Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Crying Out in Thanksgiving

Season: Crying Out

Leslie Basham: Here's Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I've often said to women, and these words have come back to haunt me many times, "Anything that makes me need God is a blessing." It's a blessing. Anything that makes me keep crying out to the Lord is a blessing.

Leslie Basham: It's Thursday, June 23rd, and you're listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

All this week we've been learning how important it is to cry out to God whenever trouble presents itself. That means asking for His help, but it can also mean crying out in thanksgiving. We'll find out more today. Here's Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: We're looking at Psalm 55 where David gives a personal testimony of a time when he was depressed; he was discouraged; he was despondent. Aren't you glad that the Scripture gives us those very honest views of the saints? I relate to some of those passages more than I'd like to admit, and I find that when my own heart is discouraged it's so helpful to go back to the Scripture, back to those Psalms, and find out what do these men of God do when they're in trouble.

Over and over again we see in the scripture one thing they did was cry out to the Lord. So in Psalm 55 David says: "I'm overwhelmed with fearfulness and trembling, and I'm feeling as if I'm going to die."

This was really a desperate situation he was in. "I want to escape! I want to get out of the pain."

So many of us as women today are trying to escape the pain of living in this very real world. Husbands don't always walk with God, and children aren't always obedient. People do lose jobs, and some bosses really are unreasonable.

Often we try to anesthetize the pain with food, with TV, with shopping, with the telephone reaching out to others for a few moments that makes us feel better. But then we get the bill, or we get on the scales, or the friend moves away, and we find out the place, the person, the thing we turned to for help isn't always there.

So David said: "As for me, I will call upon God and the Lord shall save me." Then verse 17: "Evening and morning and at noon I will pray and cry aloud and He shall hear my voice."

We saw yesterday that David cried out to the Lord. There are other people we can turn to, but they cannot hear. They cannot help in the way that God can. I think of those Old Testament passages. One of them in 1 Kings chapter 18 where the prophets of Baal cried out to Baal and said, "Oh Baal hear us, hear us, hear us!" (verse 26). "They cut themselves with lances and knives from morning to afternoon they cried out to Baal." And what does the Scripture say? "No one heard. No one listened. No one answered" (verses 28-9, paraphrased).

You say, "Well, I would never do that to idols." Well, who are you crying out to? Are you crying out to something or someone less than the One who's able to hear and answer your cry? Many times in the Old Testament we read this concept: Go to the people or the things you cried out to and see if they can save you now. They can't. And so David cried out to the Lord.

Then we saw that David was persistent in crying out. Evening and morning and at noon, day after day I will cry out to the Lord. I think mothers understand this probably as well as anyone. There's not a mother in this room who hasn't cried out to the Lord.

Whether the children are infants and it's that season of life where you're just exhausted because you're not getting sleep at night. That's a hard time of life whether it's when you've got three toddlers or you've got three teenagers or you've got your empty nest but you've got those grown children and grandchildren. Every single season of life a mother has reason to be crying out to the Lord. That's not a bad thing.

I've often said to women, and these words have come back to haunt me many times, "Anything that makes me need God is a blessing." Someone said to me recently--I was out on the road doing a conference--someone was thanking me for the ministry of Revive Our Hearts. They said, "You make it sound so easy." And I'm thinking, "If only you knew. If only you knew the crying out to the Lord."

Now I don't want to make it sound like it's a miserable life. There's a lot of joy in it, but when I'm in labor asking the Lord for what these sessions should be about, there's a crying out to Him that's necessary. And that's so good. We learn from this passage that we need to keep crying out, keep crying out, keep crying out.

That's why Jesus said in Luke chapter 18:1 that we should keep praying and not grow faint, not give up. Aren't you glad that we have a heavenly Father who never gets tired of His children crying out to Him?

Well, there's another insight in this passage. It's fairly obvious, but it's one I've missed a lot of times. In verse 17 David says: "I will pray and cry aloud."

Cry aloud. Many times in the Scriptures when we read about crying out to the Lord, it talks about crying out with your voice, not silently, but aloud.

Psalm 3 verse 4: "I cried to the Lord with my voice." Psalm 27 verse 7: "Hear O Lord when I cry with my voice." Psalm 66:17: "I cried to Him with my mouth." Psalm 77:1: "I cried out to God with my voice and He gave ear to me."

Over and over again in the Scripture we're told to cry out. Why is that? I'm not sure except that I think sometimes we feel a little foolish saying aloud out of the earnestness and desperation of our hearts, "Lord, I need You!"

But if we don't come to the place of verbalizing it, our hearts may not have been sufficiently humbled. "I need You to help me." Crying out with my voice to the Lord.

