Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness, You have given me relief when I was in distress; be gracious to me and hear my prayer.

Psalm 4: 1

There seem to be two facts that are true about calling out to God with the sincere intent to have Him hear and respond to me; firstly, I should actually want Him to respond to the request that I am making, and secondly, I need to be ready to follow the direction and take the actions that He will make known to me.

The Lord listens continually and carefully to all that we say to Him, and He always responds. Some of the responses are hard to hear, for He may not give us what we thought we needed, and He may answer with the sort of silence that requires me to spend more time in meditation on His word in order to gain a clearer perspective on what righteous living actually looks like. However, God’s answers always bring the sort of relief that is felt to very center of my heart. He brings peace, joy, and calm to my most troubled times.

When that peace continues to be elusive, and my heart remains heavy and joyless, then, it is time to search my own motives and look deeply inside at why I am refusing to listen to God’s answers to my requests. I also need to consider the things in my life that I am holding onto that are causing me to remain in a troubled state of heart and mind, for these are the impediments to my embracing the Lord’s relief from my distress, and these are the aspects of my life that God wants me to give over to Him so that I can grow deeper into His righteousness. Then, I will know His everlasting relief from my distress.