If one googles “How to hear God in tough times” a lot of things come up. Some are uplifting, some are a bit strange. It’s difficult to know what is what sometimes.
I’m learning that sometimes it helps to go back to the old school way – cracking open a book. I came across this great book by Kenneth E. Hagin, Following God’s plan for your life that gave me an answer so simply, I couldn’t believe that I had never seen it this way.
It is nothing new or profound, but how he explains it is the difference. As a Christian, we are often taught that we need somebody to explain this whole Christian thing to us. While this is true to some extent, there is a basic truth from the Bible we can hold on to, to help us on our journey towards hearing God in tough times: Hearing from God is possible at all times. Jesus made it possible when he died on the cross for us.
When Jesus died on the cross, the veil was torn. We can now hear God directly, in our own personal quiet times.
Matthew 27:51 says “At that moment the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split.”
What was this moment? This was the moment that Jesus took up our sin and iniquities, and died on the cross for us. In the Old Testament, under the old covenant, only priests could enter the temple and commune directly with God. Everybody else had to work with what God told the priest, and rarely were messages personal.
Under the old covenant, it would have been very difficult to access God directly and hear a specific individual word to get you through a tough time. But thank God for Jesus! In the new covenant that Jesus established by dying on the cross for us, we can now access God directly. He is willing and eagerly waiting to commune with us.
How do I know this? Hebrews 10:19-22 tells us that Jesus provided a direct way for us to draw near to God, through him as our high priest.
…..and so dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus…..Hebrews 10: 19, New Living Translation
How then do we get to that place where we can hear God in tough times?
This is where Kenneth Hagin’s book gave me a practical, heart moving idea on how to do this:
Start by Praising God. It will still your heart and allow you to hear him.
Jesus left us a helper, the Holy Spirit. He speaks to us, deep within us, but sometimes His voice can be drowned out by the chaos we find ourselves in. I find that this happens a lot to me when I have not been spending enough time just being still before the Lord. Even when our bibles are open in front of us, our minds can be racing in a hundred different directions, not being still to hear the gentle promptings of the Holy Spirit.
During such time, divinely inspired praise and worship can help to calm us and bring us to that place of stillness. This can be your favorite psalm from the Bible, or that gospel song that takes you to a better place. Linger in His Presence, loving him and worshipping him for all that he is and all that he has done for you. Sing your song, praise God and see him speak to your heart!
Through Jesus therefore, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.Hebrews 13:15
Ministering to God in praise and worship helps us to quiet our minds and emotions, and be still before him. God is waiting to speak with us and direct us during our tough times. Will you try praising him to get that breakthrough?