Psalm 124 – Our Help

Our Help

If the Lord hadn’t been for us—
let Israel now repeat!—
if the Lord hadn’t been for us,
when those people attacked us
then they would have swallowed us up whole
with their rage burning against us!
Then the waters would have drowned us;
the torrent would have come over our necks;
then the raging waters would have come over our necks!

Bless the Lord
because he didn’t hand us over
like food for our enemies’ teeth!
We escaped like a bird from the hunters’ trap;
the trap was broken so we escaped!

Our help is in the name of the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth. (CEB)

“Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.”  These are the words for which I begin nearly every worship service in church.  It is a call to worship the God who is above all and sees all – and can do something about the adversity and trouble we face in the world.  When confronted with a new day, our attention needs some direction in the positive way of acknowledging God.

Our ultimate help is in the Lord.  Our fears about the future, our insecurities of what will happen, and our anxieties about all the upcoming stuff we must face can be transformed with the biblical perspective of acknowledging our need for God.  The Lord is our most prescient support.  That virtual meeting you have been dreading; that conversation you have been avoiding; or, that deadline that has been looming over your head; these and all situations can only find their proper perspective in light of the God who helps.

I am a believer in making daily affirmations of faith in God. That is, affirming the truth about God, even if I don’t feel like it, each and every day so that some solid robust theology is at the forefront of my mind, and the attributes of God sink firmly into my heart.  For faith does not simply come because of signing off on a checklist of beliefs.  Rather, faith arises as a response to the recognition that God is good – all the time – and that he helps those who look to him.

There are a lot of things we do not know: what will happen tomorrow; how a situation will shake out in the end; whether a relationship will flower or wither; and, a million other things which can weigh down our hearts with anxiety. However, there is one sure truth we can count on right now and for every minute into the future: God is with us. God’s ever-present help remains the constant ballast in a sea of changing circumstances.

Indeed, “If God is on our side, can anyone be against us?… I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love—not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, and not powers above or powers below. Nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord!” (Romans 8:31, 38-39, CEV)

Creator God, you are the ever-present One who provides everything I need for life and godliness.  I need your help today and everyday so that I can confidently do your will.  I stand with full assurance of faith because I serve the Lord Jesus, who is benevolent and always does what is right and just.  Amen.

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