Do you ever wonder if God hears our cry for Him to do something? Perhap’s it’s been a long season of praying and not seeing any answers. Do you think, maybe He’s not listening, maybe He doesn’t know, maybe He doesn’t want to fix this? I think the real problem isn’t whether or not He hears us, but whether or not, we hear Him. Too often, I just miss His answers, or maybe I’m just not intentionally looking for them. And I too often look only for answers as I want them to appear!
Daily we see people listening intently through ear buds of one kind of another. We put these in our ears to we can clearly hear a podcast, music, or zoom conference. We are intentional about making an effort to hear well through these devices.
Do we intentionally make this kind of effort to hear from God?
Recently my family experienced a distressing event that included betrayal and caused great pain. As we walked in this situation, we were praying and seeking God’s wisdom and direction. The morning following this difficult news, I was on my deck as usual, spending unhurried time with the Lord. Unhurried time in this season of life is due not only to pandemic, but also retirement! I want to share with you how God spoke as I was praying for help and listening intently.
I started that day with this online devotional, Renew from LifeWay:
You can hear the desperation in David’s words: “Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Ps. 61:1-3, NKJV).
Many of us, like David, have experienced seasons of feeling overwhelmed: the simplest tasks are a chore, and we have difficulty focusing on anything but our own anguish. We wake up terrified of everything and nothing. We long for escape but have nowhere to hide.
The Amplified Bible renders verse 2b as “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I [yes, a rock that is too high for me].” Why would David, who felt utterly consumed, long for a rock too high for him?
Because that Rock is God, who is far greater than anything that tries to annihilate His children. He’ll overwhelm that which overwhelms us. He’s a deluge when we’re being consumed by fire — but He’s a blazing fire when we’re drowning.
Will He “make it all go away”? Not necessarily. But we’re “able to do all things through Him who strengthens [us]” (Phil. 4:13).
Today, if you feel overwhelmed by a crisis or simply the stresses of life, commit this verse to memory: “The Lord will march forth like a mighty hero; he will come out like a warrior, full of fury. He will shout his battle cry and crush all his enemies” (Isa. 42:13, NLT).
Timely, right? He alone is our ROCK! Stability in uncontrollable situations. He is the one who fights for us against injustice.
Then my Bible reading that morning took me to Psalm 37 and Matthew 14. Here was God’s Word to me from Psalm 37:1-8.
Do not be agitated by evildoers; do not envy those who do wrong. For they wither quickly like grass and wilt like tender green plants. Trust in the Lord and do what is good; dwell in the land and live securely. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act, making your righteousness shine like the dawn, your justice like the noonday. Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for him; do not be agitated by one who prospers in his way, by the person who carries out evil plans. Refrain from anger and give up your rage; do not be agitated — it can only bring harm.
He is bigger than our adversaries, and we can trust Him to act on our behalf as we commit our way to Him. Again, timely words of wisdom for me to read, and for me to share with loved ones. I truly believe when God teaches us, He will also use it to encourage others!
Next as I was reading Matthew 14 from my Foundations NT260 reading plan, I saw myself in the lives of the disciples who doubted. First there’s the feeding of the 5000+ that seemed impossible to those guys. But, Jesus supplied all that was needed, plus leftovers, out of 5 loaves and 2 fish.
Next Jesus “made” the disciples get into a boat to cross to the other side of the sea while He went up on a mountain to pray. As the storm approached and the men feared for their lives, Jesus walks across the sea to their boat. Now, they feared the waves AND the ghost walking toward them!
Once Jesus calms their fears, telling them to “have courage”, and once they recognized Him, Peter tells Him to call him onto the waves as well. He walks strong till he notices he’s actually walking on water with a stormy sea surrounding Him. That’s when he sinks and Jesus takes his hand to rescue him. Then He tells Peter he lacks faith.
So, here is how God used this to encourage me:
- Jesus performs miracles and I do not need to doubt His power and control over ALL situations. He has more than enough to handle any situation. (v. 13-21)
- Jesus prays for us in situations He leads us into and when things get turbulent (v. 22-23)
- I do not need to fear, I just need to recognize Him (v. 24-26)
- Jesus calms our storms in life, or He allows us to walk on those stormy waves with courage, knowing that He is with us (v. 27-29)
- When we sink, Jesus holds out His hand for us to take hold of (v. 31)
- Jesus will calm our storms, and our hearts in the midst of those storms (v. 32)
- I must recognized and acknowledge Jesus as our sovereign Savior (v. 33)
These are the truths that calmed my heart on that day, and truths I was able to share to encourage my family.
Why do we doubt and question God’s ability to calm storms of life? Why do we feel so overwhelmed and begin to doubt Him? He cares, He’s praying for us, and He is able to walk with us every step on those terrifying waves to give us peace. I know it to be true, I’ve experienced it so many times before, and today I trust Him with this storm and all the future ones I will face. I pray you do too.
So, that day, I was listening and I heard Him, loud and clear, speak into my family’s situation. What if I’d missed these Truths? Like my air pods that run out of power, and I haven’t taken the time to charge them, what I would hear is dead silence! I must be actively listening (with charged air pods) and asking Him to speak…then I must LISTEN as He responds. Will you listen to Him today? Pour out your heart, listen in silence, read His Word, then receive peace knowing He’s working.