In the thick of their problems, many do not find the time to call for help. They try to do everything they can to extricate themselves from what burdens them. Meanwhile, they find themselves sinking deeper into their troubles. If they only knew how to call for help, they would not have to suffer the way others do. But to whom will they call for help? When the prophet Jeremiah was thrown in prison, the Lord said to him, “Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you know not” (Jeremiah 33:3). These words are very reassuring to anyone who finds himself in trouble. Maybe the reason why many do not even bother to call for help is because of past experiences when their call was ignored. They would rather do all that they can to help themselves than to wait in vain for the answer to their call for help.
The assurance that Jeremiah received when he called on the Lord was that the Lord himself would do two things for him. The Lord would answer his call and would show him great and mighty things. As mentioned earlier, one of the reasons many hesitate to call for help is that their call might not be answered. While this might be true for men, this is certainly not so with God. Men avoid answering the call for help because they themselves are incapable to extend the help requested. But God will surely answer our call because he is able and this is what he promised. However, many refuse to call on God because they do not want to hear what he has to say. In their pride, they have already set in their heart to do something, and for God to tell them to do otherwise is not acceptable. To them, it does not matter that they struggle and suffer, for as long as they are able to fulfil the desires of their sinful flesh.
When the Lord answers, he either gives “yes”, “no” or “wait” as an answer. Jesus said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7). If what we ask is in line with the Lord’s will, he will surely give it to us. But if this will bring destruction, he will be quick to deny us the thing that we are asking. This truth was emphasized by the apostle James when he said, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3). Surely the Lord does not want us to be destroyed by the things that we ask. He knows what the future holds for us and he wants the best for us; he will not give anything that will give us no good eternal benefit.
When the Lord neither gives a “yes” or “no” as an answer, he wants us to wait for his perfect time. We are told that “He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Eccl. 3:11). If the time is not yet ripe, we have to wait patiently. The reason many cannot wait is because of the fear that they will run out of time to enjoy what they are waiting for as a blessing. The attitude of our heart should instead be “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD” (Psalm 27:13-14). We will certainly see all that the Lord has promised in this lifetime. We should not subscribe to the idea of some who are sick that they will see their healing in the next life where there is no more crying, weeping and pain. No, if we believe in the healing grace of the Lord, we will see his promised healing here in the land of the living.
When are we to call on the Lord? The Lord said, “Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me” (Psalm 50:14-15). We need to develop a deep relationship with the Lord so that when trouble comes, we can quickly call on him for deliverance. In times of plenty where there is no urgency to call for help since we have everything that we need, we should not neglect to thank the Lord. We should always respond to the Lord’s goodness to us with a grateful heart.
The Lord will indeed show us great and mighty things that we know not. And what could be greater than the salvation of our soul. Again, the Lord says, “Because he loves me, I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation” (Psalm 91:14-16). Yes, God himself has now revealed to us our salvation through Christ Jesus. Therefore, let us call on the Lord. Let us always remember that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Hallelujah!