“When you hear the hard news, there are two diverging roads from which to choose. One’s despair—don’t go there. There is hope!” I wrote those lyrics as part of a song that shares what I’ve learned through a lengthy battle with cancer. Today I was talking with a thirty-year-old husband whose wife just found out she has breast cancer. As I strived to give him comfort and counsel, what I shared can be summed up in these words: Because of God, there is hope.

In Psalm 13, David expresses the raw emotions of someone who’s crushed—someone starving for hope. Four times he expresses to God the plaintive words “how long” (Psalm 13:1-2). He felt as if the Lord had forgotten him, and the “anguish” and “sorrow” were becoming more than he could bear.

We can all relate to David’s pain. A cancer diagnosis, a failing relationship, or the loss of something or someone we love can cause us to feel lost and alone. God can appear to be very distant.

The psalmist makes an important decision. He calls out to God, saying, “Turn and answer me, O Lord my God!” He prays out of desperation, knowing that only his Creator can “restore the sparkle to [his] eyes” and hope to his heart (Psalm 13:3).

Calling out to God even when it seems as if He’s far from us turns our eyes from our misery to Him and His mercy. Prayer plants the seed that allows hope to grow.

Finally, David chooses to “trust” in God and His “unfailing love” (Psalm 13:5). His circumstances hadn’t changed, but as he calls out to the Lord in prayer and trusts in His character, his heart erupts in praise—even rejoicing in song! (Psalm 13:6).

Which of the two “diverging roads” are you walking today? You can move from despair to hope by turning to God. Because He’s there, there is hope!

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Exodus 13:17–14:31