In my trouble I cried to the LORD,
and He answered me (Psalm 120:1 NASB).

In this world there is one certainty for every man—he will have trouble. Jesus Himself stated this fact. “In the world you have tribulation,” He said (John 16:33).

The psalmist made this personal. “In my trouble,” he said, reminding us that each of us has difficulties particular to us. Thankfully, there is no problem we face that others have not faced (1 Corinthians 10:13); but our troubles are our troubles, nonetheless.

The Great Fear

One of our greatest fears is that we are alone. That we are left to our own humanistic devices. That there is nowhere we can turn.

This thinking, which is a deception aimed like an arrow at our minds by the father of all lies, is debilitating, for we know in our deepest hearts that we simply do not have the resources needed to fix the problem.

Only supreme arrogance would blind us to this staggering realization. But the reality that we are helpless is the first step to our salvation and the best prayer we can bring to God. Helplessness pushes us downward in brokenness and upward in prayer.

The Right Response

The correct response in trouble is essential. We can try to figure it out on our own, enlist others’ help, or turn to the meager resources of a hostile world.

But God has a better way, and the psalmist had found it. He “cried to the LORD.”

Notice the action. It was not just a prayer, but a cry, indicating the essential of desperation.

And notice the direction. He cried “to the LORD.” He went to the solitary source that could do something about his problem. And so must we.

The Blessed Promise

The wonderful promise for those who believe is that we have a sovereign King who pays attention to the desperate longings of any destitute servant. God hears our cry.

Again and again, through biblical example and reminder, God tells us that His ear is open and attentive to us. That He is waiting and inviting us to come “boldly to the throne of grace so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

Wise is the man who turns to God first, not wasting time in an arrogant attempt to bypass God. A quick turn to God in the beginning of trouble is the sign of matured understanding and will be rewarded.

The great God of heaven and earth will clearly hear and swiftly answer. It will be in His perfect timing (which may not seem speedy enough for us).

But we must understand that His timing is driven by divine wisdom. He knows what He’s about and will send the needed answer with precision, motivated by perfect love.

When He hears and answers (and He will), there is only One to praise, One to worship, One to tell others about. And this is exactly as it should be.