Jump Start # 2142
Psalms 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Our verse today begins a powerful section that reminds us that not only is God in charge, but that He is there to help His people. Affirming that God makes wars cease and at His voice, the earth melted, the Psalmist reveals that God is with us and God is out stronghold.
This chapter is often read at funerals. It is a reminder that in the midst of the darkest storms, God is there. God is able to do what we cannot. We cannot stop wars. We cannot quiet the earth. We cannot stop the chariots. But God can. This Psalm is a victorious praise of God who helps His people.
Now, the practical question comes to our minds, just how does God help us?
Some would assume that we are to just sit back and watch God at work. He’ll take care of it all. Just go on with your life and everything will work out in the end. That sounds wonderful, but it doesn’t help much when the storms are closing in all around you. It’s easy to see God on a Sunday. It’s easy to see God in the sunshine of life, when you are feeling well, you have money in the bank, and everything around you is at peace. But it’s the nights that change all of this. What about the days when I do not feel well. Not, just an occasional bug, but a disease that will not go away. What about the days when there is no money in the bank and the collectors are calling? What about those days when we don’t find peace? Trouble at home. Trouble at work. Trouble in the church house. Trouble within my head. What then? It’s hard to sit back and watch, when fear, discouragement, and worry fill our hearts and our nights. Problems is all that we see and problems is all that we talk about. Where’s God at those moments? Where’s the help?
Some are waiting for a knight to come riding in on a white horse to save the day. That’s the help they are anticipating from God. Someone is going to turn all of this around. This is why so many look to the White House. Turn this country around morally. Turn this country back to God. Turn this county away from wrong. Their hope is in someone saving the day. On a personal level, some are looking for someone to come and save the day for them. They are looking for the church to bail them out financially. They are looking for a sermon to change their marriage. They are looking for someone to go talk to their prodigal so he will come home. Where’s the knight on the white horse? Whose going to help us?
Biblically, the answers are found within Scriptures. God does help. He has always helped and He will continue to help. But the help doesn’t come independently of us. We don’t sit back and watch it happen. It doesn’t come about through voting for the right person. Our help comes when we walk by faith, trust God and apply the Scriptures to our lives. God has provided us with the armor to face anything the world or Satan throws at us. Satan won’t pitch underhand to you. He’s going to throw fast balls. He’s going to throw everything that he has at you. The weak, those who have not filled their hearts with God’s word, those who ignore God, they will knocked out of the box in seconds. They don’t stand a chance. Trouble, trouble, trouble and they are gone. It’s to the bottle they turn. It’s to immoral relationships they turn. It’s sour, miserable and unfulfilled lives that lack meaning and purpose and direction that define them. They don’t have God and thus, they don’t have God’s help.
But for the people of faith, God helps. God has given us everything within the Scriptures, to not just be able to stand in there with Satan, but to be victorious. The battle is not up in the air. It’s not a contest that could go either way. God wins. God’s help is found as we walk with Christ and become like Him. That’s the hope. That’s the power of God working through us. Does this mean every problem goes away? Health returns? Money flows? Peace abounds? No. But what it does mean is that you will not collapse like the fool who build his house upon the sand. There will be storms. The rain will descend. The floods come. But your faith, God’s help, will keep you standing spiritually. The storms may take your life, but that’s ok when you are walking with the Lord. Ours is not to live here forever. This is not Heaven and it never will be. Our goal is to be in His presence forever.
Got problems? Who doesn’t. Got God? That’s the difference. His help is there. His help not only makes you strong and able to endure, but His help will make you victorious. Give us all you have, Satan. As long as God is among us, we can overcome.
Sometimes we forget about God’s help. Sometimes we don’t realize that God’s victorious. We get upset with family because they let us down. We get snippy with the church because they don’t come through for us. We want quick answers to our prayers. We want everything to be resolved by morning. And, we walk up, and it’s yet another day with the storms. I think about that pitiful bent over woman in the gospel of Luke. For 18 long years she had this disease from Satan. Bent over and unable to straighten up. It didn’t happen over the weekend. Eighteen years ago. You just know that she prayed about her back. Every day, multiple times a day, she must have prayed. Yet, for her, the storms remained. She must have thought that she would never get better. She may have thought that God was doing this to her for a reason. But Luke introduces us to her as Jesus is in a synagogue. The synagogue was a place to worship. It was a place to pray. There she is, bent over and all, storms and all, in a place of worship. She hadn’t given up. She didn’t turn her back on God. She didn’t throw in the towel spiritually. I expect many of us would have stayed home that Sabbath day. We got this back problem, we’d say. Just can’t make it out. Not her. There she is. And, Jesus just happened to be there that one particular Saturday. He calls her to come forward. She doesn’t know why. The audience doesn’t know why. And, right then, she is healed miraculously. God helped.
Had she stayed home that day, she would have remained bent over. Had she blamed God, she would have remained bent over. Maybe we run out of patience with God. Maybe we expect God to work in our time table, rather than His. Maybe we remain bent over because we are not where we ought to be in our faith and in our worship.
God is a very present help in trouble. Do you believe that? His help may not come in the fashion nor the time that you expect. But He helps. His help may not stop the storm. We want the problems to go away. God may want us to become stronger, tougher, more patient, more dependent upon Him and all of that may come through continual storms. Health, money and no drama in our lives are what we seek. What God seeks is our faithfulness, righteousness and dependence upon Him. God helps accomplish what He wills and what He knows is best.
Fear less and trust more. God is near. God is there to help. He has provided everything we need to endure any storm and any thing Satan can throw at us. The victory belongs to the Lord.