Job would have to offer a sacrifice on their behalf; which the great man did of course, and BEFORE he was healed.

      Can we by searching find out God? Not a chance. Yet it would be nice of Abba if He were to chill out and give us a break from the silence of the last 2,000 years. I mean, after all, that’s a heck of a long time without speaking to a soul here on earth in the way that He did in the days of the Prophets.

      Sorry, Lord, no offence meant, just saying….

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