Written by Scott Leong

9/20/2017

He will hear you, and he will work for good for you


We don’t have to be taught how to call for help. From the moment we’re born, we know there’s a connection between crying and getting fed. But we also learn quickly that we don’t receive help 100% of the time. When we were newborns, our parents did not come to rock us back to sleep every single time we cried. Even though we may have cried out with all of the strength our tiny lungs could muster, there were times they were either sleeping too deeply to hear us, or they heard us and decided not to come.

So what causes the disconnect between calling out and receiving help?

It could be that the one you call is either unable to hear you or unable to help you. My phone is not a waterproof phone. I dropped it in a river last summer. It wasn’t waterproof then, either. Thankfully, I knew the proper way to minimize damage: keep it turned off and keep blowing cool, dry air at or around the ports for a couple days before turning it back on. But while my phone functions, sometimes I think it lies to me about how much reception I have. On the rare occasion I receive a call, I can never be sure whether the person on the other line can actually hear me. And if I were to call 9-1-1, I couldn’t be certain any help would come.

Even if the one you call hears you, he may be unable to help. It doesn’t matter how enthusiastically you’re calling out to your god if he is powerless to save you. Like the sailors in Jonah, or the false prophets in the times of Elijah the prophet, those who put their faith in false gods will ultimately be disappointed. Even if their gods somehow could hear their cries, they’d still be powerless to calm a storm or send down fire from heaven.

Or it could be that the one you call is unwilling to help you. Prince Adam definitely had the room to house the beggar at the beginning of Beauty and the Beast, and he definitely heard her pleas, but he still turned the woman away. When we ask for help from others, we’re often unsure whether they’ll agree to help or not.

In times of trouble, we all call for help. The real issue is not learning how to call, but learning whom to call.

The psalmist David knew whom to call out to in times of distress. In Psalm 40, he describes his experience like this:

I waited patiently for the LORD;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.

Where others cannot hear you, our God inclines to hear us. We don’t have to worry about a waterlogged phone or bad reception. We can have confidence, as the apostle John says, that “if we ask anything according to his will he hears us” (1 John 5:11). Our heavenly Father, who tracks the flight of every single sparrow, surely listens when his beloved child cries out to him.

Where others try and cannot help, God is the all-powerful Creator and Sustainer of the universe. He can accomplish anything he sets his mind to. The psalmist exclaims, “Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps” (Psalm 135:6).

And where others are unwilling to help you, our Savior paid the ultimate price to rescue us. There is no question that God is for us: “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)

But what if “all things” isn’t exactly the help we hoped for when we called? What should we think when we beg and beg, but the storm will not break? When the job doesn’t come? When the loneliness won’t end?

Think back to the newborn baby. Why didn’t our parents come every time we called? Because they knew what was best for us—that to yield each time would spoil us. That to spoil us would stunt our emotional growth. In the same way, our Father would never give us anything that would get in the way of our growth in holiness. He gives us exactly what we need at exactly the right time.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). As we sang this past Sunday, we have a good, good Father who works all things for good.

And in the care of that good, good Father, all that remains for us is childlike faith. Sometimes the storm doesn’t break, not for a long time. We must believe that is a good thing for us. And sometimes it does break. We must believe that that, too, is a good thing. And sometimes it breaks, but only after you get rudely awakened and hurled into the sea and swallowed by a fish. Again, a good thing. There’s a trend here—God always does good to us. He always does good for us.

When you face trials and tribulation, call out to your God. He will hear you, and he will work for good for you.

ScottScott is a member of our Music Ministry. He is usually seen grooving to tasty bass lines. In his spare time, Scott enjoys reading Fantasy novels and watching professional League of Legends.