Tag Archives: rescue

To Know God Hears

I love the LORD, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.
Psalm 116:1-2, NIV*

Psalm 116 comes from more than intellectual acceptance of the deity of God—it overflows with love and gratitude.

Three times in these first two verses, the writer says he called out. But what really thrills him is that God heard. And acted.

It’s the psalmist’s experience of God’s answer that compels his loving worship. If this is a David psalm, it’s not the beginning of a personal relationship with God. If it’s someone else, maybe this is the moment when he moves from faith by hearing to faith by experience.

People need to hear the truth about who God is and what Jesus has done to offer them rescue. But it’s the personal encounter when they risk calling out to God that makes it real. We each move from “I have heard” to “Now I know”.

I find myself praying for specific individuals today, and my prayer is that the aching Christians will know with certainty that God is hearing their cries. That His love and peace will sustain them.

And I’m praying for ones who are wandering to cry out to God and be amazed that God is hearing—and that His answer is distinctly personal and life changing.

I love you, LORD, for You  hear each voice, You hear each cry for mercy. Reassure us that You hear, and let us experience the wonder of Your deliverance from whatever is crushing us.  As we walk through Holy Week, I praise You for this ultimate proof that You have heard the cries and groans all through time, and that humanity can say, “when I/we was/were in great need, He saved me/us.” 

Here’s a classic from the newsboys: “Thrive.” When He touches us, we know we’re alive.

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Where is God in Haiti?

It doesn’t take a tragedy on the magnitude of the one in Haiti to get people asking “Where was God?” and “Why did He let this happen?”

I’m sure God doesn’t mind honest questions. He knows us, knows our finite understanding and the troubles that are too deep to articulate. I’m equally sure He does not appreciate it when we set ourselves up as His judges, especially since we don’t have all the information.

Whatever our circumstances, it’s worth asking “Where are You, God? What do You want me to learn?” Another good question is “What do You want to do through me?”

Where is God in Haiti? He’s giving strength to the relief workers, whether they recognize it or not. He’s giving courage to the suffering, if they’ll receive it. He’s shining brightest through the people who are in relationship with Him, who can listen to and rely on His Spirit.

Someone called Jesus “God with skin on” and that’s what Christians are to be: the visible means through which God works to touch the world and to show who He really is. Being human, we fail more often than we succeed, but as long as we’re obedient to Him and relying on Him, people can see the difference.

God is in the details, the personal experiences. He had people in place to help physically, and others already praying even though they didn’t know why.

I spoke with a woman who’d been invited to visit Haiti this January. She and her husband sensed it wasn’t the time. They were in Canada, safe, during the earthquake, and God used her as a voice here for the mission there. An email from one of the mission leaders said a voice told him not to leave the shaking building but to shelter under a desk. The rubble at the exit proves he would have died.

On another mission team, one member felt the need to cut short his time and return home. From Canada, he too was able to pray and to be of service. The rest of his team survived the quake and provided support until they had to leave.

God was in the finding of the 15-day old baby, alive after a week in the rubble. In the elderly woman found under the ruined cathedral, who sang so that rescuers could find her. And in the deaths of so many, including the Canadian nurse who’d just arrived to volunteer. I don’t understand, but I trust His character enough to know He can take all this brokenness and make something beautiful.

If we let Him. He won’t push past our defences any more than He would suspend the natural forces that caused the devastation.

We’re all inundated with opportunities to give to Haiti relief. If for some reason you’ve held off but now think it’s time, here are some links that might interest you:

Hands Across The Sea (HATS) orphanage and school in Deschappelles, Haiti.

Cup of Cold Water Click on the “earthquake relief” tab for updates from Haiti: news of the ministry compound (including orphanage) in Vignier, Haiti, and of relief efforts.

Canadian Baptist Ministries Click “emergency relief” and then “Haiti earthquake”.

