Psalm 46:1 (NKJV) 1 To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. A song for Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
(This week we had the privilege of hosting Pastors Wayne and Margaret Holcomb of The Door Fellowship in Williamsport PA. Here are some thoughts on their messages.)
On Saturday of our recent meetings with the Holcombs, Pastor Margaret shared a simple message drawn from some recent experiences in her life. Two of their grandchildren have been dealing with some things and that is difficult for a grandparent. In both of these situations, there was little that these loving grandparents could do but pray. This falls right into what the Lord has been showing me about waiting and specifically waiting through trial.
Anytime we are in a situation where we do not have control over the outcome, waiting is the most difficult thing we must do. When that waiting involves children or grandchildren, it is even more difficult. Pastor Margaret shared some scriptures that made the waiting easier and lead to victory in one situation and strength to continue in the other. I want to share these scriptures with you. I do not intend to comment much. I believe they speak for themselves. If you are waiting for God, I believe they can be a help to you as well.
The first one is today’s scripture. God is not just a help in the time of trouble. He is a very present help. The Amplified Bible says he is a “very present and well-proved help in trouble.” Whatever you are facing, God is not “somewhere out there.” He is right there with you just as he was with Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego in the fiery furnace. His ability and willingness to help his people has been proven throughout the ages. There are multitudes of testimonies involving the wonderful works he has done for his people.
Psalm 50:15 (NKJV) 15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”
Why do we fail to see God move in our time of trouble? There are many reasons we may have to wait, but God will always help us. One reason we may not see that help is that we do not call on the Lord. It is interesting to me how many times people will exhaust all of their own strength and resources before they call on the Lord. In the New Testament, James 4:2 tells us we do not have because we do not ask. Do not wait until you are “at the end of your rope” before you ask God for help. Ask him right away and see what he will do. The first thing he will do is bring strength and comfort to your heart.
Psalm 91:11 (NKJV) 11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.
This verse was quoted to Jesus during his temptation in the wilderness. It was quoted to him by the devil to tempt him to do something rash. Jesus assured the devil he would not “tempt the Lord my God.” This does not change the reality of this verse. God had given his angels charge of Jesus’ life. They were there watching over him and protecting him. How does this apply to you and me.
Hebrews 1:14, in reference to angels, asks this question. “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” The angels of God are real. They have been sent forth into the earth to minister for those of us who are the heirs of salvation. These powerful beings are part of what God uses to be our “ever present help” in times of trouble. Jesus, speaking of children, says their angels are always before the Father. Expect them to be there when you need them. You may never know how they help you, but they will help.
Proverbs 18:10 (NKJV) 10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.
Not only do we have access to the angels of God, but we also have something even more powerful to call upon in the time of trouble. We have the name of the Lord. In the Old Testament, the saints considered the Name of God too holy to be spoken. This is not true in the New Testament. Jesus tells his disciples over and over again to make use of his name. In the great commission he tells them that should go forth in his name and preach the gospel, heal the sick and cast out devils. In Acts, Peter tells the officials who arrest him that it is by faith in the Name of Jesus that he healed the lame man at the temple gate.
Paul writes in his letter to the Philippians 4:9, “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name.” He continues by declaring that every name in heaven on earth and even under the earth shall bow at the name of Jesus. When you find yourself in trouble, call on the Name of Jesus. It is a strong tower of protection. Run to it when you have need.
Let me conclude with this scripture from the New Testament.
Romans 10:13 (NKJV) 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
We often relegate this verse to our eternal salvation from sin. When we call on the name of the Lord something wonderful happens to us. We are born again. Our spirit is changed into the image and likeness of the spirit of God as Adam’s had been before the fall. We receive heaven as our eternal home and can look forward to spending an eternity in the presence of God. That is the most wonderful and important aspect of salvation. It is not the only aspect of salvation.
The Greek word for salvation is the word “soteria.” This word is translated many ways in the New Testament and the idea of salvation in Christ carries all of these meanings. This word means salvation in the sense we have described it. It also means deliverance, healing and protection. Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved, healed, delivered and protected. In other words, he or she will receive help. Look at Hebrews 4:16.
Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV) 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
We have access to the throne of grace because we are saved by the Name of Jesus. If you are facing trouble, you can expect that all of the power of God is by your side and available to help you through whatever you face. This power will strengthen you inwardly but it will also go to work to solve the problems you face in life. The answers may not always come when or how you expect them to come. There may be things you do not understand about how things work out for you. However, if you trust in the Lord, you will know the power of his ever present help.
Psalm 107:8 (NKJV) 8 Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!