Holy Desperation

By Carter Conlon

You and I are living in what I call “an hour of holy desperation.”

Our society is degenerating very rapidly, and horrific crimes are occurring so
often that we are becoming dulled to it all. The abnormal is becoming normal;
evil is becoming good. As you look around perhaps you wonder, “How do I fit
into this moment in time? What can God do through my life? And if He is going
to do something, why is it that my prayers, that I know are according to His
Word, have not yet been answered?”

To help address some of these questions, let’s look at another time in
history when a desperate hour came upon a nation. The book of First Samuel
speaks of a season when there was no clear word or vision. The priesthood that
was supposed to represent God was instead deeply compromised (see 1 Samuel
2:22-24, 3:1). God’s character, purpose, and mind were hidden from the
people, leaving them without answers to the questions in their hearts: “What
is happening in our society? Where are we going?”

This situation was very similar to the day in which we live when it seems as if
the presence of God—His power and provision that we have known throughout our
history—is suddenly gone. It appears that the enemies of God now have the
upper hand, dictating to us when we can pray, what we can teach our children,
what is right and what is wrong. As a result, a deep cry is beginning to form
in the hearts of the people.

Psalm 107 speaks of these seasons of holy desperation that recurred throughout
history. The psalmist describes a people who were wandering, hungry, fainting
and held captive. It was a time marked by a foolish handling of the truth of
God. Yet it is in these very moments of desperation that the general population
begins to cry out to God, as is beginning in our day. There is a cry rising in
this generation—a cry not necessarily heard by the natural ear, but God hears
it. It is like the time He came to Moses and said, “I have heard the cry of
the people and I have come down to deliver them” (see Exodus 3:7-8). In other
words, I have heard their groans of hopelessness. Today the Lord hears the cries
of those whose dreams have been shattered, of parents whose children have gone
astray, of those who ask, “What happened to us?”

“I have surely seen the affliction of my people . . . and have heard their
cry” (Exodus 3:7).


Carter Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 at the
invitation of the founding pastor, David Wilkerson, and was appointed Senior
Pastor in 2001. A strong, compassionate leader, he is a frequent speaker at the
Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the

The prayer and support of our partners has made it possible for us to reach the poor throughout the world for over forty years. https://www.worldchallenge.org/support?src=devo-email

Read this devotion online: http://sermons.worldchallenge.org/en/node/27799?src=devo-email

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