Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 05/13/20

Help Is on the Way!

Does God wait for me to stop struggling before he rescues me?

STORY: Help Me!

One summer when the sun played hooky and June kept the morning chill well into afternoon, Mom signed me up for swimming lessons. Equipped with swimsuit and goose bumps, and a whole lot of fear, I baby-stepped into the pool area. I inherited Mom’s “fear of water” gene. Not knowing what they were in for, trainers taught us to tread water.

They took us to the deep end and encouraged us to jump off the diving board. They said they’d catch us. Only, no one caught me! I caught an unsuspecting trainer by surprise and we both went down, arms flailing. Bubbles surfaced, but nothing resembling a swim instructor or scared child.

The lifeguard underestimated the strength of a young girl with water terrors. Another lifeguard jumped in to rescue us both. He went under, too! Eventually we bobbed to the surface and someone stretched a pole out to retrieve us.

Swim instructors are taught to let a drowning victim tire before rescuing them, so the lifeguard isn’t taken under. I wonder how many times God waits for me to quit fighting before he rescues me? I don’t have a natural bent towards surrender. I don’t give up, I don’t give in, and I don’t give out! I’m so glad God doesn’t give up on me. He shows up, and He shows up strong.

(Modified from Grin with Grace excerpt, AMG Publishers, © 2015)

I’m excited to start a new study on the word help in Scripture. It is mentioned over 500 times, so I’ve narrowed it down to the 100+ verses in Psalms. Today we will cluster verses dealing with rescue.

STUDY: My Help Comes from the Lord

The Lord replies, “I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up to rescue them, as they have longed for me to do.” (Psalm 12:5 NLT)
  • Aren’t you glad we have a God who notices us and sees us in our needs? What need does he see in you right now?
  • What does the act of rising up connotate to you when you think of the Lord rescuing you?
  • What do you long for God to do for you?
The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. (Psalm 34:17 NLT)
  • Do you ever feel like the Lord doesn’t hear you when you call to him for help? What do you base that on?
  • This says God rescues them from all their troubles. Is this verse for you or for the people of that time period? What does it mean when God hasn’t rescued you from your troubles?
With every bone in my body I will praise him: “Lord, who can compare with you? Who else rescues the helpless from the strong? Who else protects the helpless and poor from those who rob them?” (Psalm 35:10 NLT)
  • This psalm is a verse of praise to the God who helps. Write or speak your own verse of praise to God for helping you.
  • The psalmist praises God with every bone in his body. Why is that significant?
  • How do you view God, based on this verse?

Please, Lord, rescue me! Come quickly, Lord, and help me. (Psalm 40:13 NLT)

Please, God, rescue me! Come quickly, Lord, and help me. (Psalm 70:1 NLT)

“Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he rescued them from their distress. (Psalm 107:6 NLT)

  • Have you ever prayed a prayer for rescue that is this short and urgent? We don’t have to have lengthy prayers to reach out to God. Even a simple “help, Lord” prayer will do it when we can’t string together more words.
  • When was the last time you prayed such a small prayer and received a big answer?
For you have rescued me from my troubles and helped me to triumph over my enemies. (Psalm 54:7 NLT)
  • From what has God rescued the psalmist? How did God help?
  • What troubles in your life need rescued?
  • What enemy is in your life? How can God help?
He will send help from heaven to rescue me, disgracing those who hound me. [Interlude] My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness. (Psalm 57:3 NLT)
  • Where does help come from? Is this God himself showing up in your life? Does he send his angels to rescue you?
  • Notice in the middle of this verse the psalmist includes an interlude. Sometimes while we still need rescued we can sing an interlude of praise to God—we don’t have to wait for the rescue to praise him.

He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them. (Psalm 72:12 NLT)

Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people. (Psalm 82:4 NLT)

  • Who does God rescue, according to these verses? There are different types of poor. Those who have little in the way of money and belongings. Also the poor in spirit.
  • What does the word oppressed mean? How does God help them?
  • Think of victims who have no one to defend them. Do you know someone like that? Are you in that category? How can God help? How can you help?
He grants the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them. (Psalm 145:19 NLT)
  • How does God grant the desires of those who fear him?
  • Is it possible to fear God (reverent awe) before he rescues us?

STEPS: I Know Where My Help Comes From

  1. Groan in prayer. When was the last time you felt strong emotion while praying? How can you tap into that more so you pray with passion?
  2. Praise God for previous rescues. Think back to a time God helped you escape from a bad circumstance. Thank him all over again.
  3. Recognize someone who needs God’s help. Is it possible God wants you to be the vessel through which he sends help?

Copyright © 2020 Kathy Carlton Willis, used with permission.

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