Where is God in my Trial? – by Heather-Dawn Small

I think one of the biggest challenges we have regarding prayer is the question, “Where is God in my trial?”

So many women tell me that they pray and pray, but they don’t feel God’s presence in their trials. They don’t see Him at work in their situation, or they don’t feel He has heard their prayers. Like so many, I too have felt the same way many times in my Christian walk. Then one day, awhile back, I was reading Mark 4:35-41. It’s a familiar story about Jesus sleeping in the boat during the storm and then waking up and speaking peace to the wind and waves.

I’ve read this story many, many times, but this time one point jumped out at me. Jesus was in the boat – silent, but not absent. What a revelation! How many times had I questioned God in prayer, “Do you really care about me?” “Why can’t I hear from you?” “How long Lord, will this trial last?” “Are you really near?” And so many more questions. But this one point in this much-read story answered my questions.

Yes, God was with me in the storm. Even though I could not feel Him, or see Him, or hear Him, He was there all along. Of course His presence in my storm is predicated on one action that I must take. The story says that Jesus said, “…Let us cross over to the other side” (Mark 4:35). The disciples response was, “…[and] they took Him along in the boat…” (vs. 36).

You see, Jesus invites us on this journey, but we must take Him along with us. And that is what makes the difference when we pray.

We must have Jesus in our “boat.” When we pray we must believe He hears and, even if we do not sense or feel Him, we must believe He is with us still. God’s silence does not mean He is absent from our lives. Oh, how I wish I had learned this lesson many years ago!

As we pray through the storms of life, we must ensure that not only have we accepted Jesus’ invitation to be with us through life’s storms, but we must also remember to take Him with us each day as we prayerfully invite Him into our lives and hearts.

Is Christ in your boat?

By Heather-Dawn Small, Women’s Ministries Director, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Note: Heather-Dawn Small wrote this week’s prayer requests. To view, please click here!

Practical Application: 

Do you feel forsaken or forgotten by the Lord as you go through some deep dark trial? Know that you are not alone. Even if you don’t feel His presence, rest in the assurance that He is near for the Bible tells us, He will never leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13:5).

In Steps to Christ, we are told, “Through sincere prayer we are brought into connection with the mind of the Infinite. We may have no remarkable evidence at the time that the face of our Redeemer is bending over us in compassion and love, but this is even so. We may not feel His visible touch, but His hand is upon us in love and pitying tenderness” (p. 96).

In another place we are told, “Despondency may shake the most heroic faith and weaken the most steadfast will. But God understands, and He still pities and loves. He reads the motives and the purposes of the heart. To wait patiently, to trust when everything looks dark, is the lesson that the leaders in God’s work need to learn. Heaven will not fail them in their day of adversity. Nothing is apparently more helpless, yet really more invincible, than the soul that feels its nothingness and relies wholly on God” (Prophets and Kings, p. 174).

So no matter what you are facing right now, whether you feel God’s presence near or not, know that God is with you! Hang on to Him and don’t let go.

Dear Heavenly Father, sometimes in the midst of our trials, we lose sight of You. In fact, sometimes we wonder if You are even near. Help us to hold on to You, knowing that You will never leave us or forsake us. Help us to cling to Your Word even when we cannot see Your face. Help us to be faithful through every trial and every storm. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Promises to claim: Job 23:10, Rom. 8:18, John 16:33

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  • Sharon God’s child

    Amen, Praise God that we are never alone through each step of the way. And that God hears me when I pray and He will answer because His word tells us that before we even ask He will have already answered. Thank you Lord for loving me so much to care.

  • Dike Emmanuel

    To God be the glory for the assurance that in our trials, in our storms , when we do not see the his foot print it is because He is carrying us. Heavenly Father help us to lean on you totally . Amen

  • April

    I have asked God so many times if he’s hearing me. I know that my challenges were because of my own disobedience at the time, but I thank God that He hears and restores and blesses and loves and looks out, and forgives especially when we ask Him to go with us. Today I want to remember to always invite Him to come and go with me. Amen

    • Beverley Joseph

      God, thank You for being there even in times of disobedience.

    • Sharon God’s child

      Amen. God will come in when you open the door to let Him into your life.

  • Jeanette

    I was blessed by this blog. I think of times I felt all alone and God came through for me. It is remembering how He has led in the past that will get us through the trials ahead. He has promised NEVER to leave or forsake us. Faith in what He says, not feeling….the faith of Jesus.

  • Evelyn Walcott

    Thank you Sis Small for letting the Lord use you to pen those inspired words i needed them my daughter in the uk is going through a crisis and like any mother her crisis is my crisis too with tears i’ve been praying and this morning’s reading seems tailor-made for me. Thank you heavenly Father for the assurance of your presence.

  • Juds T

    So so many times I have found myself in this position wondering if God is even hearing my prayers. His silence at times seems so deafening. It’s comforting this morning to be reminded that God is right there in our ‘boat’…thank you Lord! I am reminded of the following portion of Scripture “Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me. Isaiah 49:15-16 NKJV
    Help us Lord to trust you even in the dark.

  • Justina

    Praise the Lord!! Thank you for these inspirational words of a significant reminder. God is always in the boat with us.

  • Akudo

    Wow! Blessed Assurance, Jesus indeed is mine(ours). I’m greatly encouraged knowing that the Master of the sea is always with me(ours) whatever betides. HALLELUJAH!

  • Lindi Allen

    thank you for this message. I need to remember that He is there and He does care even if He doesn’t answer my prayer in the time I would like or as I would wish. I do need to learn trust better.

  • Wojtek Janiuk

    Amen and Amen

  • Lillian

    Powerful indeed, what a revelation. my heart is filled with joy knowing that he is in control. Those were my questions and didn’t have answers. Great joy indeed.

  • Elnorie

    This is a new concept to me “Jesus was in the boat – silent, but not absent.” Heather, you have opened my eyes. I am thankful that there is hope in Jesus’s silence, because His time to help is perfect time – never advance, never late. I am blessed today.

  • Jeanne

    There are times when I am impatient when God don’t intervene as quickly as would like to, especially when I am going through tough trials, sometimes I feel as though I am asking out of order (amiss). But when I recall Sis White’s quote in the book Mind Character and Personality “….. He (Jesus) weighs every trial and He also measures it” I receive comfort and assurance that He will hear and intervene at the right time.One of my favourite Psalm during this time is chapter 62: 1,2,5-8. Let’s keep trusting because God is faithful and He never forgets His own.

    • TracySimms

      Very true Jeanne

  • Amen,its good to know that Jesus was in the boat silent but not absent,my God is good all the time.

  • Tracy Simbi

    Amen and amen. I am so encouraged Heather, for sure I have been feeling the same for a while now but the word has been comforting me daily. As a single parent, there are times I feel like the whole world is crumpling on me and I have no one to tell or lean on. But when I read the word, I know and feel that I have someone who is listening to the cries of my heart. Let His name be glorified.