How God Responds

Lamentations 3:55-57 “I called on Your name, O Lord,
From the lowest pit.
You have heard my voice:
“Do not hide Your ear
From my sighing, from my cry for help.”
You drew near on the day I called on You,
And said, “Do not fear!”

Have you ever felt like you were at the bottom of a pit of despair and all you could do was cry out to God for help?

I know I have been there, you know, those times when the world shows its true colors, darkness seems to be closing in all around when all seems hopeless, then at the weakest moment comes a faint cry of, “Lord, help me”.

When a sinner who has veered off on his own path and thinks that the world offers something good only to discover what truly lies at the end is death—they can develop a sense of hopelessness and fear.

Jeremiah found himself in this position, so did David, Elijah, and Moses, and…well, pretty much everyone in the Bible at one point have realized the dead end road of sin. It as at these moments of vulnerability that people tend to finally acknowledge the mistakes they’ve made and cry out to God to rescue them once again.

When believers call out to God, they see a different response than the world.

“Do Not Fear”

The moment a believer cries out to God for help, the Lord is near.

Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

The Lord knows what keeps people from trusting in Him. Pride gets in the way, a desire to create individual happiness seems to overrule God’s path of peace and so people venture on their own way and it leads to trouble.

A person might even hesitate to call out because they know what they have done is wrong and it can be hard to face the Truth. There are consequences to sin, there always are. Some consequences are temporary while others leave wounds and scars that last for years.

When the Lord draws near, He approaches in Light, He illumines the darkness and sin is exposed. It’s not the sin that brings fear, it is God’s abiding justice that represents all that is Holy. People cannot draw near to God in sin, sin is an affront to God’s righteousness and it mocks His throne. We can only come to God in repentance and humility, it is then by the blood of the Lamb that people are made acceptable in His sight.

Hebrews 9:14 “how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, purify our consciences from works of death, so that we may serve the living God!”

There is something else these scriptures remind me of, as I look closely into Lamentations 3 I see what God does the moment His people cry out..

Lamentations 3:55 “You drew near when I called on You; You said, “Do not be afraid.”

God immediately responds.

God doesn’t wait and watch people suffer and languish in sin for His enjoyment, He allows the destructive nature of sin to show it’s true self so that the sinners heart might be softened to repent. The Holy Spirit brings conviction, it’s up to the sinner to respond. Sure, there must be a recognition of mistakes but ultimately it’s by God’s hand that sinners are rescued from the pit and set free from the embrace of darkness.

The Lord waits for the heart to change.

Before a person can truly grow from experiences, they must first recognize what led them there in the first place. It is at the moment, where the repentant draws near in righteousness, that they soon discover where true wisdom is found.

1 Corinthians 1:24 “But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

How many times do the foolish need to fall into the pit of despair before they grow wise to their actions?

We must place safeguards in our paths that remind us before we make these errors again. Those safeguards are brothers or sisters in Christ, watchmen on the wall, calling out when danger approaches. We are called to uphold others in this same way and as we go about building our walls of righteousness, we stand ready with a sword in hand while laying the bricks.

Nehemiah recognized the necessity for preparedness. The work must be done but the enemy remains, we can’t lose sight of the dangers that persist while we go about the task at hand.

Jeremiah 6:17 “I appointed watchmen over you and said, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But you said, ‘We will not listen.”

The Lord calls out, but who will hear His call?

Our Expectation

Yes, the Lord is the protector of His sheep, a shield in in times of trouble, and yet He equips His people for battle. the church has been given resources for accomplishing the work He has set before them, they must only use them as He ordained.

God is quick to respond, He is not slow in keeping His promises, He works in ways we cannot see, and He restores us when we fail.

We would do well to save ourselves the agony of the bottom of the well and avoid the pit of despair before we fall into it.

I’ve fallen into those traps far too many times and I now must consider the wisdom I need to press on in victory. I hope you do as well.

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