I called him but he did not answer. (Song of Songs 5:6)
That seems like a strange title for a word of encouragement, doesn’t it? How could it possibly be that no answer could ever be the best answer to the cry of our heart? The answer is . . . when that “no answer” comes to us from out of this world!
Here is what we must keep in view: when the Bible says, “Ask and you shall receive” (Matthew 7:7), we must remember that “no answer” may very well be the best possible answer for us to receive, because it means that our Lord has something better for us in the future. When Jesus says “No” or “Wait,” He is not working to frustrate our desires or punish us. Rather, He intends to bless us with something better that we did not ask for . . . perhaps something we did not even imagine!
If it pleases God to set us on the pathway of patience, you can be sure it is for our good and His glory. Our Lord knows the beginning from the end; He wrote every aspect of our story long before we drew our first breath (Psalm 139:16). He knows exactly what we need, when we need it, and how we need it to be delivered. And often what we need is His “no response,” so that we might continue to grow in our trust in Him . . . which is the very best thing we can do!
If God sent His Son to die on a cross for us so that we might have eternal life, what do you think He will deny from the registry of our request? Surely God will not withhold anything that would assist Him in the accomplishment of His purpose and His plan in our lives. When heaven seems silent, we are being sanctified by His mercy. When the golden gate seems to be locked tight when we knock, we are being conformed ever more into the image of Jesus by His grace.
When the cry of the weeping prophet Jeremiah echoes in our own heart—“You have covered yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can get through” (Lamentations 3:44)—we must not let our confidence in our Lord be shaken. How could we, when we know that our Lord Jesus has a bottle in which to collect our every tear? (Psalm 56:8). We have not shed even one tear that has dropped to the ground unnoticed. Every tear we have ever shed has been gently wiped away by His nail-scarred hand. When Jesus said He would never leave us or forsake us, He meant what he said!
Be encouraged today, beloved. Your prayers may seem to return to you with “no answer,” but that is not because they have gone unheard. It is because the One who loved you enough to take your nails, your crown of thorns, and your cross intends to bless you with an answer far better—whether it is presently delivered to you as “No” or “Wait.” When we call to Jesus and believe He has not answered, that is only because we haven’t heard what we wanted to hear. But you can trust that He has heard, and that He fully intends to give you the best answer. As He said to His disciples:
Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:9-11)
Keep calling on your loving heavenly Father, Christian, knowing that with every call He is conforming you more and more into the likeness of His Son.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!