God Cares When We Are Distressed
"I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears." (Psalm 18:3,6)
Have you ever heard a kitten or a rabbit that was in pain? A rabbit's scream is a terrible sound. If a rabbit is caught in a bush or a trap, and especially if he is frightened or wounded – or both – he is probably going to scream.
What if you were to hear a call even more desperate than that of a small animal? What if you were to hear a fellow human being call out in distress (in pain or great fear of danger)? Would you answer? What if you were walking along in your neighborhood one day, and what if you were to hear a voice call out, "Help! Somebody – please help!"
Well, you might be afraid! That would be a natural reaction in an emergency. You might feel like there isn't much you could do – whether you're limited by your age or size or knowledge or whatever the case may be. But if you heard someone desperate and calling for help, you would probably do everything in your power to try to be of at least a little help! Maybe you could find the nearest phone and call 9-1-1 or some kind of emergency response number. Or maybe you could run to find out what was wrong and see if there is some way to contribute to fixing the problem. It may not be very much, but you would probably do all you could!
There are hundreds of verses in God's Word that reveal (show) Him to be a God Who comes to the rescue when we call out to Him for help. The marvelous thing about having the God of the universe as our Deliverer is that – unlike well-meaning humans who might respond in an emergency – God has no limitations at all! He is always present and all-knowing – so He knows when we are in trouble, maybe even before we ourselves are aware of the trouble. He is all-powerful, so nothing could possibly keep Him from helping if He wanted to help.
God does want to help. Being our highest Source of comfort and strength and power and mercy brings glory to His name, and He loves to help His people who trust Him. These verses about calling out to God in our distress do not have to do only with physical danger or emergencies that we can see and touch. We should also look to God – first and foremost! – when we find ourselves in spiritual danger!
Are you tempted to sin? Are you losing a battle in submitting your reactions to God and responding rightly to what He is bringing into your life? Are you worried or upset or afraid or confused about what God wants you to do next? If so, good! It's not good that you are in trouble, but it's good if that trouble drives you to call out to the best possible Savior and Deliverer you could ever have: God.
More than anyone or anything else, God is able and willing to deliver us out of our troubles.
» Am I in some kind of physical trouble right now?
» Am I in some kind of emotional or spiritual trouble right now?
» Am I calling on and trusting in God to help me when I need Him?
Truth In Real Life
"I don’t need explanations from God. I simply believe Him and accept whatever comes my way.”
He crouched at the starting line of the Olympic track, waiting nervously for the starting gunshot to go off. He was competing in the Paris Olympics of 1924, but his chances for winning were very poor. The 400-meter race was not his strongest run, and he knew it. The 100-meter race was by far his best chance at a gold medal, but 100-meter had been scheduled for a Sunday. That was no good. Eric Liddell always refused to run on the Lord’s Day.
Born on January 16, 1902, Eric Liddell was the son of missionaries to China. Spending most of his younger years at school in Scotland, he was known for being both humble and athletic – a rare combination in most athletes. He loved races and rugby; and he excelled in them so much that he was encouraged to enter competition for the Olympics!
He trained hard, and it was a long journey to become an Olympian athlete. He and his teammates were very disappointed when they arrived in Paris to learn that “his” race, the 100-meter race, had been scheduled for the one day he could not – would not – run. Liddell’s conscience felt compelled to honor God by resting and “not doing his own thing” on God’s special day. He wanted to do whatever he could to bring attention to God’s glory. He understood God’s nature and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Liddell’s motto was, “He who honors Me, I will honor.”
So Liddell had a race in front of him now that was 3x longer than the one he was accustomed to running well. The gunshot sounded and the race began. In his signature style, he threw back his head and ran with absolute abandon, giving it everything he had for all 400 meters. When he crossed the finish line, the crowds thundered with shouts and applause. Not only had he finished the race, but he had finished first! He had also broken the previous record! God gave Eric Liddell a gold medal after all that day.
After those Olympics, Liddell returned to China as a missionary. He learned the difficult Chinese language and told everyone he met about the Gospel. Whatever he did – running, preaching, living out the Gospel – he was faithful and gracious. People were attracted to his determination and humility and wanted to know more about his God. His life story pointed all kinds of people to his Savior. There was even a movie made about his story (Chariots of Fire).
Do your decisions and priorities make it clear to everyone around you that you love and value your Savior more than your own fame and reputation? Have you ever risked losing something you really wanted because you felt God would be displeased with you for going after it? Are you truly humble about God’s gifts to you? Do people praise your talents and your gifts only, or are they able to see beyond them to the One Who gave you what you have?
Isaiah 40:31 – But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.