Our Source Of Help
David C. McCasland
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. —Psalm 121:2
Twenty-year-old Lygon Stevens, an experienced mountaineer, had reached the summits of Mt. McKinley, Mt. Rainier, four Andean peaks in Ecuador, and 39 of Colorado’s highest mountains. “I climb because I love the mountains,” she said, “and I meet God there.” In January 2008, Lygon died in an avalanche while climbing Little Bear Peak in southern Colorado with her brother Nicklis, who survived.
When her parents discovered her journals, they were deeply moved by the intimacy of her walk with Christ. “Always a shining light for Him,” her mother said, “Lygon experienced a depth and honesty in her relationship with the Lord, which even seasoned veterans of faith long to have.”
In Lygon’s final journal entry, written from her tent 3 days before the avalanche, she said: “God is good, and He has a plan for our lives that is greater and more blessed than the lives we pick out for ourselves, and I am so thankful about that. Thank You, Lord, for bringing me this far and to this place. I leave the rest—my future—in those same hands and say thank You.”
Lygon echoed these words from the psalmist: “My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Ps. 121:2).
O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Still be our guard while troubles last
And our eternal home. —Watts
We can trust our all-knowing God for the unknown future.
Three times in this short chapter the Lord is referred to as our keeper (vv.3,4,5). This idea is of great comfort to the believer because it presents God as one who is not passive but active in our lives. To “keep” something is to actively guard and protect it. This idea is underscored by the fact that as our keeper, God does not sleep or slumber (vv.3-4) and watches over us day and night (v.6). How wonderful to know that the God who holds our lives is not disinterested but is constantly watching over us.
Bible in a Year:
Exodus 21-22; Matthew 19
Answer The Cry
[The Lord] will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry. —Isaiah 30:19
When my grandchildren were young, my son took them to see the stage production of The Lion King. As the young lion, Simba, stood over his father, King Mufasa, who had been killed by his evil uncle, little Simba, afraid and alone, cried out, “Help, Help, Help!” At that moment, my 3-year-old grandson stood on his chair in the hushed theater and shouted, “Why doesn’t somebody help him?!”
The Old Testament contains many accounts of God’s people crying out for help. Although their trouble was often self-imposed due to their waywardness, God was still eager to come to their aid.
The prophet Isaiah had to deliver a lot of bad news, but in the midst of it he assured the people that “the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. . . . How gracious he will be when you cry for help!” (Isa. 30:18-19 niv). Yet God often looked to His own people to be the answer to that cry for help (see Isa. 58:10).
Today, people all around us are in need of someone to take action to help them. It is a high privilege to become the hands of God as we respond on His behalf to cries for help.
Lord, remind me that You desire to show
compassion to those in need and that You often call
on us to be the instruments of that compassion. Give
me an opportunity today to show Your love to at least one person in need.
Show that God cares by lending a helping hand.
Isaiah was a prophet who spoke comprehensively about the coming Messiah. In fact, he spoke about the Deliverer more than any other Old Testament figure did—which makes his name very appropriate. Isaiah means “the Lord is salvation.”
Bible in a Year:
Exodus 9-11; Matthew 15:21-39
Today I am reading day 272 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:
Our Help In Time Of Need
Hebrews 4:16 16Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
If you are facing a challenge right now, I want you to know that you have a standing invitation from your heavenly Father to come boldly to the throne of grace to “obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need”.
The phrase “help in time of need” means that you get healing when you are sick, provisions when you are in lack, restoration when your relationship with a loved one breaks down, and favor when news of job cuts or bad prospects are rife.
“Pastor Prince, how can I come boldly when I have been a lousy Christian?”
You can come boldly because you come to God by the blood of Jesus Christ and not by how you have lived your life. So whenever you come into God’s presence, you don’t have to be afraid that your sins will be exposed because the blood of Jesus has removed every one of them. God does not see even one speck of sin in you because He sees only the blood of His Son, which has been shed for your total forgiveness and acceptance.
My friend, when you have failed and need mercy, God’s Word assures you that you will find mercy when you come boldly to God. Mercy means that you don’t get the bad things you deserve, such as condemnation, poverty, failure, loss and even death.
And mercy is not the only thing that you will obtain when you come boldly to God. You will also find grace. Grace means that you get the good things that you don’t deserve, such as health, protection, anointing, favor, good success and life more abundant.
So come boldly to the One who loves you passionately, unconditionally and with an undying love. Come boldly to Him who knows everything about your situation and has the solution. He has wisdom far beyond that doctor you highly respect, that lawyer you greatly honor and the best experts you can consult. Beloved, come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and grace to help in your time of need!
Thought For The Day
Come boldly to God who knows everything about your situation and has the solution.
Today I am reading day 255 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Fully Alive When Helping Others
At the end of your life on earth you will stand before God, and he is going to evaluate how well you served others with your life.
