God is our Present Help
by Richard A. Cox, Jr , Author of "I, We, Us: A Journey of Personal Growth and Development"
“God is our Refuge and Strength (mighty and impenetrable to temptation) a very present and well-proved help in trouble.”
(Psalm 46:1 Amp)
All of us have experienced a situation that made us feel boxed in. In those situations, we have prayed to God for help when time was running out for a resolution. At that moment when you cried out for God to divinely intervene, He stepped into your situation - in the nick of time - to rescue you. This increased your faith and trust in God because He cared enough to show up for you.
When we experience and witness God’s concern about our troubles, it strengthens our relationship with Him. God establishes a parent-child relationship with us; the parent is protective and concerned about the welfare of the child’s growth and development.
It is important for us to study the Bible and know the spiritual rights and promises God has made available to us as believers. Sometimes God creates storms or tests in our lives to focus our attention on Him. God can bless you so much that you slowly start to “slack up” spending quality time with Him in prayer and devotion.
When troubles arise, it makes you realize you cannot resolve these issues on your own. You need God to be your present help to provide:
- Comfort – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 KJV) Let God’s loving arms wrap around you in your time of distress.
- Healing – “For I am the Lord who heals you.” (Exodus 15:26 KJV). That is a promise God has made - if the request is in accordance with His Will.
- Deliverance – “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee and thou shalt glorify me.” (Psalm 50:15 KJV) We should call upon the Lord and expect Him to act on our behalf.
- Shelter – “He shall cover thee with feathers and under his wings shalt be thy shield and buckler.” (Psalm 91:4 KJV). With God on our side, we are protected and safe because no one can match His Power.
- Victory – “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:4 KJV) Our faith in God alerts Him to come to our rescue to give us the victory in our situation.
God hears our prayer and is immediately available to help us. We need to understand that God’s timing is not on our time schedule. After we request God’s help, He is going to use His timing and solution to resolve our issues as He see fit.
It is wonderful to know that God’s presence is an eternal presence. In Matthew 28:20 (KJV) it says, “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Also, in Isaiah 41:10 (KJV) it says “fear thou not, for I am with thee: but be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
God’s presence inspires assurance that we are never out of His sight for a moment. This is why God comes instantly to help and deliver us in times of distress. God also gives us an inner peace independent of our circumstances. It is the presence of the Holy Ghost, which makes it possible for us to choose not to be troubled or fearful.
We have concerns about our jobs or lack of a job, our health, our family, our money, or the future of this country. In Psalm 121:1-2 (KJV) it says, “I will lift my eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help, my help cometh from the Lord who has made heaven and earth.” We must acknowledge God as our ultimate source for all our needs.
In this life we will have problems but the difference, as a Christian is that we are not alone dealing with the problem. As in John 16:33 it says, “in this world you will have trouble. But take heart. I have overcome the world.”
In times of trouble:
- Seek the Lord
- Keep your lines of communication open between you and God.
- Know that God is with you
In 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (KJV) it says, “we are troubled on every side yet not distressed, we are perplexed but not in despair. Persecuted but not forsaken, cast down but not destroyed.” God does not bring evil on us but sometimes He places you in challenging situations for the cause of Christ. In other situations, it may be a matter of time before the Lord changes your circumstances.
God promised to make a way of “escape” in the midst of distress, enabling us to bear certain temptations or trials. In 1 Corinthians 10:13 (KJV) it says “there hath no temptation taken you but such as common to man, but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” That way of escape is the presence and peace of God, which abides in us to give us victory in the midst of conflict – peace in the midst of turmoil. The presence of God in our lives enables us to bear certain hardships and difficulties. God will not allow you to endure an ordeal beyond your ability.
I want you to remember that God is with you always. He will provide the resources you need to lead your life. He will provide strength for you to face tomorrow; no matter what tomorrow brings.
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How, in the Hell?
Every unbeliever that dies an unbeliever will find themselves in a literal hell. Every person whether we are a believer or unbeliever has experienced or will experience their own figurative hell – situations and/or conditions we all go through or have gone through that were so painstaking, tumultuous and discomforting that we likened them to hell.
The question I present in this article is, “How, in the hell, do we praise and worship God?” Is there some equation or formula that enables one believer to retain the praises of God while another, going through the same thing, looses their praise?
Scripture is one of the places we will find the strength and inspiration to draw from the examples of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who have gone through a figurative hell and yet shined in the midst of it holding on to their praise. David had his ordeal with Saul and in the midst of it says, “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalms 34:1). David did nothing and said nothing that deserved him the pursuit for his life. He was just being who God made him to be, a shepherd boy ordained to be king of Israel.
It can seem that the flames of our hell are intensified when we didn’t contribute to the cause of the fire. Not that they are, but it seems to be because when innocence is attacked the attack bears a stronger offense. And what about the hell we catch for standing up for what is right. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood for God and didn’t bow to King Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue and were thrown into a fiery furnace. There response was, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18 NLT). We also draw strength and inspiration from our fellow brothers/sisters that have impacted our present era such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who stood up for civil rights and didn’t bow to the immoral and uncivilized treatment of white supremacists. He and others like him had a hell to go through for standing for what is right.
So what is it that empowers these men and women alike to praise a God that is so good even when they are surrounded and directly impacted by all that’s bad? Before I answer the question I want to venture down another road, the road of those who have caused their own hell and yet still have managed to retain a worship and praise. We’ve ALL been there.....in the belly of a figurative hell and as we look around as we look up and down we are ultimately compelled to look nowhere else but in the mirror. We find ourselves in situations and conditions where we are our own authors. Remember Jonah.........but in the belly of the whale he capitulated and prayed, “...I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise, and I will fulfill all my vows. For my salvation comes from the LORD alone” (Jonah 2:9 NLT). Jonah authored his own hell by being disobedient, but he also authored his own deliverance by praise. God will get you out of even what you have put yourself in!
It is the degree of love for and faith in the Almighty God which empowers a continual praise and worship from a saint of God catching and/or going through hell. No equation, except for that which is comprised of the degree of your relationship (love and faith) with God. David loved and had unspeakable faith in God. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego loved and had faith in God. In one breath they say, “He will rescue us from your power...” and in another breath they say, “But even if he doesn’t....we will never serve your gods...” This may appear to be a contradiction of their faith because at one time they proclaim that he will rescue them and at another time they entertain the possibility that he might not rescue them. Actually, they have faith that he will, but also there is realization that it may not be in the way expected, but despite what He does they still have faith and their love seals the deal to make it known that it is Him we will serve no matter what. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. continued to preach despite the continued threats to him and his family’s life and the bombings of his house. He continued to proclaim love and racial equality in a time where racial tension ran high. And what is it that kept him praising and worshiping and doing the will of God? His love for and faith in God. Indubitably we can say there has been a change to this nation as a result of his influence and others like him.
Saints it is the degree of your faith that preserves your praise in hell, it is the degree of your love for God that preserves your worship in hell, it is your Praise and Worship that God uses to preserve you in hell.
Come hell or high water PRAISE HIM, WORSHIP HIM, PRAISE HIM!
“...the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!”
- Daniel 3:27 NLT
“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth”
- Psalms 34:1 KJV
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