Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Racing to the Scene

Season: Crying Out

Leslie Basham: Here's Nancy Leigh DeMoss with an example of effective prayer.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: "Help! I can't handle this. I'm at the end of my rope." We're expressing need. We're expressing helplessness. We're saying, "God I can't solve this problem on my own."

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. It's Tuesday, June 21st.

Once they get the call, emergency workers spring into action, but they need to be called. God's a lot smarter than any firefighter or ambulance driver. He knows when we need help before we do, but He still wants to be called because it's good for us to call Him. Here's Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I remember a time when I was about twenty-years-old. I was just out of college, and I had just broken up with a young man who had a real heart for the Lord, but I knew in my heart that God wasn't giving me the freedom to marry this young man. I was real emotional about this whole thing.

So I picked up the phone and called my dad, who lived several states away, and tearfully told him what had just happened. I still remember my dad saying, "Honey, do you want me to come down there and be with you?"

Now that was more than I needed, but now twenty-some years later, I still remember how responsive he was to my cry, how he heard my cry. His heart went out as a dad, and he knew I was hurting. He knew it was a difficult moment and said, "I'll be there for you."

Those of you who are moms know that the cries of your children are precious to you and that you recognize that cry, and you are quick to run to the aid of that child. It's the heart of a parent to hear and to respond to the cry of his children. It's the heart of our heavenly Father to hear our cries as His children and to respond to our cries.

We're looking this week at what I think is a powerful principle in God's Word about crying out to the Lord. Here's the principle. When God's people are in trouble, when they're in desperate situations, if they will cry out to the Lord, the Lord will hear them and, He will deliver them and ultimately He will be glorified.

We quoted yesterday from Psalm 50 verse 15 and I want to come back to that verse because it's kind of a key verse on this subject. It says: "Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will glorify me."

It's interesting in the Psalms . . . we have a lot of other things we're supposed to do. We're told to sing to the Lord, to pray to the Lord, to praise the Lord, to give thanks to the Lord, to bless the Lord; and those are all important. But one of the ones I think we don't emphasize a lot, but is really standing out to me these days, and that is to cry out to the Lord, to call upon the name of the Lord.

Now what does it mean to cry out to the Lord, to call out to the Lord? This word cry or call (there are actually several words in the Hebrew language that are translated call or cry out in our English Bible) those words are similar in their meaning. They mean to "call out" or "cry out," "to roar," "to shout," "to yell," "to cry out for help."

A lot of times when you read that word, it's speaking about a time of emergency. It's often used to express extreme need or distress. Sometimes the word means "to shriek" from anguish or from a sense of danger. It's like sending out a distress signal. "Help!" is what the word means.

When I was a sophomore in high school our home burned in a fire during the night. I don't remember who first realized that there was a fire, but I know that someone had the presence of mind to pick up the phone and call 911, and very quickly the fire department was there. They came to rescue, to deliver, to put out the fire. We'd all escaped from the house.

Now isn't it interesting that the fire department didn't come until we called because there wasn't a need. They came when we called. And God comes racing to the scene of our need like a divine fire department or ambulance. When we place that call, we cry out to Him; He comes racing to the scene of our need.

Now often when you read this word, call or cry , in the Old Testament, it has to do with more than a normal speaking tone. It means to call out loudly. You want to get someone's attention. The call or the cry is usually addressed to someone in particular, often to God, with the goal of getting a specific response.

When people in the Scripture called on the name of the Lord, they were pleading with God to come and help them. They expected that God would do something, that He would respond to them.

Now in the Scripture we discover that God often creates or allows circumstances to come into our lives that are beyond our control so that God can bring us to the end our ourselves. He brings us to the place where there's no human solution, no way out, and God does nothing to remove the problem until we cry out to Him. God wants to hear his children cry out to Him.

There's a wonderful illustration of this in Psalm 107. Let me ask you to turn to that passage if you have your Bibles. Psalm 107, beginning in verse 25 we read about a storm. Verse 23 actually gives us the context. It's talking about those who make their living by merchandising on the sea, those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business on great waters.

Verse 24: "They see the works of the Lord and the wonders of the deep."

But verse 25 tells us that sometimes in the course of just doing their daily work, a storm comes up. And notice, verse 25, where the storm comes from. It says, "God commands and raises the stormy wind. He lifts up the waves of the sea."

We're so prone to blame the waves, the person, the circumstances, whatever it is that's troubling our lives. We forget that God is the one who speaks and causes the storm to take place. Now there are some storms of our own making, but even then God is not passive. God is allowing those--sometimes even the consequences of our own wrong choices or the wrong choices of others--to become a storm.

