A Very Present Help
Are you confident or fearful as you look toward the future? Do you find it unsettling to see the degree of upheaval in the world right now? Are you worried about your family’s safety and security in such uncertain times? Do you carry a strong assurance that the Lord’s help and strength are available for you and those you love? Without question, it takes courage and stamina to face the times in which we live. But one fact is clear: God ordained that we would live in such days—and He will empower us to stand firm. With His help, we can do more than survive. We can actually thrive—demonstrating what it is to follow the Lord confidently and serve Him fearlessly. What will make all the difference in our outlook? Here is one answer. In every situation—personal and global—we can count on the Lord to be a very present help.
Addressing the Questions
I tend to be the type of person who doesn’t worry too much. So I’ve been a little surprised to be considering questions as serious as the ones listed above. I do get rattled on occasion, and when that happens, God’s Word is my great stabilizer. It provides solid answers to life’s questions—helping us know how to make our way through today’s challenges. Recently, one phrase keeps repeating itself in my mind: a very present help. Amazingly, this series of words appears only once in the entire Bible—in Psalm 46:1. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” The note for this phrase in my study Bible is particularly encouraging: “an abundantly available help.” What is this verse telling us? In good times and bad, our Lord walks with us, making His help abundantly available to us—no matter what we have to face.
Adversity: A Fact of Life
Generally, I maintain a positive outlook on life—due primarily to my trust in the work of Jesus Christ in me and the undeserved grace I’ve received. Based on that upbeat posture, my main desire is to encourage you through what I share in this monthly letter. At the same time, I always strive to be real in what I present—avoiding the temptation to sugarcoat substantive issues facing us as Christians. I offer my next statement from that realistic perspective. Here it is: If God promises to come to our aid in times of trouble, it presupposes that we as Christians will invariably face difficulty and adversity. Extending the logical implication of that statement, we may ask: Just how serious might these troubles be? The answer? At times, substantially serious. Really? That drastic? In the case of Psalm 46, we get a rather cataclysmic picture of why we need the promise of God’s help. “Therefore, we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.” Tectonic shifts. Extremely serious.
The One Who Is with Us
David references some similarly drastic dilemmas in Psalm 27:3: “Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear.” This very situation confronted King Jehoshaphat when the armies of three nations assembled against Israel in 2 Chronicles 20, causing him to cry out in prayer: “For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” There is the key! Where did Jehoshaphat look when his world was about to be turned upside down by onrushing enemies? To the One who would be a very present help—bringing him through to victory. To the same One the writer of Psalm 46 identifies: “The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge” (v. 7, 11). It is the same One who makes this promise to you and me in Isaiah 41:10: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you.” Knowing that the Lord is our very present help can empower us and enable us to be courageous as we face life—with all its blessings and challenges.
Words of Encouragement
Derek Prince spoke often of the confidence that comes from knowing our God is with us—providing His abundantly available help for us. In a message he delivered under the title of “Restoration,” Derek addressed this theme of the Lord’s very present help.
In our world situation today, what really belongs to God is the people of God. God is committed to those who are committed to Him. The basis of God’s commitment is always the same. It is a covenant. We become God’s people through entering into a covenant with Him. And once that covenant has been established and ratified by God, then God declares emphatically He will never break His own covenant. He is committed to maintain it. Let’s look at some of the promises that God gave to Israel under the old covenant, because the principle applies still today. In Isaiah 41:10, God says to Israel: “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” What wonderful words of comfort and encouragement in the midst of so much turmoil, confusion, and insecurity! How good to be able to hear the voice of Almighty God saying, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you.” In other words, the solution isn’t on the human plane. The solution is through looking upwards: “For I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you; surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” We see this again in Isaiah 43:2, where God says: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you” (NAS). God does not say that we will never pass through difficulties or pressures or trying times. We will pass through the waters, through the rivers, even through the fire. But God promises us His presence all the way through. He also promises that nothing will harm us or frustrate His purposes of good for us.
Facing Whatever Comes
What response is the Lord expecting from you and me when we encounter challenges and difficulties? I believe He is looking for courage. He is asking us to trust in His great promise to be with us in any and every situation, providing His incomparable help for any challenge that arises. Simply put, He wants us to say an unreserved YES—to follow Him, even through trials and tribulations. Are you and I ready to face down our fears as we walk through the calamities around us? Can we stand boldly as faithful servants of the Lord in spite of opposition, persecution, and even physical suffering? Will you and I answer the call to courage? Something is stirring deep inside me right now—something that longs to respond to whatever the Father requires of me. I want to make a commitment in prayer, and I invite you—if you feel that same stirring—to join me.
Father, I respond in this moment to the leading of Your Holy Spirit, and the motivation You are stirring in me to be a courageous follower of Your Son, Jesus Christ. I proclaim now that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. You, O Lord, are a very present help to me. I receive that promise by faith. I believe it is a truth which applies to every trouble and trial I will face as a Christian. I believe it also applies to every step I will take to follow You in faith. You will be a very present help—yes, an abundantly available help to me. With the assurance of Your ever-present help and strength, I commit myself afresh to follow You and to walk in Your ways with new fervor, new zeal, and a new level of courage. I will not fear, for You are with me. I will not be afraid, for You are my God. You will strengthen me. You will help me. You will uphold me with the right hand of Your righteousness. I commit myself unreservedly to Your purpose and future for me, regardless of what sacrifices I must make or what challenges I must overcome. Thank You, Lord—that You are my very present help for every aspect of my life. Amen.
Stepping into the Future
Life in Jesus Christ is an ongoing series of incremental commitments. It would be nice if we could take one huge leap into perfect, complete obedience to the will of God in our lives. However, it doesn’t happen that way. It comes step-by-step. You and I, however, have just made a huge advance with the prayer we offered. We have moved forward boldly into a greater level of trust and sacrifice of our lives to the One who has called us. Consequently, life may be very different from this point forward. Whenever you and I take a step like this, it must be reinforced immediately. One such support is the teaching legacy of Derek Prince—and it is our privilege to make it available to you. We want to start by offering “Restoration,” the message from which we pulled Derek’s excerpt used earlier. Just use the download link below. Your partnership in this ministry is a source of great joy to us. We are amazed at the prayers offered up for DPM and the faithful donations sent in to continue this work. Your love and generosity enable us to reach out with Derek’s solid teaching to people all over the world, helping them grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ.
The Confidence We Have
God has called you and me to follow our Savior and Lord in unprecedented times. Certainly, huge challenges lie ahead—not only in this new year we are beginning, but stretching into the years and decades that remain, if the Lord tarries. How we address those challenges—standing firm in our faith—will make all the difference. You and I know we cannot accomplish what must be done in our own strength. Every victory and every accomplishment will come only by His grace operating in our lives. All the while, we will be empowered, emboldened, and inspired by the profound truth we have discovered. In everything we do, the Lord will be with us—working in us and through us. For indeed, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
All the best,
Dick Leggatt President, DPM–USA