Why Does God seem absent in times of Temptation?

Written by Ken Freire

Just like any other believer, there are certain things in my life that are easy for the enemy to attack me with. During these times, it seems like temptation is so strong that I can’t get away or ever walk in victory. To make matters worse, I start praying to God in hopes to find relief but these negative thoughts that God is not for me or wondering why God doesn’t rescue me from my temptation creeps in.

For some of you, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You have been struggling with a particular sin issue for years and you can’t seem to get victory.

You have become tired and worn out from the fight. In fact you may be thinking that it’s better to give up since fighting has seldom brought you victory.

This is where I hope that the next following paragraphs will enrich your soul. One of my favorite books of all time is The Christian in Complete Armour by William Gurnall. In this book he talks about 4 reasons why God’s Power is sometimes hidden in times of temptation.

Check out this excerpt from his book and let it sink deeply into your heart.

Four reasons why God’s power is sometimes hidden:

But, says some dejected soul, ‘I have prayed over and over for strength against temptation and to this day my hands are weak! No matter how hard I try, I cannot resist. If God’s power is really engaged for me, why am I not victorious in my Christian life?’

1. You may have overlooked God’s power

Check once again and you will no doubt find some hidden strength you had not noticed before. Perhaps you prayed and expect God to answer in a certain way, but while you were watching for him from the front window, he slept in the back door. What I mean is this: you expected sudden relief from your trial but instead God give you strength to pray with greater fervor. Is this nothing at all? Any physician will tell you, the stronger the cry, the stronger the child.

Not only that, but do you not find that you have more strength for self-denial than before? In other words, are you not increasingly humbled by this thorn in your flesh? if so, you have wrestled with a strong opponent – Your pride and wrestled well! What is harder or more against the grain then to force our carnal pride to its knees before God?

2. God may have purposely delayed his power

When you have waited as long as you’re willing to wait and God still has not answered, do not let your own impatience accuse Him of negligence. Instead, say to yourself, ‘my father is wiser than I. He will send what I need, when I need it. I know if he withholds his hand from me at present, it is only because he knows best.’

One reason for postponing deliverance is to give your faith an opportunity to grow stronger. When a mother is teaching her child to walk, she stands back a short distance and holds out her hands to the child, beckoning him to come. Now if she exercises her strength to go to her little one, the child is ill served, for his unsteady legs are denied the practice they need. If she loves him, she will let him suffer a little present to ensure his future health; just so, because God loves his children, he sometimes lets them struggle to strengthen the legs of their unsteady faith.

Not only that, but he can also use trials as the occasion for great demonstration of his power. Supposed to child is toggling along the river’s edge, slips, and is in real danger. What does the mother do? She rushes at once to rescue him! And her arms never seem stronger nor her embrace more comforting than in such a circumstance.

You may be a Poor trembling soul, weak in faith and even on the brink of a sinking; yet to this day your grace lives on, though full of leaks is there a greater demonstration of God’s strength to see such a pitiful, Storm tossed ship towed past an Armada of sins and Devils, into God safe harbor at last? What a tribute to his power for so weak a vessel to foil all the battleships of Satan!

3. The cause of hindrance of the blessing may be in yourself

If your heart is not set in the right direction when you appeal for deliverance, strength will not come, ask yourself these questions when you feel shut off from God’s power:

Am I really trust in in God, and him only, to meet my need? Or am I depending on my own resolve, my pastor, or some other outside source? All these things may be good, but they’re only Christ servants. Press through them to the master himself. Touch him and deliverance is yours.

Am I thankful for the strength I have? In a long distance race, the contestants run at varying paces. Perhaps you’re discouraged when you see so many strong ones pass you on the way to glory. Rather than cry after them, be thankful that you have strength to run at all! Even the lowest place in the army of Saints is a great honor. Are you in the race? It is by God’s grace and that alone; thank him for the privilege. Remember this: everyone (even the weakest Saint) who finishes the race is a winner.

Has my pride stopped the flow of God’s power? God will not keep supplying power if you use it for your own advancement. He knows how quickly you’re carried away from him on the wings of your pride. Because he loves you, he will recall your ration of power if it takes you out of fellowship with him. All this he does for your own good, So that when you’re pride lies gasping, you will be forced back to Him.

4. God may call you to persevere in the face of overwhelming odds

Perhaps nothing that has been said is your particular case. Your heart is clean before God; you have sincerely and pray fully waited, yet God withholds his hand. Then you must resolve to live and die waiting, for that may be what he requires. What greater evidence of your faith and of God’s grace at work in you than to persevere to the end!

Comfort yourself with the promise that when you are on your last legs, strength will come. The Scripture says, “they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31). The profit was not sent to the widow’s house until she had baked her last loaf of bread. Job was not delivered until God’s purpose had been served. Are your trials any greater than Job’s? Strive to have this heart, and know your life is in the hands of God who is full of pity and tender mercy (James 5:11).

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