Rather than resenting the storm, we need to turn to the one who stirred up those waves and cry out to Him. Verse 25: "He commands and raises up a stormy wind which lifts up the waves of the sea. They mount up to the heaven as the waves; they go down again to the depths. Their souls melt again because of trouble. They reel to and fro and stagger like a drunken man."

You can almost get seasick reading this passage, and they're at their wit's end. That's a key phrase. That phrase literally means "all their wisdom is swallowed up." They have no idea what to do. It's a desperate situation. They're helpless; they're hopeless if God doesn't intervene.

So what do they do? Verse 28: "They cry out to God in their trouble."

When we cry out to God in our trouble, we're expressing several things. First, we're expressing desperation. "Help! I can't handle this. I'm at the end of my rope." We're expressing need. We're expressing helplessness. We're saying, "God I can't solve this problem on my own. I need You."

When we express helplessness, we're expressing humility--our utter inability to meet our own needs, how to fix our own problems. God always races to the scene of the humble. God pours His grace into the humble heart. That's why crying out is such a powerful instrument.

That's why it's such a powerful principle in God's Word because it takes humility to cry out to the Lord. When we cry out to Him we're saying, "I have nowhere else to turn. I won't be able to survive if God doesn't come to my rescue."

When we cry out we're expressing dependence. We're saying, "Lord, I'm leaning hard on You and I believe that You can deliver me. I believe you can meet my need." That's expressing faith. We're saying, "God, although no one else and nothing else can help me in this moment of need, You are able to help me."

So the psalmist says these people who are in trouble and they're in the storm, they cry out to the Lord in their trouble. Then what happens? Pick up at verse 28: "He brings them out of their distress."

Over and over and over again in Scripture you'll read this phrase: "They cried out to the Lord, and God delivers them." Now we'll talk again later this week about when God doesn't deliver in our timetable and why He does it sometimes. But the promise is that in time, God will deliver.

Verse 29 says: "He calms the storm so that its waves are still." The same one who stirred up the storm calms the storm. Then, verse 30: "They are glad because the waves are quiet. So God guides them to their desired haven."

Verse 31: "Oh that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men. Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people and praise Him in the company of the elders."

Remember what we said the end result would be when we cry out to the Lord and He delivers us? Then we will glorify Him; we will praise Him. When you cry out to God, several things will happen.

You will increase your faith because you'll see God come to your rescue. You'll get a track record with God, and you'll be able to look back and say, "God delivered me then and I know He's not going to fail me now." So your faith will grow.

When you cry out to God, you will enter into the realm of supernatural. By that I mean you'll see God do the impossible. You'll see God do things you can't do. You'll see God change circumstances in time that could never be changed apart from the intervening of God.

When you cry out to God in trouble, you're going to be developing a testimony. You're going to have a story to share, and you'd better share it! Don't keep it to yourself. You need to share it with others because there's going to be someone else in a time of trouble, someone else who's wrestling with their teenage child or their hormones or their loss of a loved one.

You're going to need to come alongside of them and tell your story. "I was in trouble, and I cried out to the Lord, and He heard my cry, and He delivered me." You'll have a testimony to share, and you'll be provided with a greater opportunity to do what we were made to do and that's glorify God.

Leslie Basham: That's Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Maybe you need to share your story like Nancy just said. You can share it with us.

One listener recently wrote and said, "I appreciate Nancy's radio program so much. I have six daughters. They're all grown now, but it hasn't been easy. Always the Lord has been right there to lift me out of the miry clay. My husband used to go to church with us but hasn't for a year. It's been very difficult, but God allows us to go through things so we will depend on Him for the answers. I thank the Lord for your program and your website as they help me know there's a friend out there that cares about women's problems and has gotten the cure from our Lord and Savior."

You can share your testimony with us by sending it to Revive Our Hearts, Box 82500, Lincoln, Nebraska 68501. You can also visit ReviveOurHearts.com and follow the instructions to send us an email.

When you're tempted to sin, what helps you to say no? Tomorrow, we'll talk about crying out to the Lord when we're being tempted. Nancy's been reminding us to call out to God when we're in trouble. When we do, it helps us develop a testimony. Here she is to wrap up.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: The storms that we face in our lives are a precious and a necessary part of developing that life testimony. Rather than resenting the storm, rather than resenting the trouble or resenting it or running from it, run to the Lord. Cry out to the Lord and know that He will hear and in His time and His way He will deliver, and then you will glorify the Lord.

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

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