Think about the implications of that. One day God will compare how much time and energy we spent on ourselves compared with what we invested in serving others.
At that point, all our excuses for self-centeredness will sound hollow: “I was too busy,” or “I had my own goals,” or “I was preoccupied with working, having fun, or preparing for retirement.” To all excuses God will respond, “Sorry, wrong answer. I created, saved, and called you and commanded you to live a life of service. What part did you not understand?”
The truth is, we are only fully alive when we’re helping others. Jesus said, “If you insist on saving your life, you will lose it. Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live.” (Mark 8:35 LB)
This truth is so important that it is repeated five times in the Gospels. If you are not serving, you are just existing — because life is meant for ministry. God wants you to learn to love and serve others unselfishly.
Today I am reading day 20 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Help the Helpless
Proverbs 22:9 Be generous and share your food with the poor. You will be blessed for it.
Psalm 41:1-2 Happy are those who are concerned for the poor; the Lord will help them when they are in trouble.
The Lord will protect them and preserve their lives; he will make them happy in the land; he will not abandon them to the power of their enemies.
When you help the poor and the needy, the Bible says it’s like loaning money to God. And God says, “I’m watching to see if you are a blessing to others people. If you are, I will bless you.”
Psalm 41 says this, “God blesses those who are kind to the poor and helpless. He helps them out of their own troubles. He protects them and keeps them alive; he publicly honors them and destroys the power of their enemies.” (Psalm 41:1-2 TLB)
If you want God’s blessing in your life, start looking for other people less fortunate than you to help. God says if you do that he will pour out his blessing on you.
This is a principle I learned a long time ago: the more I help people who are less fortunate, the more God blesses my life. We lived out this principle at Saddleback Church a few years ago when we decided the church would feed every homeless person in Orange County three meals a day for 40 days.
I want to challenge you today – this is your action point – donate a bag of groceries to a local food pantry. If you can, do this once a week for the next six weeks. Your generosity will bless people in need and God will bless you in return.
Today I am reading day 8 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Success Involves Help From Others
Ecclesiastes 4:12 Two people can resist an attack that would defeat one person alone. A rope made of three cords is hard to break.
To reach your goals you need to enlist a team for support. I’ve been to Africa many times and heard this proverb over and over: “If you want to go fast, go by yourself. If you want to go far, go with others.” We think it’s important to make a speedy decision, but it’s more important to make the right decision.
Success is never a one-man job; it takes teamwork. God wired it this way because the most important lesson he wants you to learn here on earth is to love people. Not only that, there are some things in your life that you will never be able to change without the support, prayers, and encouragement of other people. That’s why it’s so important to be in a small group.
Our verse today says it all. The stronger your team is, the more you can fulfill your dream.
Today I am reading day 20 of NIV Once-A-Day Promises Devotional:
God Invites You to Come to Him for Help
Psalm 103:14 He knows what we are made of; he remembers that we are dust.
When we are scrambling around during tough times, trying to figure out what to do, our minds have a tendency to dream up all sorts of unlikely scenarios. Money woes, for instance, might prompt us to imagine an out-of-the-blue phone call from a billionaire like Bill Gates, offering to bail us out. Medical problems can get us daydreaming about an invitation to come consult—for free, of course—with the world’s foremost specialists at a place like the Mayo Clinic.
Bottom line—what we want most in times of trouble is understanding and help from someone with the power to deal effectively with our situation.
God offers precisely what we want and need. He knows our every weakness and cares about them. We can trust that when we seek him for help in a situation, he’ll care enough to do something about it.
God’s Promise to Me
• I understand your weaknesses.
• I want you to come boldly into my presence.
• I will give you mercy and grace in your time of need.
My Prayer to God
Lord, you know my weaknesses and the temptations I face. You are never too busy for me. Thank you for the total, unhindered access I have to you.
Praise and Worship: God will make a way
Today I am reading day 4 of NIV Once-A-Day Promises Devotional:
God Helps His People
Psalm 107:19 Then in their trouble they called to the Lord, and he saved them from their distress.
Psalm 107:21They must thank the Lord for his constant love,
for the wonderful things he did for them.
A few questions for those with a tendency to worry (pause briefly and ponder each one):
• What situations in life are you most worried about right now? Why?
• Of the various situations currently prompting anxiety in your life, which can you personally change?
Over what issues do you have absolutely no control?
• What are the inward and outward signs that something has got you really concerned and nervous?
• List all the benefits of worrying. What are some of the drawbacks?
• Is worrying a “sin”? Why or why not?
• How do you think God feels when his children are panicky and anxious?
• Why do some people seem almost immune to worry?
• When is the last time you truly felt at peace?
Instead of worrying, you can cry out to God for help. In times of trouble, trust in God’s unfailing love.
God’s Promise to Me
• When you cry out to me, I will help you.
My Prayer to God
God, I’m crying out to you for help. Help me trust that you will come to my rescue.