Strength in the Struggle (Job 30:20) - Radical

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Strength in the Struggle (Job 30:20)

I cry to you for help and you do not answer me. I stand and you only look at me.
– Job 30:20

Can you identify with those words? Have you ever found yourself praying for something and God is not answering in the way that you would hope or want and you’re wondering if he’s even listening?

Job 30:20 reminds us that we need to trust that God listens to our prayers.

You’re standing, to use Job’s language in Job 30:20, and it’s like God is only looking at you, not hearing you. I confess I’ve felt like that many times, wondering, God, does it make any difference that I’m praying for this when I pray and pray and pray and pray for something and it doesn’t happen over months, maybe even years? I can think of numerous things like that in my life, and it’s these moments in our faith when we have to ask the question, do we trust the God to whom we’re praying?

One, do we trust his Word that makes clear, he absolutely hears us when we call? So do we trust that God is hearing us and that God has power to answer according to what we’re asking? So do we trust his power and then do we trust his love and his goodness, that God is good and God will do ultimately what is good for us, that God will work all things together for good to those who are called according to his purpose and who are calling out to him? Do we trust that God is all-powerful, all loving, all good, and do we trust that God is wise, that God sees things we don’t see, knows things we don’t know, is doing things we don’t realize? Do we trust his wisdom?

Job 30:20 is calling for a deeper trust and faith.

And as we ask these questions, we start to realize that whenever we find ourselves crying out to God for help, and it doesn’t seem like he’s answering us, he’s actually inviting us, calling us into a deeper faith, a deeper trust in his power and his love and his wisdom, that deeper confidence that absolutely he hears us and absolutely he will answer us, one with help amidst maybe circumstances that don’t change, that he will help us with strength and peace and comfort to get through those circumstances and that he will ultimately work all these things together for our good, which is why we pray according to his Word. Just like this whole podcast is built on, making sure we are praying according to what we know is true, for things that we don’t know what is best in this world.

We think we know and we certainly long for things, and it’s right to cry out to God for those things with trust and his wisdom, his power, and his love as we pray according to what we do know in his Word. Oh, God, we pray. Teach us to pray like this. Help us to pray like this. Help us to pray with faith. God, I think about praying for three and a half years to bring my son home.

This verse reminds us that God is working in our waiting.

And God, I repent of the times when I wondered exactly what Job is saying here, are you hearing me? Are you just looking at me? God, I praise you for how you are working in that time of waiting. I praise you for how you ultimately let us to bring him home. But God, we confess we struggle in those moments to do what Jesus tells us to do in Luke 18, to always pray and not lose heart.

God, I think about praying for people right now who are going through severe physical challenges, and it’s gotten worse. God, we trust in you. We trust in your power, your wisdom, and your love. Lord, we trust that you are hearing us and that you are helping all who trust in you. We pray for that.

God, we pray for so many different things in our lives right now. Amidst hard things, we walk through amidst hard things we see others walking through… We trust that you hear us and that you will help all who trust in you. And so we rest in your power to do the impossible in your love, to always work for the good of your people, and in your wisdom to work in ways that we may not understand, work in ways that we may not see, but to work in ways that will be for our good and will be for your glory.

Prayer for the Rashaida People

God, we praise you for the promises we have to stand on in prayer. We pray for people who don’t have those promises… Who don’t have your Word, who don’t have this confidence amidst the ups and downs of this world… Amidst the deep valleys of this world. God, we pray for the spread of the Gospel through our lives, the spread of your promises. Help us to encourage others today with your promises.

Help us to lead people to receive your promises… Ultimately the promise of eternal life and relationship with you through sharing the Gospel right around us. God, we pray for the Rashaida people of Eritrea who’ve never heard of your promises in Jesus. God, we pray that the Rashaida people of Eritrea would be reached with the good news of your grace… Of the God who hears when we call and answers according to his power… And his love and his wisdom in Jesus. We pray all these things in his name according to Job 30:20. Amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

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