Tracy and Marilyn

Devotional 8th February 2018

When in deep distress

‘In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears….He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters…He brought me out into a spacious place. He rescued me because He delighted in me.’ Psalm 18: 6;16;19 (NIV)

Are you struggling today? God is there for you and wants to help you, But can we really trust in His care when we are going through deep distress?

Distress is a big word describing those raw painful feelings like grief; fear; anger and helplessness. It can hit us out of the blue for the most mundane reasons, or imprison us in despair, especially if like David we feel alone and that no one understands or cares.

David was distressed because of Saul, a father figure he had loved and served, but who was jealous of David and determined to kill him. So great was David’s anguish that in his efforts to escape he literally fled into the wilderness seeking refuge in the rocks and caves. But nowhere was safe; even the mightiest rocks couldn’t hide him from Saul.

Maybe you too are in a rocky wilderness of pain and feel there is no one you can turn to? But David shows us a key: ‘In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help.’

I can find it hard to genuinely call on the Lord when distress hits me, I feel more like throwing things, weeping, or screaming…I may need to express those emotions and God knows that, but like David, I need to call on the Lord too. He alone truly understands my pain and can help me, even transform me. I love David’s assurance even in the midst of his pain, that God will hear his cry; that it matters to Him and He will respond. This is true for us too. Our prayers and cries of distress matter to Him more than we can ever imagine. If you read the whole Psalm you see how dramatically David describes God’s anger on his behalf as He hurtles from Heaven to help him. He finishes this section with the words: ‘He rescued me because he delighted in me.’

God wants you to know today that He delights in you and cares deeply for all your pain. He hears your smallest whisper of a prayer and your loudest scream of distress. He delights in you and loves being with you. He longs to comfort you and act in His holy anger and justice on your behalf. Dare to cry out to Him in your distress today and see how He responds.

Father, I feel so distressed today and don’t know what to do. I cry out to you, please help me. Thank you that you are with me and want to comfort and strengthen me. You alone can truly work things out for me and I choose to trust you. Amen

'In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.' Isaiah 63:9 (NIV)

Tracy Williamson

When in deep distress God's comfort