World Vision

Glad in our King

Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King.
Psalm 149:2, NIV*

“Let the people … be glad in their King” – not just praise who He is, but be glad in Him – be confident in Him, sure of His power, glad that He has rescued me and adopted me into His kingdom. Not repressed or fearful because of my circumstances or limitations, but vibrant and secure because of the character of my God.

Praise God salvation is more than just going to Heaven when we die – it’s also the joy we can have with Him on the journey.

Father, please forgive us for the times we take You for granted. May You fill our hearts, souls and minds with the light of who You are, and teach us to be truly glad in You.

Let this week’s song be our prayer: “You Are Everything,” by Matthew West.

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

God’s Reign is Eternal

Your throne was established long ago;
you are from all eternity.
Psalm 93:2, NIV*

I wonder what the psalmist was thinking when he wrote Psalm 93. In just five verses, he contrasts God’s majesty and sovereignty with the full power of the sea, and he concludes that God’s rule – and His holiness – will endure for endless days.

Had he seen a miraculous deliverance? Or was he reaffirming his faith in the midst of an overwhelming situation?

The ocean in destructive mode is awesome and terrible. Think of a hurricane making landfall, a tidal wave, or a mid-sea storm devouring a boat. But the psalmist affirms that no matter how bad things get, nothing can shake God’s throne: His authority, strength and rule. Whether we see Him or not, He hasn’t disappeared.

Scripture often uses the sea as a metaphor for the nations who don’t know God, and perhaps that’s what the psalmist meant. Israel saw enough attacks from their enemies.

At our time in history, although there are Christ-followers all around the earth, the world seems made up of “the nations” who don’t know God. Including my own Canada and the United States, which were founded on Judeo-Christian principles.

Godlessness is on the rise, and I don’t mean “people of a different faith than mine.” I mean a system of belief that tries to deny any deity or higher authority. A system that discards morality and holiness.

That may be what prompted the psalmist to meditate on God’s power and to write these verses. The psalm ends with this:

Your statutes stand firm;
holiness adorns your house
for endless days.
Psalm 93:5, NIV*

Natural sea waves don’t ever threaten to bring down God’s rule. Godlessness, either through direct attack or subtle erosion, do.

Father, thank You that Your statutes stand firm. You are eternal and so is Your rule over the earth. You are our Creator King. Please help me keep my eyes on You and my confidence in You, and not be terrified by the waves. You are God, You are at work, and someday the whole earth will see Your glory.

This week’s song is Phillips, Craig and Dean singing “You Are God Alone“:

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6, KJV*

For we walk by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7, KJV*

David Crowder talks about “living the rescue” in his book, Praise Habit: about how accepting God’s gift with open arms, embracing it and living it, is praise to the Giver. (page 40)

As I was praying this morning, it seemed to me that when I live confident in God, that’s praise, because it’s a testimony to His trustworthiness and power. That was how the God wanted the people of Israel to live, in the Old Testament. And its how the early Christians lived: openly dependent on God. If He let them down, they’d fall. Of course, He didn’t. But the point is, they were living examples, testimonies, God’s “Exhibit A”.

God has been reminding me that I need to see what He does, and to praise Him with my words, both private and public, spoken and sung. Today I’m realizing that public praise may not involve words.

If I’m living confidently, secure in God’s hand, that says something. I can tell people who ask (“always be ready to give the reason for the hope that is within you,” says 1 Peter 3:15) and I can speak naturally about God, but it’s the living by faith – calm and at peace – that’s going to demonstrate God’s power. It’s living proof of God’s goodness.

Father, please help me understand this and apply it even in the deepest levels. Help me walk by faith, trusting in You with all my heart, and help me not lean on my own understanding. Help me to acknowledge You in all my ways. Thank You that You will direct my path – please help me walk in it by faith, not by my limited sight. Because of Jesus, who rescued me. Amen.

Let’s make this week’s song our prayer: Walk By Faith, by Jeremy Camp.

*King James Version (KJV) Public Domain