He will call upon me, and I will answer him. (Psalm 91:15)
I often remind our congregation of this, because we all have a tendency to forget it: The Lord does not just hear our cry (which is a truth we usually remember); He promises to answer our cry. Now that is a word of eternal encouragement, wouldn’t you agree?
Life is full of unwelcome and unexpected storm winds that blow our way. From the doctor’s report that the tumor is malignant, to being caught in the “down” part of your company’s down-sizing, to a wayward child, one moment we are advancing according to the plans we have made and the next our lives are turned upside-down. In addition to storms, we are also confronted by temptations that test the outer edges of our faith. During these times, we must cling to the words of this psalm, which reminds us that God both hears and answers our prayers.
Now, this is a word of incredible comfort, but as I’ve said here many times before, we must also remember that God always gives us the absolute best answer to our prayers, and that answer may not look anything like what we were hoping to receive. At those times, we must rest on the fact that to know that God answers our call is to know enough. He has promised to work everything together for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28), according to His perfect plan and purpose for our lives.
We have been given the Holy Spirit of God, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 8:11), to carry us through any wave of challenge that is threatening to engulf us. And as that supernatural power dwells within us, we must be mindful of the three possible answers the Lord will give to us when we call upon His name:
Naturally, you and I are always hoping and praying for a resounding “Yes!” from God. But the truth is, our lives are often marked by “No” and “Wait.” When we receive one of those two answers, they are exactly what we need, whether we know it or not. Almost all of us can remember at least one time in our lives when we cried out to God repeatedly for something, and He answered “No” . . . and today we are filled with deep gratitude and thanksgiving for that “No.”
So regardless of what you are currently facing, be strong and courageous. Know that God is at work and will bring you to the other side of whatever storm you are facing, and you will be better and stronger than you were before. In every answered call, you will always receive the answer that brings the greatest glory to God and the greatest good to you.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!