He Knows My Name
Verse 1 I call on the Lord in my distress, and He answers me.
Songs allow us to express our emotions. Some songs are happy and others reveal the brokenness of our hearts. Our first song of ascent starts with an example of this.
This psalmist begins with vocalizing the fact that there is a relationship between him and the Lord. When we are struggling we don’t turn to a stranger or our enemy, we turn to the friend we know is always there for us. One of the benefits of having God as our friend is that we can turn to Him anytime and know that He will not only listen but that He will answer.
Hagar knew this first hand. After having Abraham and Sarah use her to try to make God’s promise of an heir happen, they chased her away. She soon ran out of water and was afraid her son would die. She cried out to God in her distress and He heard her and provided for her and her son (Genesis 21:14-19). Stories like this had been passed on from generation to generation and would have been things that could have inspired many people over the years to cry out to God in their distress.
As we prepare for worship we should also evaluate the places in our lives where there may be distress that we need to turn over to the Lord. Holding onto the cares of this world weighs us down physically, emotionally and spiritually. When we give them over to the Lord, He can bear them for us and does so willingly. He loves us and can handle whatever we are dealing with. Peter knew this first hand and that is why he wrote to fellow believers to cast their cares on Christ (1 Peter 4:7).
These songs of ascent would have also been very familiar to Jesus. He would have sung them on his various trips to Jerusalem growing up and into adulthood. He may have even sang this with His disciples on His last trip into Jerusalem the week before His crucifixion. He may have sung this knowing the distress that was coming His way. Knowing what He suffered for us can give us even more hope that He will not only listen to our cries but will answer them.
Making It Personal
What is a thing of distress in your life that needs to be handed over to the Lord? Has it been hindering your worship? Is there anything in that issue that you can praise God for?
Making It Personal Kids
Is it hard to praise Jesus when you are concerned about something? What does Jesus want you to do when you are worried about something? What do you need to talk to Jesus about today?
Father, thank You for opening Your ears to our distress. Help us to remember to bring all our troubles to You, You can handle them better than we can. In Jesus’ name, amen.