Cry Out to God

By Pastor Teck Uy

Whether we win our battle or not depends on how much trust we put in God. Though many of us profess to have faith in God, we may not trust him enough when we face certain struggles in life. We tend to lean more on our own strength and abilities. It is only when things get tougher that we finally put our trust in him. This was certainly not the case when Israel’s eastern tribes faced their battle. We are told that, “They were helped in fighting them, and God delivered the Hagrites and all their allies into their hands, because they cried out to him during the battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted in him” (1 Chronicles 5:20). It must be noted that the eastern tribes had a strong and well trained army of more than forty thousand, and yet they did not rely on it when going to war. They cried out to God for help and God gave them a resounding victory. God fought the battle for them because they trusted in him.

Many are not winning their battle because they do not cry out to God for help. And if they ever cry out for help, they do not put their complete trust in Him. They reserve the right to change their mind and do what they think is right in that given situation. They take an inventory of what they have and that is where they place their trust. This certainly is not the best approach. In his Psalm, King David, a battle tested king, said, “A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save” (Psalm 33:17). This truth was confirmed by his son, King Solomon, who wrote, “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD” (Prov. 21:31).

We are commanded in Scriptures to “seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near” and this is for good reason. If we keep on walking in our own ways and departing from his commands, the Lord will one day be too far from us. When that day comes, our cry will no longer be heard by the Lord. In describing the helplessness of those that turn away from God, King David said, “They cried for help, but there was no one to save them— to the LORD, but he did not answer” (Psalm 18:41). Certainly, the Lord is not deaf so as not to hear their prayers, but these people are unreachable by the Lord. The basic reason why God could not do anything for those that call on him is sin. The prophet Isaiah made this clear when he said, “Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.  But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear” (Isa. 59:1-2).

The most encouraging portion of Scripture is that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). Indeed, it is comforting to know that God is always ready, able and willing to help whenever we are in any trouble. All that we need to do is to cry out to him for help. Almost always, God will quickly respond, but there are also times when we do not see the hands of God move. In such an instance, the better response is to wait and not put matters into our own hands because the Lord says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). The hardest thing to do when we do not see matters turning out the way they should is to just watch them disintegrate before our eyes. The temptation to act in order to save is so great that many actually extend their helping hands only to find out that they cannot be of any help at all.

The best assurance to receive help in times of need is to have a right relationship with the Lord. The Psalmist said, “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth” (Psalm 34:15-16). While he withholds help from the wicked, he will always be on the side of the righteous. The Israelites found this out when they fought their battle. They were able to overwhelmingly overcome their enemies. We are told that “they seized the livestock of the Hagrites—fifty thousand camels, two hundred fifty thousand sheep and two thousand donkeys. They also took one hundred thousand people captive, and many others fell slain, because the battle was God’s” (1 Chro. 5:21-22).

Indeed, the horse is made ready for battle but it is the Lord that will give us the victory. All we need to do for him to fight our battle is to cry out to him and put our trust in him. It is useless to trust in ourselves because we cannot save ourselves in the same manner that a horse, despite its strength, is a vain hope. Let us trust God and do what is right and he will uphold us with his victorious right hand. Hallelujah!