when god is silent

Waiting on God When He is Silent

when god is silent

As we read through the bible, the Old Testament seems to flow fluidly into the New Testament. But as we open up the story with Zechariah and Elizabeth it’s important to remember that there has been 400 years of silence from God.

Not one had heard a sound from the heavens for 400 years. During this time, the priests were interceding on humanity’s behalf and all were waiting in expectation of a Savior.

It had been promised, a Savior would come. But as time went on, and the stories of the prophets were passed from generation to generation, we can only imagine how difficult it may have become to stay steadfast and obedient in faith.

Zechariah was said to be “blameless” in all of his ways, following the laws of God. He was a faithful priest, ready for the call. And when he least expected it, he was chosen to father a son who would lead the way for the Savior. The heavens opened and an angel appeared. God sent word for the first time in 400 years.

When God is silent, we must have faith that He is working. When God is not answering, we must remain steadfast in our own faith.

In following Zechariah’s example, we can learn what to do in the time between the questions and the answers. We can learn how to wait on God.

Trust His Timing

God’s timing is perfect. And yet it is so much easier to say this than to trust and have faith in it.

We often pray from our human perspectives, however, God sees our lives from an eternal perspective.

I’ve often found it hard to trust God’s timing when I have my own plan for how things should work out. I pray and wait, pray and wait and as time goes on I become more and more disheartened. Why isn’t God answering my prayer?

When we look at the time between the Old and New Testaments, we can imagine a people surrounded by hardship and strife. Their world was not easy and their troubles were many. They were waiting on a Savior, the one promised to bring them peace. But day after day, no one came.

We can look back and see how God waited until the timing was perfect to send His son, but they couldn’t see it. They just had to trust God’s word, know God’s character and believe the Savior was coming. Those that remained steadfast in their faith, in spite of their limited perspective would be rewarded. And Zechariah was just that.

[bctt tweet="They just had to trust God’s word, know God’s character and believe the Savior was coming." username="NicoleAKauffman"]

Despite the troubles we face, the plans we have and the world we see, we must trust that God is in control and His timing is perfect.

He is working for our good and He is working to reconcile humanity with Himself.

Obey Him

When God seems to be silent, we must remain faithful. I know how hard it is to move forward in faith when we feel that God is not answering our prayers. But oftentimes, God is speaking in the silence.

[bctt tweet="Oftentimes God is speaking in the silence." username="NicoleAKauffman"]

We have the blessing of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, prompting us, guiding us and interceding for us. The Holy Spirit brings power into our hearts and into our lives that many in the Old Testament did not experience.

We can follow Zechariah’s example by remaining obedient to God’s commands to love Him and to love others above ourselves. When we do this, we will be walking in the will of God and we will be ready when God speaks.

Zechariah remained faithful to God, following all of His commands and laws and because of this, God chose him to bring into the world the one who would prepare the way for Jesus.

God chooses us everyday to be an avenue, a vessel for His love to shine to others. We have the power of the Holy Spirit within us and because of this, when we walk in obedience to God’s commands, God will reward us.

Even when He is silent, remember that He calls you each and every day to walk in His ways and to follow His commands. In doing this, we accomplish the will of God everyday.

Wait Expectantly

God has promised us that He will return and we will leave this world for a perfect one. We have been asked to wait, just as the people of the Old Testament were. We have eternity to anticipate and we are asked to be ready.

[bctt tweet="We have eternity to anticipate and we are asked to be ready." username="NicoleAKauffman"]

We can find ourselves waiting by following God and yet shielding our eyes from the truth of His return. But when we do this, we miss out on adopting the heavenly perspective that God bears. When we live for ourselves, we forget to wait in expectation and in doing so, we miss out on numerous blessings.

In trusting that God will do as He promised, we can live in expectation that He will be faithful to His promises and that He will return to bring those who love Him into perfect communion with Him.

I urge you to search the Bible for the promises that God makes to us all. Seek to live in expectation that He will answer your prayers and be faithful to His promises.

When it seems that God is silent, remember the example of Zechariah and the countless others who remained faithful to Him during that time. Through them God prepared a way for our Redeemer to enter the world.

God will work in you too. He wants to shine His light through you each and every day.

How do you prepare your heart during times of silence to remain faithful to Him?



  1. I don’t tend to be a patient waiter. But the story of Saul hurrying the sacrifice so he could go to war before his soldiers all slipped away jarred me. His unwillingness to wait showed a heart that was not after God’s. Thank you for your thoughts today. I can always use the reminder in this area.

  2. Zechariah lived such an inspiring life when it comes to waiting on God, Nicole. I’m so glad you shared about his life and your insights regarding how he waited–so that we are encouraged to wait with hope and faithfulness too. I’m encouraged by this because in one particular area of my life I am waiting as well.

    1. I’m so glad you found some encouragement here, Beth. I love reflection on Zechariah’s life, he is such a powerful example 🙂

    1. VERY true! Finding the joy in anticipation is often not our first response, but it should be! Great thoughts, Heather 🙂

  3. Thanks for these encouraging words, Nicole. It is hard to be patient when we can’t see what is happening, but it definitely helps to believe that God IS at work behind the scenes and that his perfect answer will come in perfect timing.

  4. Lovely words, Nicole. Reminds me of this quote I read a while back from Louie Giglio, “To us, waiting is wasting. To God, waiting is working.” So glad He never takes a day off…even when it feels silent on our end. 🙂 Great post, thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas!

  5. Beautiful message. I have reflected on waiting as I have experienced a time of waiting in the last year. What struck me is when you wrote that we can learn from Zechariah what to do between the questions and the answers. Waiting does not mean we are stuck and standing still. God is always working even if it is behind the scenes. Merry Christmas to you!

  6. Like the five wise virgins who took extra oil and kept their lamps ready for the bridegroom’s arrival (Matthew 25).
    Thanks for the reminder that our Bridegroom is coming back any day now. I wonder how much less I would worry and fret about problems if I could keep His soon return in focus. Lord, forgive us and help us to wait expectantly for Your return. Amen.

    1. What a wonderful perspective, Ruth. If we are focused on His return, our worries seem to fade, don’t they? 🙂 Great to hear from you!

  7. Such a beautiful reflection on the back story to our familiar Christmas celebration! I love the minor prophets with all their wild visions — and all their faithful words of hope.

  8. I am linking up next to you this morning, and I am so thankful I clicked over to read your post! Oh, my! There is so much truth packed in here! Waiting on the Lord is surely one of the hardest things I have encountered in this life. I love your advice…trust, obey, and wait…especially the focus you place upon continuing to walk in faith and stay active in obedience while waiting. I have often found this to be so beneficial during my times of waiting. If I reach out to others and focus on their needs, it surely makes the waiting more bearable. Thank you for sharing what God placed upon your heart. It was so edifying! So happy to “meet” you! God bless you and yours with a Merry Christmas!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post, Cheryl! I often reflect on this topic and yes, serving others in our times of waiting makes it so much more bearable!

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