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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 08/12/20

When There Is No Other Help

When there is no other help, God

STORY: People are No Help!

Have you ever gotten exasperated because you felt like the whole world was getting in your way? I had a day like that yesterday! I was given the incorrect street address and drove around and around trying to find it. The person who gave the address insisted she was right. Finally, we took a photo of the house we thought we were supposed to be at and texted it to her. Yes! That’s it! But the street number was nothing like what she had down.

Then we went through drive-thru and the window cashier welcomed us on the speaker. “Welcome” isn’t quite the right word. More like barked orders at us! We just couldn’t get in a rhythm with her. When we opened our order she had left out important parts of it.

Thankfully, the Bible says when people are no help, God is a faithful helper. Let’s look and see what the Psalms say about his help.

STUDY: Divine Help for Human Problems

[For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by an eight-stringed instrument.] Help, O Lord, for the godly are fast disappearing! The faithful have vanished from the earth! (Psalm 12:1 NLT)
  • Sometimes when we observe what is going on in our world, it’s easy to get a negative and desperate focus and feel just like David—that the godly are fast disappearing. What do you do when that thought comes to you?
  • How might God be at work, helping?
  • What is our part?
Oh, please help us against our enemies, for all human help is useless. (Psalm 60:11 NLT)
  • Sometimes our situation grows more dire and we feel like all human help is useless. Do you think that is a true statement (that no one can help) or is it more likely a battle of attitude? Where do you find human help?
  • When you can’t rely on anyone or trust anyone to help with the battles of life, where does your help come from?
I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help. Interlude (Psalm 77:3 NLT)
  • The psalmist is feeling overwhelmed. I call it the overs-of-whelming. We all hit times in our lives when that happens. Look at what the psalmist does about it.
  • Instead of being overwhelmed by the circumstances, the psalmist is overwhelmed with longing for God to help. This happens when he thinks of God. What physical response does it bring?
  • When you think of God, what happens? When you long for God’s help, how do you mitigate the overs-of-whelming?
Unless the Lord had helped me, I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave. (Psalm 94:17 NLT)
  • We never know in the Psalms if these statements are exaggerations based on feelings, hyperbole to help us grasp the magnitude of the situation, or if it is a factual recounting. Which do you think it is, in this case?
  • We know, looking back, that God had a protective hand on David when he was in danger. But there were times while it was happening, David lost sight of that faith and trust. Can you relate?
  • Recount a time that you know that unless the Lord had helped you, you would have lost your life.
With God’s help we will do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes. (Psalm 108:13 NLT)
  • What mighty things will you do with God’s help?
  • One way God helps us is to address what is getting in our way of doing what he is leading us to do. Enemies. Distractions. Doubts. What do you need God to take care of so you can focus on doing that “mighty thing”?
Yes, the Lord is for me; he will help me. I will look in triumph at those who hate me. (Psalm 118:7 NLT)
  • Let’s just camp out on that first statement. Say it aloud. “Yes, the Lord is for me.” When you verbalize it, what feelings surface? What thoughts speak to you?
  • Not only is the Lord for you, he will help you.
  • It must have been amazing for David to realize this, because next he says he will look in triumph at those who hate him. That had to be satisfying to him, to know the Lord was on his side. Next time you face your naysayers, try to have a peace-filled confident look of triumph. Why? Because you realize whatever they do to harm you isn’t going to derail you from knowing Papa God is in your corner!
I will fulfill my vows to you, O God, and will offer a sacrifice of thanks for your help. (Psalm 56:12 NLT)
  • Have you made any vows to God? How will you fulfill them?
  • Has God helped you? What sacrifice of thanks can you offer? In the Old Testament, a sacrifice of thanks (or in today’s Jewish culture, a prayer of thanksgiving) was the highest expression of gratitude.
For I cried out to him for help, praising him as I spoke. (Psalm 66:17 NLT)
  • Even in your tears, as you cry to God for help, you can praise him. It’s hard though, isn’t it? How is it possible?
  • I’m thinking of something right now on which I need to cry out to God for help rather than worry about it or try to handle it with my human limitations. Can you think of something that would be better with God’s help than trying to do on your own?
  • When we cry out to God for help, let’s couple it with a time of praising him, focusing on not just what he has done for us in the past, but on who he is.

STEPS: Thank God for His Help

  1. Make a list. Contrast your helpless struggles with God’s helpful solutions.
  2. Praise God. Even if the victory hasn’t come yet, focus on his praiseworthiness. 
  3. Make a sacrifice of thanks. What can you do to symbolize your gratitude for God’s help?

Copyright © 2020 Kathy Carlton Willis, used with permission.

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