My heart is confident in You, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing Your praises!
Psalm 57:7 (NLT)
Series Focus: “Rising From the Valley”
I’m not a fan of mice, but fortunately for them, I am also not a fan of lethal traps. I prefer the catch and release method, or what I like to call giving these tiny creatures a second chance. These little guys have no way out unless I open the trapdoor to free them (and by “I” I mean my husband.) They race in circles, struggling to find their own way out and will never fully realize I am their only hope.
Ever feel trapped? Run ragged, searching for an answer that hasn’t come to pass? Backed up into a corner where everything seems hopeless can sometimes spark the most desperate cries for help. If you have been in that corner, you know exactly what I am talking about. It isn’t an “actual” corner but more of a place where no matter which way we move, it feels like we step into a check-mate position for the enemy.
Our friends and family may not realize just how trapped we feel and we may never tell them. We take on the world alone, and most of the time we will lose alone. What if we didn’t have to lose? If you knew with absolute certainty there was a way out, would you try it? I think we would. We might even feel more courageous and capable. Let me share with you something King David wrote in Psalm 57:
I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill His purpose for me. He will send help from heaven to rescue me, disgracing those who hound me. My God will send forth His unfailing love and faithfulness. I am surrounded by fierce lions who greedily devour human prey—whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows, and whose tongues cut like swords. Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens! May your glory shine over all the earth. My enemies have set a trap for me. I am weary from distress. They have dug a deep pit in my path, but they themselves have fallen into it. (vs 2-6 NLT)
This is not the first time we see David using the words “cry out” in the Psalms we have been studying. Do you think there is a difference in crying out to the Lord rather than praying to the Lord? I believe there is. Praying is something I do every day. I praise God, thank God, lay out my petitions before Him and believe He hears me. Every prayer is important to Him. But crying out is a very different experience for me.
Crying out to God occurs when I have an urgent, immediate, specific need. If there is impending danger, desperation, pain or a life-threatening situation, I cry out. I’m more likely to be on my knees, using my voice and my thoughts. It is in the corner, helpless, that I acknowledge God’s supernatural power and remind myself out loud God desires and will help me in my time of need.
In order to pray or cry out to God, I must begin with a clean heart. A heart of repentance. When I do this, I choose to accept God’s will in every circumstance. His faithfulness and steadfast love are the key to the trapdoor. He releases me, helps me, and conquers my enemies as He did for David.
I will thank you, Lord, among all the people. I will sing your praises among the nations. For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens. May your glory shine over all the earth. (Psalm 57:9-11 NLT)
Do you need to cry out to the Lord today? He is with you, He will hear you. He is your hope.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Reflection: Building your relationship with God takes time and commitment. Do you have a consistent prayer life? Have you built time into your day to meet with Him and allow Him to have a voice in your life? Praying and crying out are both important to God. When have you experienced a “crying out” moment? Can you journal how you felt during that time? How did God help you? Take a moment now to release any cares or concerns you have to Him. Let Him respond.
Scriptures: Psalm 57; 1 Samuel 22:1; Exodus 34:6; Psalm 51