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God didn't answer me!

Have you ever said, "I asked God, and He didn't answer me"? If you have, you're not alone. We've all questioned whether or not God is listening to our prayers. What we are really saying is, "I asked God to do something for me, and He didn't answer in the way I expected, so He must not be listening, or He must not care."

The truth is that we don't see things how God sees things. He isn't human, and He's not bound by time. He doesn't make decisions like we do because He sees all possible outcomes and knows what's best. Our struggle with this truth is that we struggle to understand the wisdom of God's choices.

In the book of Jeremiah chapter 21, we see a situation where the last kind of Judah, King Zedekiah, asks Jeremiah to intercede with God on behalf of Jerusalem against King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Jeremiah did ask God to save the city, but God refused. He decided the city of Jerusalem was going to be destroyed.

Now, we might question why God didn't save the city. But, before we view Him as harsh and unforgiving, we must remember that the people rebelled against God for hundreds of years. He had given them chance after chance to repent, yet they continued to turn from God.

God didn't answer King Zedekiah's request presented by Jeremiah in the way he wanted, but God did reply. Let's take a look at verses 8-10:

8 Then I told them that the Lord had said:

People of Jerusalem, I, the Lord, give you the choice of life or death. 9 The Babylonian army has surrounded Jerusalem, so if you want to live, you must go out and surrender to them. But if you want to die because of hunger, disease, or war, then stay here in the city.

Jeremiah 21:8–9 (CEV)

The king had asked God for deliverance he didn't deserve. God didn't answer him the way he expected, but we should notice God's answer was based in grace. He allowed them a way to live. They didn't deserve to live. They deserved punishment. Yes, the city would fall, but in His mercy, God allowed a way to escape judgment if they chose to obey His command to surrender.

We can find ourselves in this story. We ask God for certain things and find that sometimes He doesn't answer in the way we expect. We may need to endure terrible circumstances, but that does not mean God has abandoned us even if we caused our awful situation.

God makes a way when there seems to be no way. But remember, He might not answer our prayers the way we want. Our job is to obey His command to surrender.

Trust in God and His faithfulness. He will reveal His plan if we are willing to listen, surrender, and obey.


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