Then we see David cries out in faith and so must we. He says in this passage: "I cry out. I call upon God and the Lord shall save me." That's a cry of confidence. I know that God hears; I know that God will save me.

He says it again in verse 17: "I will pray. I will cry aloud and He shall hear my voice." David knew God well enough to know that when he cried out to the Lord, God would hear.

You and I have a whole lot more reason to trust God than David did. We have the Scripture! There are hundreds of accounts in this book of how people cried out to the Lord and God heard and God answered.

Psalm 145 verses 18 and 19 say: "The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him. He also will hear their cry and He will save them."

You may feel kind of pitiful as I do at times when you're crying out to the Lord and no one else is around. There's nothing and no one but God who can help, and I'm crying out to Him. You may feel a little foolish. You may feel very alone, but one thing you can be sure of: you're one of six billion plus people on this planet, but God's ears are tuned to your cry.

Millions of other people may be crying out at the same time in other places and other circumstances, and you feel like one tiny little cry coming out of your lips. How could the God of the universe possibly know or care?

It's like those children in the nursery. They're all crying at once, but you know your child's cry, don't you? God knows your cry. He hears. So as we cry out, we need to cry out in faith that God is listening and to say, "Thank you Lord that You will deliver me." God may not change your circumstance, but God will deliver you in the midst of your circumstance.

I think of some of the circumstances that I'm hearing about from women. I get a lot of email and letters from Revive Our Hearts from people who are living in some very troubled circumstances. I think of someone whose husband is being unfaithful, a sexual addict, and here's a woman with a small child who is separated from this husband and doesn't know how to make it on her own. She needs to cry out to the Lord. That doesn't promise that her husband will come back. It doesn't promise that her husband's heart will turn, but it does promise that God will have grace to meet her at her point of need.

I think of a woman I talked to this past week who is in a situation with a son-in-law who is abusive and angry and sometimes violent towards her daughter and grandchildren. There's nothing she can do to fix that situation, but she can cry out to the Lord on behalf of that son-in-law, on behalf of her daughter and those children.

It may be parents that you can never please or an impossible boss or a sin that you find you can't get victory over. You just don't have the willpower to do it on your own. It may be a family member who lives under your roof or within close distance who is a constant source of irritation. They just won't go away, and they just won't change. What can you do? You can cry out to the Lord.

Some of you are looking for direction, for guidance; you don't know which way to go. You and your husband perhaps are making a tough decision. What can you do when you don't know what to do? You cry out to the Lord.

There are those in this room who are dealing with excruciating loneliness. What can you do? You can cry out to the Lord. And Scripture says: "As for me . . . ." Others may call their friend or their mom or their counselor, and sometimes that's not a wrong thing to do. ". . . but as for me," David says, "I will call upon God and the Lord shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon I will pray and cry aloud and He shall hear my voice" (Psalms 55:16-7).

He will hear. He will deliver, and God will be glorified.

Leslie Basham: That's Nancy Leigh DeMoss in a series called Crying Out. If you missed any of our program today, you can read a transcript or hear it at ReviveOurHearts.com.

A lot of our listeners are helped and encouraged by Revive Our Hearts on the radio and the web, and many give so that the program and website can be possible. We are so thankful to you, especially at our fiscal year end. We close our books and take a look at our budget at the end of June every year. We're thankful for those who have made this ministry possible over the last year including a woman whose life is an illustration of the teaching we heard today. Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I love reading the cards and letters that our listeners send in to Revive Our Hearts, and sometimes I just find them especially touching. For example, I received one recently where the listener said, "Today I lost my job. I am thankful and praising God that I woke up this morning to see the rain and the blessings He brings. Glory to God."

Then this woman who had just lost her job but who had a thankful and grateful heart, enclosed a gift for our ministry of $7. You say, "What good will $7 do for a ministry of this size?" I'll tell you, God blesses a cheerful giver. God blesses sacrifice, and this woman invested $7 in the kingdom of God even when she didn't know where her next paycheck was going to come from.

God is pleased when we seek His kingdom and His righteousness first. So, I thank the Lord for those who are able to give larger amounts and also for those who out of a sacrificial, grateful heart send even $7. As a listener supported ministry, those gifts really do make a difference.

Leslie Basham: Here at our fiscal year end they make a big difference by helping us anticipate the kind of ministry we'll be able to do in the coming year.

If you'd like to give, you can give us a call at 1-800-569-5959 or send a check to Revive Our Hearts, Box 82500, Lincoln, Nebraska 68501.

What if you have to cry out to the Lord not just once but years before an answer comes? Get some hope tomorrow when we're back with Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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