“In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free:” (Psalm 188:5, NLT).
Distress. It is a place of despair—a place where you feel deserted and alone—a place where your mind runs havoc with worry. Are you distressed at this very moment? Is life overwhelming, and is fear choking your faith? Your distress, instead of a place of imprisonment, can become a place of freedom. The Lord waits for you to come to Him. He waits for your need to come to His altar. When you turn to the Lord in prayer, He answers with the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead. When you surrender all at His altar, you too are raised into the freedom of new life.
“Let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God,” the writer to the Hebrews imparts. “There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” (Hebrews 4:16, NLT). He waits at His throne of grace with a love that looks beyond your failures and sin, and recognizes your need. He waits with a grace so forgiving and so complete that nothing can impede it powers to change your life. When you come in distress and torment your soul cries out for His mercy and for His help. Your soul thirsts for His grace when your heart is strained to the breaking point. His mercy forgives, and His grace lifts you up when you have fallen down. You come to His altar—to the all-powerful, infinite, and sovereign God who can move mountains and change circumstances and lives.
There—at His altar—He waits for you to come to Him, this omnipotent God, who yearns to love you intimately and wants to call you His child. There, on your knees in complete surrender, you receive His mercy and His forgiveness—there you find freedom from sin that that has claimed your heart. There you discover freedom from despair and worry. He lifts your head to meet His gaze, and you are lost in the love of His sacrifice. You receive His grace to meet any need. You are free in His forgiveness and love. You know He has not only redeemed your soul, but redeemed all that has burdened your heart and tormented your mind. You rise in His grace and freedom. You rise in victory and joy. You rise in peace and purpose. You rise free from sin and free from self. You rise in His new life—set free by the Savior who by His sacrifice opened this throne of grace to you. You rise in new life because you have knelt before Him, and allowed Him to own you heart.