Your crisis is coming. If it hasn’t already, or if you’re not in the middle of one right now, your time will come.
And not just one crisis. In his severe mercy, God punctuates our lives in this fallen age with crisis moments of varying degrees, designed for our everlasting good. For thousands of years, God’s people have known “times of trouble” and “days of distress,” sometimes all too well. And the same continues today. Our Father never promised that our being his would mean we won’t have ours.
Over and over again, the Scriptures describe the faithful not as those who never saw trouble, but as those who cried out to God in their crises. The men and women we remember as models faced the greatest times of trouble and days of distress. And God heard their cries for help. He was not deaf then — nor is he today — to the voices of his people, however great or humble, especially in crisis.
In Trouble and Distress
Our God is not just the God who speaks — remarkable as that is — but also, wonder upon wonder, the God who listens. When James calls us to be “quick to hear” (James [1:19]), he calls us to be like our heavenly Father. We have a Father “who hears prayer” (Psalm 65:2), who attends to the voice of our pleas (Psalm [66:19]). Our God not only sees all people, but sees his own in a special way, as those to whom he has covenanted himself in love. He hears his people with the ear of a Husband and a Father. He is not bothered or annoyed by our petitions — especially not in trouble and distress.
The Psalms in particular celebrate God’s eagerness to hear and help his people in their “day of distress” and “time of trouble.” David testified that God had been to him “a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress” (Psalm [59:16], also 9:9; [37:39]; 41:1). He knew where to turn when crisis came: “In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me” (Psalm 86:7). “He will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble” (Psalm 27:5). And David knew where to point others: “May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble!” (Psalm 20:1). “The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble” (Psalm 9:9).